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Old 03-11-2013, 01:13 PM   #1
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Basement wall insulation / remodel question

Not sure if this belongs here, or in the remodel section, as it covers both sort of.

Basement has 3 rooms, one of which was finished out at time of construction ( 1960 ) or sometime after, but no later than 1967. Foundation is 8"x16" concrete block with about a block and a half extending above grade around the entire perimeter.

Room in question has one exterior wall with the other "exterior wall" running parallel to the garage while the remaining two are interior walls. They were finished with 1X2 furring strips nailed to the block and cheapo thin wood paneling nailed to that. No insulation, no vapor barrier of any kind. I'd like to rip it all down and drywall back to the existing furring strips. In reading all the threads and such on basement insulation, I take it that minimum code is R11? 1" rigid foam board isn't going to cut it...LOL

Reason, two reasons actually, for wanting to go this route are as follows - house has hot water BB heat, room in question is 35' long and there's a radiator that runs the entire length ( cannot imagine what a new 35' radiator would cost?? ), oh, and that is 90 degreed to another ( along the garage wall ) that's about 12' long. I don't really want to get involved in cutting those out, moving them, and having the copper re-run/soldered. Other reason is electric, the original electrical switches/outlets were wired down through the block cavities, and I understand any change to the wiring needs to be up to new code.

Basement is sunken with areaway, other two rooms have exposed block, nothing on the walls. And while it's winter here ( Hanover PA ), basement is bone dry, I've had a humidistat down there for a couple months and it's never gotten above 33%. Currently reading a lip chapping 27%. My old house in VA, as a counterpoint, would never get below 35% even with a dehumidifier running full bore.

Is there anything wrong, or potentially illegal, to simply slapping up 1" XPS between the furring strips with drywall over that? Basement has always been "warm" with all the copper piping snaking through the unfinished sections.....almost 50 linear feet of radiator helps too....LOL

Last edited by Chokingdogs; 03-11-2013 at 01:16 PM.
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Old 03-11-2013, 04:08 PM   #2
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Current code here in CT (Zone 5) is R-10 continuous or R-13 in cavity.

Doing it right the first time is my suggestion...but I won't be showing up for any inspections

I am in the midst of a similar renovation with a similar issue of the baseboards. I came this conclusion: 50' of baseboard is EXTREMELY excessive for the space once you've provided a continuous R-10 envelope and safe wiring in a "potential" moisture-zone is a no-brainer.

So, I suggest you rip it all out, salvage the baseboards and reduce the amount to a reasonable level given the new thermal envelope. Use the opportunity to run some new electrical with proper grounding, etc. In the end it's a little more work, but it'll be 100% to code, save you energy ($$$), and you'll have the satisfaction of a job done right...
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:26 AM   #3
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Don't remove too much of that baseboard. If you have a condensing boiler, that excessive length is letting you heat the room at a temp that will let you condense at the boiler to squeeze out that last 8-10% of its efficiency.
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