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Old 06-08-2009, 08:19 AM   #1
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Insulating a basement wall that is drywalled already


I bought a house with a finished basement done by the previous owners handy brother in law.wont get into all the other things i found he had done.The basement was finished and looks ok but the only insulation there is in the walls is the little amount the builders put in at construction time. so approx 1 1/2" of insulation 4' down from ceiling with a vapor barrier. I live in central Ontario it does get cold here and so does the basement.was wondering what would be the best thing to do to get more insulation,i was thinking of blowing insulation in by making small holes then i would just have to patch the holes or should i rip it all down and start over.cost is a factor.thanks
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:28 AM   #2
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Insulating a basement wall that is drywalled already


I would think a vapor barrier would be critical to the installation up there. Along with the proper amount of insulation. I also don't like insulation up against the concrete foundation.
I would remove the sheetrock and do it correctly. Don't forget to install seals on all the electric boxes as part of the vapor barrier system.
You might use a foam pructuct that will take care of these issues, but I would then do a thermal scan to see you didn't miss any areas.
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Old 06-08-2009, 07:46 PM   #3
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Insulating a basement wall that is drywalled already


Tio, You should get an energy audit done first, then have the basement redone before next Feb. You will be able to claim federal and provincial energy rebates for improving energy loss, plus the Ferderal Tax credit for the reno.
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Old 06-08-2009, 08:09 PM   #4
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Insulating a basement wall that is drywalled already


thanks for the info will look into the audit before i do any thing
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Old 06-09-2009, 06:14 AM   #5
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Insulating a basement wall that is drywalled already


If you decide to proceed with any work yourself, post back and we will give you pointers on sealing the basement before you re insulate. Your energy auditor will provide details of airloss throughout the home including basement. Should cost about $300 with immediate provincial rebate of $150. Then a second audit to be done after all retrofits, within 18 months to claim rebates.
With this program and the Fed tax credit you can do the upgrades yourself or pay a contractor, but you should take picures to show your progress if you do the work and save all reciepts for the tax credit, even for cans of paint and drywall screws...
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Old 06-09-2009, 06:32 AM   #6
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Insulating a basement wall that is drywalled already


We just did a basement last week (for work) and also refinished our own basement recently - so speaking from some experience, I can say you won't be happy in the long run patching someone else's job. You may save a few bucks now, you may even move before it hits you but IMO there is no better avenue than either to do it yourself or have someone do it properly the first time. You'll get more back right away...

The job we did for work had the same scenario: DIYer special with leaky vapour barrier and wobbly studs. All we were asked to do was reinsulate and correct the air leaks, since air leaks are more important than insulation levels. These guys had visible mould, so everything had to go.

But for our house, we did it correctly for up here: 2" extruded foam boards stuck directly to the concrete wall, taped and foamed, stud wall, 6mil plastic VB and wall plugs sealed, and acoustic sealant used. Foam here and there. R20...

This is the state-of-the-art up here...and remember it is faster to put up your own stud wall (with foam underneath) with all your changes built in than to mess around with someone else's...in the long run. And as said, you can save 15% with the new federal HRTC.
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Old 06-09-2009, 07:04 AM   #7
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Insulating a basement wall that is drywalled already


Correct, tax credit of 15% up to $1350 not including the first $1000 spent, but also a lot more matching provincial and federal $ for the energy upgrades based on % of improvement, so this is the year to do it.
Tio as an example in my attic, adding $500 in insulation with my labour will get me close to $800 back in rebates now plus the long term savings and basement insulation is next in line for savings after the attic and or furnace upgrades...
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Old 06-09-2009, 07:13 AM   #8
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Insulating a basement wall that is drywalled already


thanks for the great onfo. my wife is not going to like it when i go to rip the basement apart to fix this but short term pain long term gain.
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Old 06-09-2009, 10:55 PM   #9
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Insulating a basement wall that is drywalled already


I'm working on finishing my basement. It was dug out long after the house was built. They dug it out a few feet in from the foundation and put in hollow cinder blocks. I have started building 2x4 walls against the cinder blocks. What would be the proper way to finish it off?
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Old 06-10-2009, 04:49 AM   #10
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Insulating a basement wall that is drywalled already


Just a shot in the dark here....Hopefully the conduits are in place behind the wall....If I was in your shoes I would remove the wall and do it right but if you are in a hurry and looking to go a cheaper way...How about drilling a series of random holes along the wall between the studs and filling it with Hilti Expansion foam? You can buy the special applicator gun and then just buy the canisters. Might improve your insulation. I use it between window and door jambs where I live and it works great.
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