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Old 06-16-2010, 01:14 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2010
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New Member with basement finishing plans..

Hello everyone! Found some good info on this site and thought I'd join.

I have a 3br ranch with a nice large basement begging for improvement. When I bought the house, the PO had already started the partition framing. Floorplan looked good, and the urgency of finishing it was low. We bought the house.

How I've been feeling more urgency to capture this space more effectively, so I've decided to move the basement along towards completion.

Unfortunately, closer inspection reveals that the PO knew more about framing nailers than about framing. First, cheapest Menard's lumber was used (lots and lots of wane and warpage). Second, I don't think there's a single 16 center in all the framing. Placing a level horizontally across the studs shows that a flat wall would have been impossible on this framing.

So, I ended ripping out almost all of it (still have more demo to do). I now have almost 160 removed 2x4s (9ft+) stacked in my basement.

Also found that the rough electrical down there was probably done by the PO as well. Junctions are buried up in the floor joists and above closets-- as if he was honestly going to install access panels all over!

So I'll end up ripping out all the rough electrical and having an electrician install a sub off a 100A feeder from the main-- nothing major.

Plumbing-wise, the house is all PEX except for copper stubs on the water heater. Very easy to work with.

So my current plan calls for this:
1) Get back to bare concrete (walls are poured, not block) and verify slab integrity. I taped plastic to the wall over a thin crack and no moisture is present even after/during torrential rains. House went through major Indiana flood of 2008 with nary a drop inside. Sump pump didn't even kick in. Slab has one major settling crack (<1/2" wide), which I well keyway and repair appropriately.

2) 2" XPI foam board along all walls (and prob floor). Basement is cut extra deep (10') and I have the space.

3) I'm going to try to make an airtight, moisture tight lining along the inside of the basement using XPS, tyvek tape, and spray foam as needed (like to tie top of XPS panel into rim joist). Then I will frame 2x4 inside that and stuff with Roxul.

Anything wrong with this notional plan?

A couple other random questions/comments:

-- Can I used composite deck board under the PT bottom plate? I want something that won't wick. I already bought the sill gasket.

-- Do I need an 8' level or can I get by with 6'? I want both, but that's an extra $100. Looking at the Empire E70/E71s-- any experience with these?

-- I'm going to frame with GRK screws instead of nails. I will check with inspector. I've heard all the rap on nails vs screws-- and I have yet to hear an actual VALID argument against screws-- it always seems to be a contractor's version of an old wives' tale.

-- Any thoughts on powder nail vs drill and Tapcon? After pulling up the POs powder fastened plates, I'm hating the powder nails. Tore up the slab, puts stress on the slab (crack initiation sites), and seems to sacrifice quality for speed. I'm not production housing-- I don't need speed. I need quality. Already set aside money for SDS hammer if needed.

-- Any thoughts on XPS for subfloor underlayment? I was thinking about 2" XPS board against the floor, then sheet over that and Tapcon it all down.

Any suggestion on books to use for framing? I'm planning on using the method outlines here

Thanks for the chance to benefit from your wisdom and experience.

Hohn is offline   Reply With Quote
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