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Old 02-12-2015, 12:32 PM   #1
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NickWa's Basement Renovation


I wanted to share our basement renovation with everyone and also give myself more motivation to take lots of pictures!

We bought our 1200 square foot 1975 ranch house in July of 2013. The house was owned by one family for its entirety and they kept it in immaculate shape. The house is very well built and no corners were cut. The basement was half finished in the traditional 70s paneling style. Other half was unfinished.

The house only had baseboard heat and a wood burning insert upstairs so the first thing we needed to do was add a natural gas furnace, duct work, and central air conditioner.

This brings us to March 2014.

Small preview of the finished rec room when I started to disassemble prior to the furnace coming.



Then I took out the center wall and the dividing wall between the finished and unfinished side.





Furnace and hot water tank will go here.



Then the HVAC guys came.





We had gas lines put in for the hot water tank, furnace, dryer, BBQ, and T's added for gas fireplace (basement) and gas range in the future.

Now that we were on forced air and gas heating, we could start to consider the rest of the renovation.

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Old 02-12-2015, 12:50 PM   #2
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One thing we have to address at some point in the renovation is having our fuse panel changed out to a circuit breaker panel. We have 200 Amp services and all copper wiring but we would like to get rid of the fuses in place of breakers.



Easter of 2014, I had a couple days and wanted to frame in the furnace room. Local code dictates mechanical rooms need 32" doors so I made the room as narrow as I could. Was hoping it wouldn't protrude into the room as much but I had no real choice.

Laying out the walls to get a visual idea.





A few hours later with the help of my father and brother-in-law, we got ourselves a furnace room!



Spring came and basement work went on hold while I built a new deck and took care of some other landscaping.













BUT ANYWAYS, this is about the basement, so in August, we got back to it!

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Old 02-12-2015, 12:59 PM   #3
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The 1970s brown carpet glued directly to the concrete had to go. I knew it was going to be painful. 4" razor blade scraper took all the glue down. I am lucky that the concrete was so smooth underneath.





FINISHED!



In September (until March of this year) we have had a couple staying at our place in the basement bedroom so we can't do any work on this side until they leave. We set up a small rec room for them to use until they leave (1 more month).



Here in Canada, XPS is about twice as expensive as the US. I found a guy selling leftover XPS he bought from Menards in the US. We bought it all and turns out it is exactly what we will need to do the exterior block walls in the basement!







Next up, new windows!
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Old 02-12-2015, 01:00 PM   #4
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Nice updates.

Panel is definitely due for and upgrade but the wiring looks pretty tidy (by comparison to what you normally see).

Love the BMF wheels on the truck by the way. Always love their stuff.
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Old 02-12-2015, 01:09 PM   #5
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We knew when we moved in that all of the windows would need to be replaced at some point. They were/are all wood slider windows. The upstairs are in good shape but the basement were very leaky. We knew we were RIGHT on the edge of the windows being legal egress and the type of window didn't make a difference. We ended up going with awning and are so glad we did. The lack of vertical divider really makes the window seem larger.

So here we are in September of 2014 now.



I took a long time to formulate a plan. I was worried about breaking the parging but in the end went for a direct to block fit and it turned out great. The parging didn't get damaged at all!





Window is out! We hit it from the outside with a sledge hammer after taking out the panes.



...and in...



Finished product. Very happy with the fit and finish of the windows. They were far easier to replace then I was expecting. We could feel an immediate difference in the climate of the basement after the replacement. Again, very impressed with the windows and love having the awning windows. Note, although the awning only opens so far, the scissor bracket has a quick disconnect on the bottom in the case of an emergency. 2 seconds and the bracket can be popped off and the awning popped up all the way for easy exiting of the basement through the window.

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Old 02-12-2015, 01:38 PM   #6
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Now we are into 2015. Since I had the XPS ready to put up, I needed to get rid of the couple walls in the "unfinished" side of the basement.





Didn't take long to take down the Poly and take out the fiberglass insulation. Found some moisture behind the walls. I am confident this is just warm air moisture from inside the basement that had condensed on the cold block. The walls weren't sealed on all sides so it was inevitable for some moist air to get back there.







A day or two later after moving some stuff around I did the other 2 walls.





Again there was some moisture and even some frost!?!?! in the corner cavity where the 2 walls met.



This is where I am at right now. I am letting the walls completely dry and then I will use a brissel brush to clean them up. Once cleaned up and thoroughly inspected, I will start putting up XPS with PL-300.

A picture from this morning.



In the interim, I will present a couple Sketchup plans we have going for the basement.
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Old 02-12-2015, 01:59 PM   #7
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So here is the Sketchup that we are currently going with. Things may change but as of now, we think this is the best layout for the space. Right now, the bathroom in the model is a bedroom, and the bedroom in the model is the "finished" rec room. The unfinished space will become the main family room with gas fireplace.

We are on septic and our line exits in the laundry room (to the right of the stairs) 4' up the basement wall. We will need to plumb the basement bathroom in the slab and install a sewage ejector pump but that will be after the rest of the basement is finished.









And for fun, here is a Sketchup of my 24x24 garage I am in the process of working on too.



And for a little more content, here is the fireplace in the basement. We had initially planned to do a horizontal gas fireplace on the other side of the room and take out/close up this fireplace. But, after more thought, it makes more sense to utilize the current fireplace and not lose any floor space. We will go with a standard square unit from Regency.

Still have to figure out how we will install it and whether or not the steel firebox (heatilator?) needs to be removed, if we can leave it, or if we can just cut out the back of the box to allow for the new gas fireplace insert to fit and vent up the chimney (liner).





(It's behind the paneling as you turn right down the stairs and walk into the room)



I am hoping the walls are all dry by this weekend so I can take the brush to them and get them all cleaned up and prepared for XPS!
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Old 02-15-2015, 07:44 PM   #8
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Well I got started on the XPS yesterday. Put up 5 sheets and cleaned up some of the stains on the walls. I mixed javex and water and used a scrub brush on some stains that were up. Put the fan on and let it dry last night and today the stains were gone and all the walls were dry!





This morning I took down the wood - so much nicer and warmer than concrete blocks!



Today I went up and bought a sheet of 1.5" XPS (to use on the top of the block wall under the joists) and some sheets of 2" foil-faced foam to use in the joist spaces. Then I put up 8 more sheets of XPS on the walls.





Tomorrow I am going to start cutting the pieces for the joist spaces and top of the block. It will all be secured and sealed with spray foam.

There is 1 Home Depot here and some small independent hardware stores (which are closed Sunday). Home Depot had no tuck tape or PL-300 left. All of the other stores are closed Sunday (and tomorrow is a holiday so all stores are closed) so I will not be getting any tuck tape or PL-300 until at least Tuesday. As I said, I will continue with the joist spaces and top of block tomorrow.

I think I am going to use my Sketchup drawings and figure out how much framing I need for the "unfinished" side. Once I have the XPS completed I can start framing.

We also went and looked at the fireplace insert we are going to get. Got the spec sheet for it and got pricing on everything. Should be pretty nice and 30K BTU!



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Old 02-16-2015, 06:51 PM   #9
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Well got a bit more done today, nothing too impressive.

Put up the rest of the XPS in the room and removed all of the fiberglass from the joist spaces. About 75% of the joist spaces had some frost (not sealed from the rooms air) so they are going to dry for a few days before I put in the foam.





You can see that I have a piece of XPS over the fireplace opening right now. That piece goes above the heatform. I haven't secured it yet because A. I need to fill the couple voids in the blocks in the upper left, and B. I have no PL-300 left. Figured I would put it over the fireplace to block a bit of the cold air coming through.





Wednesday I am going to go back to Home Depot and pick up some Roxul board which I will use to insulate the wall around the fireplace opening. Hopefully they have a couple more tubes of PL-300 in stock and some tuck tape.

Depending how ambitious I feel, I might pick up the lumber I need to frame out the walls on this side of the basement. Figure I need:

70 * 2x4x8 (about 15 spare)
1 * 2x4x10
2 * 2x4x12
1 * 2x4x16
2 * 2x4x8 Treated
1 * 2x4x10 Treated
2 * 2x4x12 Treated
1 * 2x4x16 Treated

Also wondering if I should frame the walls on the floor and stand them up or stick frame them by attaching top and bottom plates first? Everything seems nice and level and square but I can't say for sure. I will be working by myself if that matters and I don't have a pneumatic framing nailer. Any advivce?

Finally, I have my gas guy coming Thursday to run a new line from the manifold by the furnace to the fireplace. Figure I should get this done now so I can continue working on walls without needing to worry about having to run the gas later.
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Old 02-16-2015, 09:44 PM   #10
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Seems like you really thought things through. +1 For not forgetting insulation and another +1 for the sketchup. Very detailed and very informative. Looking forward to updates. Thanks for the share mate.

-Paul

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Old 02-17-2015, 12:41 AM   #11
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Double check with AHJ on the egress windows required height above the floor.... and any supply air to HWT gas appliance or just louvered doors on furnace room. Foam under the XPS to floor for air seal or caulk/sealant as it does shrink with age. XPS under the wood frame wall plate also. Where in Canada are you that 1" XPS works on walls? Research clearances of XPS around the fire-box... looks good!

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Old 02-17-2015, 08:03 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in WA View Post
Double check with AHJ on the egress windows required height above the floor.... and any supply air to HWT gas appliance or just louvered doors on furnace room. Foam under the XPS to floor for air seal or caulk/sealant as it does shrink with age. XPS under the wood frame wall plate also. Where in Canada are you that 1" XPS works on walls? Research clearances of XPS around the fire-box... looks good!

Gary
Thanks for the reply. As for the windows, the requirement is that: "Each window in a bedroom shall have an individual, unobstructed open portion having a minimum area of 3.8 ft^2 with no dimension less than 15.

My glass literally works out to 3.7xxx square feet. It doesn't qualify as an egress window. The basement "bedroom" will be an office with a bed. I am not worried about safety because there is far more room to escape with the awning open then if the window was a slider with the vertical center divider. The height may be a problem but I don't have any requirements for that in the basement development guidelines I have.

I was told by the hot water tank installer that having a decent sized gap under the door would be sufficient. The furnace room is approximately 130 square feet (900 cubic feet).

I do plan to seal all of the seams in the XPS with tuck tape and seal the bottom to the floor with spray foam. I will also be sealing the foam in the joist spaces with spray foam. There will be no way for warm conditioned air to come in contact with the concrete when I am done! I don't plan to put XPS under the wall but instead use a sill gasket sealer (pink thin foam) and pressure treat bottom plate.

I am treating XPS as a combustible (very flammable as far as I know) so it will be outside the allowable clearances recommended by the gas fireplace insert. In other words, 6" away from the sides and 15" away from the top. I am still trying to figure out how to vapor barrier this part but am planning to use Roxul board and Roxul batts inside the combustible clearance zone.


Quote:
Originally Posted by PD_Lape View Post
Seems like you really thought things through. +1 For not forgetting insulation and another +1 for the sketchup. Very detailed and very informative. Looking forward to updates. Thanks for the share mate.

-Paul
Thanks for the compliments. I over-think and over-plan everything. I spent hours figuring out how I was going to go about replacing my basement windows and dedicated an entire weekend to do so. When the time came, it took around 1 hour per window and was FAR easier than I was expecting. It is much less stressful to over-plan and be underwhelmed then the opposite.
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Old 02-17-2015, 07:24 PM   #13
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did you not have to install any fire-blocking in your basement?
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Old 02-17-2015, 07:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccleme11 View Post
did you not have to install any fire-blocking in your basement?
I haven't been able to find anything in my local codes about it. I suppose I can call and check. When I considered it early on in my project, everything I found talked about what to do to cover the gap between the basement wall and the stud wall. I will be erecting my stud wall as tight as possible to the XPS so no real gap behind. I found this picture in another city's basement code guideline showing the top plate of the wall as the "fireblock".

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Old 02-17-2015, 10:27 PM   #15
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The spaces between the 2' on center blocking will allow fire to access the joist cavities/other side of basement, up plumbing holes/chases to roof, house burns up and down at same time with no egress as too high up and night with no lights from fire... US now required to list all "sleeping rooms" with egress as too many deaths from rec. rooms with a bed added later; http://publicecodes.cyberregs.com/ic...?bu2=undefined

The sill sealer is an air barrier, moisture barrier but only R-2 against the warmed wood wall acting as a "heat sink" 24/7 to the cold slab on earth.

Where in Canada, we can help you find your code requirements to keep your family safe, they are counting on you.

US fire-blocking; How to fireblock framing

Gary

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