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Old 2018-02-22, 10:13 AM
homie27 homie27 is offline
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Default finishing basement with builder's insulation and electrical wiring

Hi all, I'm going to have my basement finished this summer. I had a contractor come over for an estimate and he said two things that I wasn't expecting:

1. the walls have been insulated. All the builder did was wrap the walls with the insulation and cover it with vapor barrier. the contractor said he will have to remove it all, put the wall studs and then put insulation between the walls studs. I was surprised to hear that, but then I thought about it and it makes sense because you can't put wall studs over top the insulation. This is normal right? he also said the vapor barrier goes between the foundation and the insulation. no vapor barrier overtop the insulation. is this correct? I know on the main floor and top floor there is vapor barrier overtop the insulation.

2. the electrician will be removing all the wiring in the basement and put his own. is this normal practice?
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Old 2018-02-22, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by homie27 View Post
Hi all, I'm going to have my basement finished this summer. I had a contractor come over for an estimate and he said two things that I wasn't expecting:

1. the walls have been insulated. All the builder did was wrap the walls with the insulation and cover it with vapor barrier. the contractor said he will have to remove it all, put the wall studs and then put insulation between the walls studs. I was surprised to hear that, but then I thought about it and it makes sense because you can't put wall studs over top the insulation. This is normal right? he also said the vapor barrier goes between the foundation and the insulation. no vapor barrier overtop the insulation. is this correct? I know on the main floor and top floor there is vapor barrier overtop the insulation.

2. the electrician will be removing all the wiring in the basement and put his own. is this normal practice?
if you have some time, take a read through my my basement thread and it should answer some of your questions.

And yes removing the wiring will make the most sense as your new pot lights (or whatever) will be on different circuits and he'll need a new permit for the work that needs to be done.
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Old 2018-02-22, 02:58 PM
homie27 homie27 is offline
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Ok thanks for the link
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Old 2018-02-22, 03:10 PM
BartBandy BartBandy is offline
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Vapour barrier prevents warm moist air from reaching cold surfaces, where the water will come out of the air as condensation. Vapour barriers are always on the warm side of the wall. He may be suggesting some sort of air barrier, which is tyvek/typar or some sort of paper product. Some people put this between the concrete foundation wall and insulation. I'm not sure why.

To me, leave the builder insulation but slash the vapour barrier they installed, stud up to it, then add more batt insulation between the studs and new vapour barrier. Slash the old vapour barrier because you don't want two layers of VB for water to get trapped between. Or, get rid of all of the old insulation and use closed cell spray foam, which is what I did. Works way better in the joist cavities especially.
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Old 2018-03-04, 10:56 AM
homie27 homie27 is offline
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Hi all, I have an update here about the insulation and i'm confused. I had a company over and they said they leave the insulation as is. they do the framing infront of the insulation. they don't press down on the insulation. the insulation only takes up about 3 inches anyways, so we aren't loosing much space. In fact, he said that the building code in has changed about 2 years ago. the building code now says that the insulation on all floors has to be continuous insulation like in a basement instead of having the wall studs and insulation in between the studs. is this true? I don't see how because when building a house, you need wall studs to hold up the wall board. so then would they put continuous insulation on the wall studs leaving empty spaces between the wall studs? And then you have to put up another set of wall studs to secure the drywall on? isn't that a lot of wasted space?

Last edited by homie27; 2018-03-26 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 2018-03-04, 10:56 PM
Mark & Lynda Mark & Lynda is offline
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In fact, he said that the building code in Vaughan has changed about 2 years ago. the building code now says that the insulation on all floors has to be continuous insulation like in a basement instead of having the wall studs and insulation in between the studs. is this true?
No, the insulation in a basement is now continuous to the floor instead of half the wall which it used to be. The floors above the basement are still insulated between the 2x4 or 2x6.

Maybe you miss understood what he was saying?
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Old 2018-03-05, 07:51 AM
homie27 homie27 is offline
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I believe I asked him about the other floors and he said it needs to be continuous. but lets say you're right and I misunderstood him. I'll double check. but the point is that he wants to they leave the insulation as is. they do the framing infront of the insulation. they don't press down on the insulation. the insulation only takes up about 3 inches anyways, so we aren't loosing much space. plus, what about the doors to my celler (I have two)? right now they are flush with the insulation. if they use 2x4s for the metal studs (yes they use metal), that means the doors will be indented into the wall. that doesn't make sense at all. I've never seen that. is this way of framing the basement bad?
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Old 2018-03-05, 03:49 PM
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I believe I asked him about the other floors and he said it needs to be continuous. but lets say you're right and I misunderstood him. I'll double check. but the point is that he wants to they leave the insulation as is. they do the framing infront of the insulation. they don't press down on the insulation. the insulation only takes up about 3 inches anyways, so we aren't loosing much space. plus, what about the doors to my celler (I have two)? right now they are flush with the insulation. if they use 2x4s for the metal studs (yes they use metal), that means the doors will be indented into the wall. that doesn't make sense at all. I've never seen that. is this way of framing the basement bad?
Move onto the next contractor...
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Old 2018-03-05, 04:00 PM
homie27 homie27 is offline
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have you heard anything about Penguin Basements?
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Old 2018-03-06, 10:04 AM
homie27 homie27 is offline
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I talked to my cousin who's is in the business. he used to be a site supervisor, he might still be. he said framing basement walls in front of the insulation is fine, as long as its properly insulated. I thought about it, and I think the walls are secured at the top (at the bottom of the floor joists) and at the bottom by putting a 2x4 along the floor. Is this correct? in that case, the foundation walls are not supporting the framing anyways and not adding strength to the walls. the only problem with framing a basement like this is that it wastes space.
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