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Old 06-11-2009, 10:56 AM   #1
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Stepped Basement


OK, I've been trying to Google for pictures or descriptions of clever ways to finish a basement such as mine. The problem is I haven't found anything, so I'm thinking I might be missing some critical terminology I can stuff into that search box to make critical information magically spring forth.

My basement is stone from basement floor to ground level, and then masonry block from ground to first floor. The stone is probably 2' thick, the block is obviously less thick, which leads to a step in of a little over a foot around the perimeter of the basement, about 5' from the floor. The windows are set into the blocks (so, 100% above grade).

Framing walls, I'll have to set them several inches out from the wall (in some places) at least, due to the irregular nature of the stone. If I go straight up to the ceiling, I'll have to construct tunnels almost 2' deep to let light in, and I'm concerned that these are going to look ridiculous. If I step the new walls in to match, I'm not exactly sure how to insulate correctly. I'm currently planning to do 2" XPS tacked to the back of the framing (since I can't attach to the stone), and so I guess I'd do the same for the step, then continue it up the stepped in wall. Just seems like a PITA, would like to see pictures or stories of others who had similar challenges.

Anyone A) have similar challenge or B) know what this wall configuration is called so I can search for it?

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Old 06-11-2009, 11:02 AM   #2
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Stepped Basement


I would step back to the block wall & put a shelf all the way around. I've seen some basements like this & it looks OK. I think better then the tunnels to the windows

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Old 06-11-2009, 11:23 AM   #3
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Stepped Basement


The foam board is for below grade walls, with no additional vapor barrier below. The upper wall needs a v.b., and could be stepped. You may have a problem with egress (escape), as basements and bedrooms need two of such. A door to outside and, or window of minimum code requirement is need in addition to the stairs going up.

Insulation: http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...ent-insulation

Stone foundations: http://www.inspect-ny.com/structure/...tionOccur4.htm
http://chestofbooks.com/architecture...ion-Walls.html
http://www.servicemagic.com/article....ion.13693.html
Be safe, G
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Old 06-11-2009, 12:32 PM   #4
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Stepped Basement


Quote:
Originally Posted by GBAR in WA View Post
The foam board is for below grade walls, with no additional vapor barrier below. The upper wall needs a v.b., and could be stepped. You may have a problem with egress (escape), as basements and bedrooms need two of such. A door to outside and, or window of minimum code requirement is need in addition to the stairs going up.
I do plan to pull permits for all this, but hadn't talked to the inspector yet to see about egress. I thought window egress was only required for bedrooms, though I can certainly see the argument for a second egress in general. I might go full-bore and put in a bilco door, as that would significantly ease getting any sort of furniture down there anyway. The current stairs are narrow, as they start out normal width, and then step in along with the foundation to the point where they probably don't pass code either.

And then there's the matter of the ceiling height, which is about 7'1 at the highest point. I may not be able to get this done, but at least I'll try!
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Old 06-12-2009, 09:06 AM   #5
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Stepped Basement


Thought I should add a bit more detail, see if anyone sees problems with the plans:
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Old 06-13-2009, 03:08 PM   #6
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Stepped Basement


What's, " unfaced drywall"?
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Old 06-13-2009, 04:56 PM   #7
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Looks good
How wide is the shelf?
You might just want to go with wood instead of sheetrock
Sheetrock should also be up off the floor slightly - about 1/2"
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Old 06-13-2009, 08:10 PM   #8
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Stepped Basement


Yeah, should have been 'paperless drywall' rather than unfaced. And agree, .5" off the floor. Also, I'll probably put a sill seal under both bottom plates, for good measure. I think you're right, no drywall on the shelf.

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