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Old 10-17-2009, 08:22 AM   #1
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Can I frame over the builders insulation in the basement?


Hi All,

I am planning on finishing a portion of my basement and I was wondering if I could leave up the builders insutation (pink insulation with plastic over it attched directly to the concrete covering about 60% of the wall) and frame over it? My plan was to use the rigid foam insulation to cover the bottom half of the wall, seal that to the existing insulation and then put my framing up against that. I know I will loose a little floor space but I am trying to save on some costs. Will this be sufficient? I find the basement warm enough as it is now.

Thanks

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Old 10-17-2009, 04:16 PM   #2
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Can I frame over the builders insulation in the basement?


http://www.buildingscienceseminars.c...w&Retrofit.pdf

http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...gs?full_view=1
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Old 10-17-2009, 04:50 PM   #3
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Can I frame over the builders insulation in the basement?


Do you have a picture of this?
Pink fiberglass is not supposed to go right up against cement due to water vapor coming thru the cement
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Old 10-17-2009, 07:09 PM   #4
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Can I frame over the builders insulation in the basement?


My basement had insulation on about 60% of the wall as you describe but did not have plastic over it. I framed right up to it and did not add insulation to the bottm 40%. Basement has been finished 3 years now with no problems. I do have a couple areas with access so I can check behind the walls and so far everything has been OK. Maybe there is enough ventilation back there to keep enough air moving.

Last edited by rustyedge; 10-17-2009 at 10:37 PM.
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Old 10-17-2009, 10:12 PM   #5
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Can I frame over the builders insulation in the basement?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Do you have a picture of this?
Pink fiberglass is not supposed to go right up against cement due to water vapor coming thru the cement
Here is a picture:

http://s278.photobucket.com/albums/k...t=DSCN0793.jpg



The insulation is up against the concrete with the vapour barrier over top. I think this is to code in Ontario, Canada. I am to leave this and up and frame up to it since I find the basement warm enough as it is.

Thanks

Last edited by Scuba_Dave; 10-18-2009 at 08:42 AM. Reason: insert pic
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Old 10-17-2009, 10:28 PM   #6
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Can I frame over the builders insulation in the basement?


The problem will be mold that will grow behind the sheetrock
That's a problem you will not see unless it gets really bad
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Old 10-18-2009, 07:20 AM   #7
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Can I frame over the builders insulation in the basement?


Yup, that looks like code all right - minimum code,,,and we all know how good that is don't we?

How'd they get that fibreglass into the diaper?

There are some very interesting combination EPS/OSB or plywood panels now that you put directly against the concrete walls...see InsoFast
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Old 10-18-2009, 08:47 AM   #8
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Can I frame over the builders insulation in the basement?


A better method is foam board up against the cement, then the framing
Any water vapor coming thru the cement will be trapped by the plastic
The water will have no-where to go
In dry areas this may not be a problem

But its better to avoid the problem 1st then have to tear walls apart to fix a problem

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Old 10-18-2009, 12:51 PM   #9
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Can I frame over the builders insulation in the basement?


We framed our wall first... about an inch away from the wall and used treated 2x4 at the bottom in case of water into the basement.
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Old 10-18-2009, 02:19 PM   #10
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Can I frame over the builders insulation in the basement?


You apparently do not understand the window egress thing. The window needs to be 44" above the finish floor to the opening, so children and adults can escape in case of fire, through an clear opening. The three windows pictured are the only means of escape from the basement if a fire is in the stairwell? They are not forty-four inches or less above the floor to the opening. Why would you put your family and friends at such risk after all the minimum safety code information given to you on windows and egress?

Hint: the back of the studs will pick up moisture from the concrete as there was no thermal break by spacing the studs from concrete for insulation. 2x4 studs have a R-value of 4.38 (with 33 studs- 1-1/2" wide =50" of wall with r-4.38 insulation) that's a 4' wide x 8' tall hole insulated to less than R-5, or the same as 1-1/4" of fiberglass batting.
You could still install rigid foam board and a v.b. on the face for your very cold climate, but the studs would not dry to the inside....
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Old 10-18-2009, 04:47 PM   #11
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Can I frame over the builders insulation in the basement?


"You apparently do not understand the window egress thing..."

I didn't figure the poster actually built the house, nor did she say that she did. So are we saying the house isn't to code?

IMO she did fine, leaving a one-inch gap between the studs and the concrete and filling in with foam. The foam provides the thermal break behind them...
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Old 10-18-2009, 08:49 PM   #12
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Can I frame over the builders insulation in the basement?


Whoops! I missed the 1" away from concrete. Void the thermo barrier talk in my last half. But, ask your Building Department when finishing even a portion of your basement if you need egress. Around here you do, maybe it's a local thing.... The code says habitable space, page 19, under Basement egress IRC 310.1 Canada Code Check Building, free: http://rapidlibrary.com/index.php?q=...code+of+canada
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Old 10-19-2009, 06:59 AM   #13
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Can I frame over the builders insulation in the basement?


Egress - from, for example, basements - is one area where fire codes enter into the Buildiing Code mess, to make existing differences between all the codes even more muddy.

And remember the IRC was only adopted in the early 2000's I think and I have no information form the OP as to when her house was actually built and therefore which code it was built under.

If the OP's house is in the province of Ontario, then that means "egress" was even less relevant - as the Canadian IRC doesn't put as much emphasis on egress as you in the US do. To say nothing of fire codes...

Having said that, my house in Montreal was built in 1960 and one window in the basement is exactly at 44"; not all - but at least that one.
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:36 AM   #14
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Can I frame over the builders insulation in the basement?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
A better method is foam board up against the cement, then the framing
Any water vapor coming thru the cement will be trapped by the plastic
The water will have no-where to go
In dry areas this may not be a problem

But its better to avoid the problem 1st then have to tear walls apart to fix a problem


In an effort to save cost, could I peel back the stuff the builder has put up, install the foam board against the concrete and then put the builders stuff back on top fo the foam and the frame over that? This would save me having to rip it all down (and dispose of it somehow) and put in new batt insulation.

Thanks
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Old 10-19-2009, 10:00 AM   #15
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Can I frame over the builders insulation in the basement?


Yes I think that is do-able
And much better then leaving the fiberglass against the cement
You don't need really thick stuff
Just something to stop the water vapor & protect the fiberglass from water intrusion

Possibly you woud never have a problem, with the fiberglass against the concrete
But its a lot easier to spend a little time & $$ & do it right, rather then have to rip it out & do it over

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