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Old 02-01-2009, 12:55 AM   #1
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basement insulation questions

I am finishing off my basement, which is almost entirely below ground. I'm going back and forth mainly due to the fact that many websites say I have to, while I have several friends and family members who have built their own homes (homes ranging from 5 to 50 yrs old) who say it wouldn't be worth it. Any help would be appreciated as I have given it more thought than I ever wanted to. I don't want to make a mistake I'll regret someday. Here are the specs:
  • it's a 12' x 20' room that I want to make into a family room (tv, etc.)
  • two areas are boxed of (1: furnace, etc.; 2: sump pump)
  • two walls touch the outside. the other two are half concrete and half wood studs. The wood studs touch the garage and the other part of the basement (split level home).
  • It's not that much colder downstairs than the upstairs.
  • If I do insulate it, how can I insulate the wall that's adjacent to the other half of the basement (which is finished, but not completely underground)? There are several pipes, a water heater, and the furnace. This is a big concern, b/c I can't insulate by the furnace b/c there's not room and it'd be too close to the furnace. I've also boxed off my sump pump and radon pipe. How can this be insulated? My main point, what's the point of insulating part of a basement if you can't insulate it all?
  • Although I've never had a moisture problem (11 yr. old house), I bought drylock to put on the walls and plan on putting up a 6 mil vapor barrier to help keep moisture out. I purchased metal furring strips instead of studs for most of the walls to help save room.


CooperChloe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2009, 07:31 AM   #2
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get an estimate for foam insulation and keep in mind, you dont have to go all the way down to the floor only a foot below the frost line. It costs more but its the absolute best and will pay for itself in afew years time.

Speaking of the floors, use some rigid foam on the floor and plywood over it.
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II Weeks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2009, 09:33 AM   #3
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I am doing a similar project in an already finished basement on a sloped lot with full basement on one side and walk out the other. I furred out the wall with 2x3s and insulated between using foam board. The trick is finding straight 2x3 stock but if you look you can find some. The other advantage here is that this helps me get a nic straight and level wall which with sheetrook and finish looks better than the concrete and is not cold to the touch. i insulated all the way to the floor which is below the frost line.

One wall were space is more tight i uses 1 by stock placed flat, it takes more work ro get this straight but with patience and loads of shims you can get the same effect. this only allows 3/4 inch foam but better than nothing.

I like the idea of the spray in but I am a true do it yourselfer and only hire pros when I am into somthing i am not as comfortable with (plumbing). My brother does construction for a living so I pay him to help when i am stuck plus I consult with him on codes and best practices.

Good luck
shannahan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2009, 07:54 AM   #4
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Guys, what he's really asking is "is the insulation worth it?" he stated that the basement already is not much colder than rest of the house and he is wondering whats the point of insulation on the walls if he is going to have have a part of it not insulated because of the mechanicals.

I just made my entire basment airtight with with rigid on the walls and R13 on the walls between the mechanical room and rec room and only after spending all the money did i learn i had to put back on the louvered door and put a 12X12 grill between the two rooms for combustible air. In my mind i basicallly wasted over $500 insulation because 3/4 of the basement is insulated and 1/4 had to be "left open" for combustible air. so all the cold air from the mechanical room just escapes into the rec room now.

If your basement is less than 10 degrees colder than the rest of the house i wouldnt bother with it.
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