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KUIPORNG 01-11-2006 03:58 PM

Basement Renovation Question
Hi everyone,

I intend to revnovate my basement in my 2 years old new house. I have a few questions would like to seek advice:

Question 1:

There are already insulation done on it on the upper part of the basement wall throughout. My question is "Should I tear down all these insulation before framing and put back the insulation after framing, or should I frame on top of these insulation which mean I have to lose a couple of inches of space in the length of all outside wall".

Question 2:

There are cracks on the floor and one crack on the wall, all these cracks do not leak, should I do some special treatment to these non-leaking crack such as fill them up with somthing before renovating.

Question 3:

As my house is kind of new, the builder put some beams on the ceiling prependicular to the joists, I guess they try to make sure the joists do not shift in positioning. but these beams will make the ceiling uneven and difficult to put drywall on and it does not make much sense to build soffet against these beams as they seems not serve much purposes. Can I say it is safe to just remove these beams?

Any advice to any of above question is greatly appreciated. I may have more questions down the road of this project.


Bonus 01-12-2006 01:32 AM

1- can you describe this situation a liitle more? How high do the concrete walls go? Is the insulation you're referring to between the studs or what?

2-You could fill them, but I wouldn't worry about it.

3-These beams probably hold your house up, what makes you think they aren't serving any purpose? How big are the joists on them and how far are they spanning? Don't remove them without an engineer telling you it's ok. (On paper, signed and stamped)

KUIPORNG 01-12-2006 09:26 AM

more explanation
the insulation is half way on the upper part of a 8' wall. There is no stud anywhere, the builder just nail the insulation onto the concret wall using big plastic sheets.

the beam add prependicular to the joists are 2x4 type and they running in the middle of the ceiling. they are constructed quite nasty with some nails fail to hold up and some part already falling... It looks to me these 4x8 beams just used to ensure the joist does not shift, there are also those small cross bars in between joists which does not affect the ceiling being even, but these beams making the ceiling not being even.... you probably right that I should consult some experience engineer/contractor before doing anything for them... I was hoping this is kind of common things people in this forum will know and could give quick answer...

Anyhow, thanks for replying...

Bonus 01-13-2006 01:01 AM

Ok, so the full height of the wall is concrete and the insulation is only applied above grade? That's above ground level outside? I would take the insulation down, frame up walls, or shoot some 2x2's onto the concrete wall, then insuate between them, vapour barrier, and then drywall. Use pressure treated wood anywhere it will be in contact with concrete.

I feel real certain that those beams are holding your house up...

MinConst 01-13-2006 06:26 AM

I don't like shooting holes in foundations or floors. I like to build a new walls free standing from floor to joists. Using construction adhesive against the floor and shimming tight to the joists. You can add your insulation to the below grade section. You can also us a couple tap cons per wall section into the floor. PT 2xs on the bottom plate of the new walls are all thats needed.
We use to build the way bonus mentioned but throughout the years have seen many cracked walls with all those holes in the foundation. No offense bonus, just m opinion.

KUIPORNG 01-13-2006 09:45 AM

follow up
Thanks for the advice Bonus and Minconst. I did in fact tear down the insulation last night and glad I did that as I saw one rod hole has sign of leak. although quite minor, but would not known if I didn't tear down the insulation, and after tearing down the insulation, it is easier to build the new framed walls.

My original intentions is to build walls which are at least half inch away from the concrete wall so there is no contact with the concrete walls and I kind of agree with Minconst that nailing/screwing against concrete wall is not a good idea. I intend to nail plates on the ceiling joists and screw plates on the concrete floor to setup walls. Now that Minconst mentioned somthing about adhesive... I doubts if this is strong enough to hold the plates on the floor. If it does, I am sure would prefer to that approach. Could Minconst or others clarify this more..

Anyhow, this is my first time renovating a basement, and I am doing it after hours starting right now. I will try to share my situations here and hopefully will also get some advices from all of you.

Thank you

KUIPORNG 01-13-2006 01:10 PM

Do we ACQ treated bottom plate?
At homedepot the staff told me I should use regular lumber for the bottom plate by just putting a some sort of plastic sheet underneath, and they do sell such pre-cutted plastic sheets to support his suggestion... I saw my builder did that for the little walls they built in my basement.... This approach for sure save money, as ACQ wood cost much more. I read from book though they suggest to used ACQ treated wood and said this is according to code. I kind of leaning towards ACQ but would like to see anyone has a different opinion. It also makes me feel those people in Homedepot sometimes do not give good suggestions... and some of them do not really know...

MinConst 01-13-2006 07:07 PM

Nothing against the people at the box stores but they don't always give the best advice. Go with the PT for your bottom plates. The cost isn't that much different and you are talking about your house. Plastic sheeting is fine for dampness permeating up from the slab but and water that may find its way to the floor will over run the plastic ans soak into the plate. Rot will then begin. It is just insurance to use PT and should be done. Remember toy use the correct fasteners for the bottom plate as ACQ eats allot of material.
As for the walls themselves. As I said before build them tight and use liquid nails heavy duty construction adhesive on the floor. A couple tapcon screws per 10' will suffice. I leave an inch of the block to allow circulation. You also want to deal with the floor. I recommend Dricore. But there are other brands that are equal.
Good luck this will take a long time doing it in your free time.

KUIPORNG 01-13-2006 11:18 PM

Should we need to apply a permit for renovating basement?
Thanks for the excellance advice. MinConst. Can you explain more details what do you mean by "leave 1 inch of the block". I don't think I will use Dricore flooring due to the cost involve. My basement seems OK in terms of humidity so far.

Another question. Can anyone tells me the Pos and Cons of applying a permit for renovating the basement. I live in Toronto. Does anyone have any opinion on this. My major concerns are "the hassel" and "property tax" if informing the goveronment regarding renovation of basement....

Bonus 01-13-2006 11:43 PM

No offense taken Min, I got no problem with either of your suggestions, leaving a 1" space between the stud wall and the concrete walls for air circulation? Fine if you can afford the space. I've never had a problem shooting, occasional cratering, but don't have an issue with glue either. Kui, don't do the plastic under the plate trick, use pt. is my advice.

DecksEtc 01-14-2006 01:46 AM


Originally Posted by KUI****G
Thanks for the excellance advice. MinConst. Can you explain more details what do you mean by "leave 1 inch of the block". I don't think I will use Dricore flooring due to the cost involve. My basement seems OK in terms of humidity so far.

Another question. Can anyone tells me the Pos and Cons of applying a permit for renovating the basement. I live in Toronto. Does anyone have any opinion on this. My major concerns are "the hassel" and "property tax" if informing the goveronment regarding renovation of basement....

Technically, you are supposed to have a permit. It's important to ensure the electrical and plumbing are done to code. You could have trouble with your insurance should the unthinkable happen and you have a fire. The insurance company could NOT pay if you didn't have the electrical pass inspection.

Does everyone get a permit when they finish their basement? No. Should they? Yes. There are hassles as you have to wait/stop work to wait for inspectors.

KUIPORNG 01-16-2006 10:39 AM

Wood studs/plates or Metal studs/plates
Hi Everyone,

I heard from someone that using metal studs/plates to build the walls on the basement is better/easier than using wood. Could anyone give some opinion on this. Also, can it use metal studs to build the soffit also besides walls.

KUIPORNG 01-18-2006 10:04 AM

Update on the process
I would like to provide some update on my basement renovation process: I have made some changes to my initial ideas:

1. I used some outside leak prevention sheet made of strong pastic with little circular small cylinder everywhere then put big 4X8 $11 wood sheet on it. This achieve the similar effect as Dricore at approx. 1/4 of the cost.
2. I decide to build Steel frame walls from majority of the walls except closet inner walls as I need wood to support shelf inside.
3. I decide to lay a black paper type of sheet against the concret walls before setting up studs and insulation.

These are the plan so far... I will keep posting updates on my basement renovation adventure. If you see some Opps, shouldn't do that stuff, please let me know... Thank You.

KUIPORNG 01-23-2006 09:41 AM

More Update
I have finished installing the flooring and set up some walls as planned in above message. I would like to let anyone who intend to do basement know: using steel stud and plates make a lot of sense: it is so much easier to install than wood and as all walls in basement you are going to install is not load bearing, using steel is the perfect solution. In some ocasions when you need to use wood as I would use for doors frame and inside closets, you can still use steel plates, as the 2x4 wood stud seat in the steel plates perfectly, just fit. you don't need to do toe nailing and save a lot of money buying the framing gun, compressor,..All the tools you need is a couple of powerful drills. I intend to build the soffit with steel as well and will let you know how it goes.

One more thing I didn't mentioned above, I lay a piece of black paper, those they use in roofing, on the concret walls before laying out studs as this separate the concret with those insulation material. I think this is a good idea too, those black paper is quite cheap.

KUIPORNG 01-26-2006 09:56 AM

Drywall installation questions
Now that I am moving smoothly in setting up the frame. I expect the drywalling stage may come pretty soon. I would like to get some answers from any of you regarding drywall installation questions, please help if you could:

Q1: Do I need to purchase a drywall screwgun?
I knew good tool make a different, but on a limited budget, I want to get away if I could, can I used a regular 18V drill plus a depth control kit from HomeDepot I saw to achieve the same result of an expensive drywall screwgun? Please advice

Q2: Is renting a drywall lifting tool a good idea and approx. how much and where to rent it?
I knew I can look this up myself but want to save some time if you know the answer already, as I am a one man installer so far, do you think it is a good idea to rent those monster turning the wheel and lift type equipment to lift the drywall in place? If yes, approx how much it cost to rent it do you know.

Q3: and other dump question, Do you know any places which could deliver drywalls right down to your basement with a reasonable charge, of course? Or you think I should just pay for a mover to do this.

This drywall stuff is one of the biggest question mark to me so far as I am on my own on this project and try to get away the hassel of getting someone to help if possible.

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