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Old 09-23-2011, 09:08 PM   #1
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Unfinished space - basement - what do I do?


So some information first. We have a chalet style house and the basement is half in ground and half out. The back wall where the heater, water heater, pipes, etc is under grade. The two side walls go from under grade to fully exposed and the front wall is fully exposed. The basement is not insulated at all and I plan on fixing that since its a pain to heat the house since the floors on the first floor are pretty cold in the winter. I plan on finishing the basement, but I want to get it insulated first and then slowly finish it. My plan is leaving the back ~8' unfinished where the heater and water heater are. I am going to put 2" rigid foam insulation on the walls, floor, and rim joists in the finished portion of the basement. I have those details worked out, but I am not sure what do in this unfinished area. I would like to do the same thing and I can move or work around just about everything except the furnace. I do not want to mess around trying to move it out from the wall to get insulation behind it so what are my options?

I really want to insulate the unfinished space in the same way, but I can't figure out the best way to do it. If I do not insulate it I guess I need a vapor barrier between the finished and unfinished space? I read that I need to let the furnace have access to air and thus if I have a vent from the unfinished to finished space I would assume that eliminates the benefits of the vapor barrier?

I am so confused!

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Old 09-25-2011, 01:51 AM   #2
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Unfinished space - basement - what do I do?


Check with your code officials on what thermal or ignition barriers are required on exposed foams inside living spaces.

Most rigid foams will more than provide a vapor barrier layer.

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Old 09-25-2011, 08:39 AM   #3
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Unfinished space - basement - what do I do?


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Originally Posted by Windows on Wash View Post
Check with your code officials on what thermal or ignition barriers are required on exposed foams inside living spaces.

Most rigid foams will more than provide a vapor barrier layer.
I am in an unincorporated area and thus no codes to check. I am asking how to deal with the area behind the furnace since I can not get any insulation behind there since the space is too tight.
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Old 09-25-2011, 10:56 AM   #4
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Unfinished space - basement - what do I do?


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I am in an unincorporated area and thus no codes to check. I am asking how to deal with the area behind the furnace since I can not get any insulation behind there since the space is too tight.
Codes are there to protect the homeowner so regardless of enforcement, I would suggest that you follow minimum codes for safety.

If you can get anything behind the furnace, that is not that big of any issue as long as the rest of the basement walls are properly insulated.
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Old 10-13-2011, 11:01 AM   #5
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Unfinished space - basement - what do I do?


So what did you end up doing? I am in the same predicament as you.
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