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Old 02-07-2008, 12:27 PM   #1
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Advice needed for Basement Wall


Scenario:
I have a 9-year-old cement foundation, that is 24x50 and live in New Hampshire. One full length of the foundation is an exposed walk-out with wood walls. The other 3 sides are cement and mostly underground (approx 2 ft exposed above ground). I have no water problems and have a French Drain around the foundation. The walls are always dry. The basement has low humidity as I run a dehumidifier in the summer and a woodstove in the winter. My ultimate goal is to drywall or panel over the cement walls and never have to do it again.

Thinking that it would be a simple project, I have nailed 2x3 furring strips (flat-side against the wall) horizontally along the base of the wall and the top of the wall. I then nailed 2x3 vertical furring strips (flat side against the wall) every 16" on-center. The furring strips are kiln dried and not treated. The cement wall has not been water-proofed. Since nailing on the furring strips, I have heard conflicting reports on what to do next.

Questions: Should I Tear off furring strips and start over (I would really hate to do this)???? Should I waterproof the cement wall??? Should I add rigid insulation between furring strips??? Do I need to add a vapor barrier??? If so, is the VB to be placed between the furring strips and drywall/panel??? Any advantages to paneling vs drywall??? I want to make sure I do this project right, and not create mold/moisture problems that I will later regret. I would appreciate any advice you can provide. Thank you very much.

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Old 02-07-2008, 03:21 PM   #2
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Advice needed for Basement Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by nh10ring View Post
Scenario:
I have a 9-year-old cement foundation, that is 24x50 and live in New Hampshire. One full length of the foundation is an exposed walk-out with wood walls. The other 3 sides are cement and mostly underground (approx 2 ft exposed above ground). I have no water problems and have a French Drain around the foundation. The walls are always dry. The basement has low humidity as I run a dehumidifier in the summer and a woodstove in the winter. My ultimate goal is to drywall or panel over the cement walls and never have to do it again.

Thinking that it would be a simple project, I have nailed 2x3 furring strips (flat-side against the wall) horizontally along the base of the wall and the top of the wall. I then nailed 2x3 vertical furring strips (flat side against the wall) every 16" on-center. The furring strips are kiln dried and not treated. The cement wall has not been water-proofed. Since nailing on the furring strips, I have heard conflicting reports on what to do next.

Questions: Should I Tear off furring strips and start over (I would really hate to do this)???? Should I waterproof the cement wall??? Should I add rigid insulation between furring strips??? Do I need to add a vapor barrier??? If so, is the VB to be placed between the furring strips and drywall/panel??? Any advantages to paneling vs drywall??? I want to make sure I do this project right, and not create mold/moisture problems that I will later regret. I would appreciate any advice you can provide. Thank you very much.
You should gennerally have a vapor barrier over the foundation wall, and then frame out your walls about an inch away from the foundation. That way the wood is not in contact with the cement, and you can plumb the walls

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Old 02-07-2008, 03:56 PM   #3
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Advice needed for Basement Wall


I am also in favor of framing out your walls instead of using furring strips. I have had the experience of helping a friend rip out an old basement with furring strips. The strips picked up moisture from the walls and made great food for all the termites the infested the house (this was in the northeast). In addition to plumbing the walls, the framed wall provides a better way for running electric and other wiring or utilities.
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Old 02-08-2008, 05:14 PM   #4
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Advice needed for Basement Wall


If you are going to finish the basement walls then you may be going from an unfinished basement status to a finished status. This will generally mean that you have to meet the electric code for a finished area. So for an unfinished basement you might have only been required to have one 120 V duplex receptacle in the entire basement but for a finished area you might need one every 12' of wall length. Check with your local building department.

And if you have to add receptacles then you probably don't want to hang 1/2" drywall on 3/4" furring strips as I think you will not find electric boxes of sufficient volume that will fit.

So framing out is one way but my preference would be to place full 2" foam board sheets on the wall and attach vertical 1x3 furring strips over them at 16" OC. That way you can remove the foam for the electric boxes and have a 3 1/4" pocket for the electric box. This does compromise the insulation in that small area but the boxes are usually low enough that the temperature differential between the deep exterior soil and the interior room is insignificant.

I don't like vapor barriers on basement walls (except in the rim joist area) because if the basement is properly waterproofed on the exterior then you already have one vapor barrier and you should never have a vapor barrier on both sides of a wall. You must have some way for any moisture vapor that might get in the wall to escape.
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Old 02-08-2008, 06:40 PM   #5
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Advice needed for Basement Wall


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So framing out is one way but my preference would be to place full 2" foam board sheets on the wall and attach vertical 1x3 furring strips over them at 16" OC. That way you can remove the foam for the electric boxes and have a 3 1/4" pocket for the electric box. This does compromise the insulation in that small area but the boxes are usually low enough that the temperature differential between the deep exterior soil and the interior room is insignificant.

I don't like vapor barriers on basement walls (except in the rim joist area) because if the basement is properly waterproofed on the exterior then you already have one vapor barrier and you should never have a vapor barrier on both sides of a wall. You must have some way for any moisture vapor that might get in the wall to escape.
Thats a recipe for disaster, mold, wavy walls, the electrical will never be to code, what are you planning to staple to? What are you nailing the box to?

I could have the entire thing framed out plumb and level, with a proper vapor barrier (WHICH IS NEEDED) by the time you drill all your holes for tapcons to hold the 1x3 up!! Which by the way are gonna be some LONG screws. Not to mention if you sink em too far the walls gonna be wavy
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Old 02-08-2008, 07:45 PM   #6
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Advice needed for Basement Wall


nh10ring,

What part of NH do you live in?

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