Wall Framing

I have a number of shorter lengths of 2X4 (slightly less than 7') and would like to make use of them in the top and bottom plates of walls which I am framing in my basement. Can I create a double plate on the top and bottom of these walls by staggering the joints between the 2x4s making up the plates?
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What would be the purpose served by doubling up the plates? I would just use them as plates (single), build the walls on the floor in the six/seven foot sections and be done with it. I don't see what the purpose of doubling them would be.
Unless, are you building the wall in place or prebuilding it on the floor?

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Hello! Never thought of that (forgive me, I am new to framing).
I was going to prebuild the wall, and then raise it, shim it, and attach it to the ceiling. Another question, then: we live in a dry, colder climate. Should I run a strip of vapor barrier between the bottom plate and the concrete floor to prevent water from wicking up into the bottom plate, or is this not an issue? Some people use pressure treat for the bottom plate, but this is not common practice in our area

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Hey Robert
Yes you should have something between the sole and the concrete floor. Use 15lb asphalt felt or one of the foam gaskets they use for rim joists around the house (I believe they are pink in colour). Good advise that I heeded was to also put the felt on the concrete walls. You run it so it overlaps onto the ceiling joists and the floor. Go a good foot onto the floor to allow for aligning your walls. This method will help curb a lot of the normal moisture that comes through concrete (both in the walls and the floor).
I don't have any evidence except fear, but I would never use PT in the house.

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The top plate of a wall is often double, but not the bottom. Per code, a break in one layer of a top plate must be overlapped by the other layer by 2 feet, and there can be no break within 2 feet of the end of a wall. -B

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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Robert Lazorko) wrote in

If you are just putting walls in an already enclosed basement, why would you need a top plate? It supports nothing and wastes labor and material. Just offset the bottom plate the width of a stud, and nail the studs to the sides of the floor joists. Then use the shorter lumber for a nailer on the end wall ceiling.
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Normally the joints in the plates should fall at a stud. Would your 2x4 happen to be 80" long? Assuming 16" on center, that would work to having the joints at studs with minimal cutting.
Then if you double plate the top (and this is generally done to give the wall some rigidity and help keep it straight) overlap the joints as far as possible. Someone mentioned 2 ft, but I'd try for 1/2 way between the joints in the lower plate.

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