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cartoonboy 03-07-2008 10:05 PM

Basement Renovation Question
We've been in the house a little over 3 years and am looking into a basement renovation. Weighing out the do-it-yourself way or have a contractor do it. I've had a couple quotes with a broad range based on all the criteria, which has been the hardest part to decipher.

The basement is approx 600sqft. Insulation on the upper half of the wall.
Location : Outside of Toronto

Not one contractor wants to take down the existing insulation that is on the wall. Just want to build over top of it.

I went to a HomeDepot DIY Basement seminar a while back and that was the first thing they said, take down the insulation.

Should it stay or go?

AtlanticWBConst. 03-07-2008 10:08 PM

What makes HD's DIY seminar right ..... and licensed contractors wrong?

Why would you take it down, if there is nothing wrong with it??

Why would HD want you to take something down, and buy new material from them, and install it?

cartoonboy 03-07-2008 10:30 PM

You have a point. Even during the heaviest rain fall a couple years ago, there was no sign of a leak. I guess while taking everything in, the most obvious is overlooked!

KUIPORNG 03-10-2008 03:22 PM

should take it down, why
1. the insulation is now direct contact with the cement, this is violation of code in Markham (at least I know that), it is ok if the basement is not renovated, but if it is renovated, this is against the code.

2. if you build 2x4 framing on top of these insulation, you are wasting kind of one or more inches of thickness of leaving space... some people may argue this is not a whole lot of space... but you and me know how expensive one sq. feet of housing in Toronto cost....

3. although you are quite sure there is no leak.... taking down the insulation let you see clearly what happen on the concrete and then you can be more sure there is no leak...

been there before.... I live in Markham and applied permit for it... this is clearly stated in the requirement of the permit as this part seems one of the most confused part amoung installers....

4. contractors for sure don't want to do it because it is a dirty job for them... consider all the insulation they need to mess with barehanded ....

to answer the other part of your question... sometimes DIY will not cost that much lower than contractor because if you are going to DIY... you kind of do everything the best which cost you the most material-wise speaking... where contractors (some) usually cut a lot of corners... but at the end you should still save some $$

cartoonboy 03-10-2008 04:00 PM

I would prefer to take it down. Its a toss up whether or not I will do-it-myself (the basement).

Maybe I'll see if I can get a friend to help me remove the insulation.

Are there any services out there to remove insulation?

AtlanticWBConst. 03-10-2008 04:27 PM

I still don't see any reason to take down the insulation...given the information provided by the OP thus far....

Ron6519 03-10-2008 05:35 PM

It would be helpful if you said what type of insulation you were talking about. If it was fiberglass and you were going with a closed cell foam I could see the reasoning.
In the future when you ask a question like that, and someone answers it. Ask them, Why. If they can't, the answer is not necessarily valid.

cartoonboy 03-10-2008 07:03 PM

You have a point there Ron.
Type Of Insulation : Fibreglass (I think R-8)

KUI****G - I was not aware of that being a code violation, mind you when I contacted the city of Vaughan, I only inquired into permit fees. A building permit is only required if making changes to plumbing. Electrical is of course handled by ESA.

Thanks Kui****g for answering the why.

It is a messy job and that is probably why every contractor wants to build on top of it.

Ron6519 03-10-2008 10:38 PM

R-8 is not adequate for the climate. Recycle it to the attic. It's batt insulation, there's no expiration date on it.

KUIPORNG 03-11-2008 07:54 AM

no permit for basement renovation is kind of rare...
As basement renovation is kind of many things including: framing, mechanical, plumbing, insulation and electrical.... all these need to be inspected.... but may be your city is kind of different....

and in my case, I got the information paper once I paid the fee and my project plan and on that papers it talks about basic requirements for the most obvious things... insulation direct contact with concrete prohibition is just one of them... there are other obvious stuff....

but different city has different rules...

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