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Old 03-24-2009, 01:08 PM   #1
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Basement half walls to full walls


I am planning on converting my half walls that are drywalled and insulated in my walk out basement to full walls.

My question is: Do I need to rip down all the dry wall if I am building a full 2" by 4" stud wall infront of the poured concrete half wall? Can I leave some of the drywall up and remove some of it?

My neighbor removed a couple feet of the bottom of the walls to allow for air cirulation and then insulated a wall infront of it?

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Old 03-26-2009, 05:43 AM   #2
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Basement half walls to full walls


Questions I would need to answer first would be, Was the wall there now correctly insulated and wired? Do I need access to this area to update or upgrade any wiring? Is the current concrete contact wood in good shape?
I'd have that sheetrock off in a heartbeat to check it out before I built something on top of it.
Ron
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Old 03-26-2009, 06:50 AM   #3
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Basement half walls to full walls


The basement wall that is there now, if it was insulated correctly...that is a good question, I don't know. This was a newly built home when I purchased it and they did cut corners that didn't show up until after the papers passed.

I believe that the walls have no vapor barrier insulation (someone told me the tyvek on the house would be the vapor barrier????). There is wiring in the wall and there are a couple of outlets that will need to be extended out to the new wall and I plan on adding new wiring into the new wall. As far as the wood, great question, I guess I would have to at least tear off some sheet rock to identify the condition behind the wall to ensure that it is in good condition.

Would you recommend to take off a bottom portion like my neighbor did. He removed approx. a couple feet up and left the rest. If there is wiring in the wall and I am putting a wall infront of it, do I have to move the wiring or just leave access which would mean at least remove the drywall that covers the wiring?

I don't mind making a mess if it is the right thing to do but if I don't need to, I could use the time to keep moving on the project itself.

Another question: since you had finished your basement, when putting up the foam board...I know there is the specific foam board caulking, however, I discovered that liquid nails has a indoor/outdoor caulk that says it works with foam. I guess I am trying to figure out if I can save some cash and use that instead. I don't want to penny pinch but saving when there is no need to waste is always a good thing.

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Old 03-26-2009, 07:35 AM   #4
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Basement half walls to full walls


I'm not understanding why you are putting a wall in front of the 1/2 wall you have now. Why don't you extend that wall to the ceiling?
As for Tyvek, it's not a vapor barrier. It's an air filtration barrier. Moisture will pass through it.
How you insulate will depend on where you live. There are regional specifics.
As for the electric, you can't bury junction boxes. If you extend a outlet, you need to be able to get to the splice in the old box.
Ron
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Old 03-26-2009, 09:49 AM   #5
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Basement half walls to full walls


Sorry I wasn't clear.

I have a half poured concrete wall that is 8 to 10" wide (not at home to measure). They built the 2"by 6" wall ontop of that which leaves the ledge of concrete. I don't like the look of a ledge all the way around the room so I want to make the wall straight from floor to ceiling without the ledge. Hope that explains that.

I live in MA and actually thought there should be a vapor barrier toward the inside of the home but I think they just put non-vapor barrier insulation in the stud space (would have to rip down some drywall to confirm).

I wasn't planning on burying the electrical, i guess what i was trying to say is that the cable run would be through the studs which right now are on 2" by 6" but when the wall moves forward to cover the ledge then the cable run would just be deeper in the wall and I wasn't sure if I would have to take the cable run out of the old studs and move it to the new studs to be closer to the front of the wall? This may be a stupid question but I like to make sure that I do everything correctly.

Hope that is more clear. I guess my primary question is what is the best method to make a half wall with cement ledge look like a finished wall that you would see in the rest of your home and does that require removing all the drywall or part of the drywall or put slits into the drywall to ensure that air won't trap moisture in it.

Thank you for your patience.
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Old 03-26-2009, 09:26 PM   #6
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Basement half walls to full walls


You'll probably find a kraft faced insulation behind the wall that's there now. Being in Mass. you will need more insulation then is now in that wall. But you can't have two vapor barriers in the wall, so if it indeed kraft faced you would need to open the wall and slash the facing so the only vapor barrier was in the new wall. The most effective vapor barrier would be a 6 mil plastic over and unfaced fiberglass. You should also seal behind any electric boxes or you'll have substantial heat loss and possibly condensation behind the wall.
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Old 03-27-2009, 11:30 AM   #7
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Basement half walls to full walls


Hello Ron,

How would you seal behind the electrical boxes? Are you referring to taping the vapor barrier around the box?

Do you think that i should remove all the drywall as well or just a portion of it...which I know would depend upon the present vapor barrier.

(I have a feeling that the builder didn't put a vapor barrier in there but when I open up the wall..the truth will be told.)

Thanks again for any suggestions.
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Old 03-27-2009, 05:28 PM   #8
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Basement half walls to full walls


Quote:
Originally Posted by Basement Man View Post
Hello Ron,

How would you seal behind the electrical boxes? Are you referring to taping the vapor barrier around the box?

Do you think that i should remove all the drywall as well or just a portion of it...which I know would depend upon the present vapor barrier.

(I have a feeling that the builder didn't put a vapor barrier in there but when I open up the wall..the truth will be told.)

Thanks again for any suggestions.
They have these plastic, pocket like material that gets installed before the box gets put in. It's nailed onto the joist.
I wire the box and foam the back and sides with the canned foam before I batt insulate the stud bays. Just go from box to box until the cans empty.
As for the drywall. Do a small area to see what you have. Then decide the best method to have a continuous even insulation barrier.
I would think the builder used kraft faced insulation. It was the standard method used.
Ron
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Old 03-28-2009, 07:46 PM   #9
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Basement half walls to full walls


Well, I ripped at least the bottom portion of all the drywall off just to see what was underneath. Just as I expectded 85% of the stud cavities are filled with non-insulated insulation and the remainder few have the paperface vapor barrier. Nice quality work there. I did also notice a corner that has rotten, black, wet wood and now I have to figure out the problem and fix that.:censore d:

How do you fix the wall after I hopefully fix the reason for the water damange, any ideas?
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Old 03-29-2009, 10:36 AM   #10
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Basement half walls to full walls


"How do you fix the wall after I hopefully fix the reason for the water damange, any ideas? "
If you're talking about the wood, you just refame the wall. Any wood that is in contact with concrete should be pressure treated.
What you found is typical which is why as a general rule it all comes off. It's just easier to evaluate the situation and correct all the issues. A few sheets of drywall sacrificed wouldn't hinder the decision making process.
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Old 03-29-2009, 02:15 PM   #11
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Basement half walls to full walls


The black, wet wood is probably mold (your neighbor has it to!). Address the mold after researching first. Scroll to the bottom pics. Pay attention to vapor barriers and thermal breaks in the article.

here: http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...gs?full_view=1 Attach the new top wall to the exterior one, top and bottom, every 3'.

Read up and follow fire-stopping or draft-stopping online. (At the top of all walls) You don't want to be liable for anyone's death in case of fire. Be safe, GBAR
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Old 03-29-2009, 02:33 PM   #12
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Basement half walls to full walls


Ron,

Thank you and you were right from the start, I guess a little mess is worth the price of doing it right. Not looking forward to the mess but ripping stuff up can be fun.

GBAR,

Thank you for the webiste, very informative.
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