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Old 05-14-2013, 12:47 AM   #1
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Insulating and framing basement


Hi,
I have been looking into finishing half my basement. I own a colonial home that has I beam basically splitting the basement in half as my house is a square. Should I be placing the wall directly under the I Beam or should it just but up right against the I beam? If I am suppose to put it directly under the I beam how would i go about attaching the 2x4 to the ibeam? I don't really want to drill into it. Initially I was just planning on putting the wall next to the I beam, but if this is not proper I can adjust my plans. Right now the exterior walls in the basement are just unpainted block. Initially I was leaning towards just painting the block, but since we plan to use this room as a tv room I am now towards insulating with 3/4" rigid foam, then frame with 2x4 add R13 fiberglass insulation and electrical, and finally sheet rock. My only issue is the stairs. Right now my stairs are only 34 3/4" wide and are directly against the concrete wall. Any recommendations what I should do? I worry about making it smaller than 34" I've attached a picture. Would it be best to just not sheetrock this wall and paint the cinder block, but insulate the rest of the basement walls? The ceiling I plan on leaving the ceiling exposed and just painting the joists as I only have a 7 foot ceiling and don't want to lose the height.
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Old 05-14-2013, 01:02 AM   #2
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Insulating and framing basement


the location of the wall is up to where you want it. you can build a partition wall under the center beam. there is no need to drill into the beam need install nails to hold the top of the wall in place. just build your wall section between the columns for the beam.

there have been numerous questions in regards to insulating a basement. I'd search the forum as far as recommendation on insulation. I'd try to provide more but my eyes are blurry and I hear the bed calling my name ....

you may want to edit your profile to include your location, insulation is certainly based upon location. this will help others when reading your post.

Good luck!

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Old 05-14-2013, 08:51 AM   #3
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I know my walls need r15, it's just not practical to give up several inches of a stairway for that. My main questions surround options on stairway and of the wall should be framed under the I Beam or next to the I beam.
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Old 05-14-2013, 01:52 PM   #4
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Insulating and framing basement


Leaving that section uninsulated will not be a huge deal. I would start the wall at the bottom of the stairs and just turn the corner with the rock and into the block.
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Old 05-14-2013, 01:58 PM   #5
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I'd frame under the I-beam myself, what is the width of the bottom flange?
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:20 PM   #6
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Not home right now, but is has to be probably 5-6" wide. So how do I attach the top 2x 4 to the I beam then?
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Old 05-14-2013, 04:35 PM   #7
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I also emailed my local inspector and I am not allowed to put a vapor barrier below grade. I only have about maybe 18" above grade for my basement. What are my insulation options then? Does this rule out using the rigid foam insulation?
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Old 05-14-2013, 11:38 PM   #8
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Should mention I'm in Wisconsin zone 6. Hope that helps.
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:59 AM   #9
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To the best of my knowledge ridgid foam is not considered a vapor barrier. I would use the pink XPS ridgid foam against the block, build the 2x4 wall up against the foam and fill the stud cavities with unfaced R-13.
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:10 AM   #10
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Do I need 1 or 2 inch xps? I found my answer for framing under I beam. I attach the 2x4 with a 3/8 carbon steel bolt every 32 inches.
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:36 AM   #11
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I wouldn't drill the I-beam. Build the wall snug to the underside and some construction adhesive should be fine.

Regarding the insulation - you probly don't need as much as you think. Typical insulation is there to keep your house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Below grade, your house will naturally be cooler in the summer and stay warmer in the winter. It's more about the moisture barrier on the walls to keep interior air from condensing on cool concrete walls. By gluing the foam to it you eliminate the cool surface.

Regarding your stair space issue -- that's tough. Stairs are supposed to be 3' wide. You'll lose at least 1" for foam, 1.5" for framing and .5" for drywall - 3" total. You could cut out the framing - do 1/2" strip boards flat to the foam and drywall to that. Then you only cost yourself 2". Even that is not really optimal. Can you make the stairwell wider? There might be significant work in doing that. If widening the stairwell is not in the cards, then all you can do is go w as thin a wall as you can make. How will the door at the top trim out once this wall is built out 2 inches? Is that going to invade the space for the door casing?

You could always leave this one wall as block (it does look pretty nice) to keep the max width on the stairs.

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Old 05-15-2013, 10:42 AM   #12
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Okay so you think 1" is sufficient. I think I will not install fiberglass. I'm to worried about mold even though my basement has always been dry.

I have no door at the top of the stairs. It's just a landing between the exterior door, the basement, and the kitchen and living room. Right now I'm leaning towards painting the cinder block. Initially in my project I was just going to paint the cinder block and not Sheetrock any of the walls, but I think I want a more finished look than that.

My only issue with just using liquid nails on the wall with the i beam is this wall eventually will have a 47" LCD TV mounted on it. Will liquid nails hold that? I thought I'd need bolts.

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Old 05-15-2013, 11:42 AM   #13
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With the stairs that narrow already paint is probably the option that works.
If you want insulation and drywall you can 'glue' the insulation to the block, get the right adhesive for this. Then 'glue' and concrete screw the drywall to the foam.

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