I'm putting up wall framing in the basement. There are two schools: build
the framing in place (vertically) using toenailing, or build it on
the floor half an inch short, and then raise it into place and put
half-inch shims under it. The latter is recommended for amateurs, so that's
what I'm doing.
Before raising the wall, I'm stapling a black paper moisture barrier
("Scutan paper") to the back of the studs, with enough paper at the bottom
to wrap under the wall and seal to the plastic vapour barrier when I get
that in place.
When I wrap the paper under the wall, should I put the shims inside the
paper (to provide a moisture barrier right down to the floor), or outside and
under the paper? Does it matter?
Either way, this leaves an uninsulated gap at the foot of the wall. The
studs are not completely flush to the concrete wall (since the concrete
wall is not plumb), so there is a possibility of cold air pouring down the
wall and out this gap (the framing rests on a subfloor I've laid down). I
was thinking of squirting in foam insulation. Will this be difficult
working so close to the floor (because the can is inverted)?
None of the books mentions insulating this gap, so I wonder if it's a
problem at all.
Another thing -- I'm putting up the wall in eight-foot sections, and
taping the Scutan paper overlap using that red Tuck tape. Obviously it's
hard to tape on the concrete side -- I have to seal the overlaps from
inside the room. Will this be adequate?
"For it is only of the new one grows tired. Of the old one never tires."
-- Kierkegaard, _Repetition_
James Owens, Ottawa, Canada