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Old 2007-09-05, 10:55 PM
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John & Linda John & Linda is offline
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Default Finishing the unfinished basement

It time to start thinking about finishing my basement.

I have a couple of questions and I'm hoping someone can answer them.
I'm sure this will be helpful for many people.

Our builder has placed the bagged insulation half way down our walls.
Should I be removing this stuff and frame and insulate properly?
Mike Homes was at the Home Show last year and he had mentioned something about placing the rigid blue board on the concrete walls first. Covering the walls from floor to inside the ceiling joists -- sealing all the cracks with some spray. Then place your framing on top of this. I'm assuming you have to insulate this new framed wall, or do I?

I plan on having a suspended ceiling once all the walls are done, but how do you deal with the odd furnace duct that just sticks out to far?
I cannot lower the ceiling to cover it, I'm 6'-6" tall and need the headroom.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 2007-09-05, 11:28 PM
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Remove the bagged stuff. It's useless for when it comes to framing the walls.

You can do rigid foam or tar paper up against the concrete, then framing, then insulation, then vapour barrier, then drywall. This is how I see it done in the new houses I work in where the basement are sold as finished.

As for duct in the ceiling, you can either box around it, or redo the duct.
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Old 2007-09-06, 09:01 AM
Joseph Joseph is offline
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If you do use the rigid foam way, you'll want to use the 2" thick. But even with that, the R value will not be enough to meet code, so you'll still need some batt insulation between your studs. You will not need the tar paper. And you do not need the vapor barrier if you use 2" rigid foam. But inspectors being what they are, they may force you to put one on anyways. (yes, you do need to get a building permit to finish off your basement, and it needs to be inspected... and if you do any electrical wiring, that needs to be inspected too).

As Greg said, just frame (box) around the duct work, and drywall that part.
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Old 2007-09-06, 11:03 AM
maddog maddog is offline
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Default foundation cracks

I was wondering what to do with hairline foundation cracks. The builder says that if the gap doesen't enlargen and there is no water signs then there is no problem. What do you do if you finish your basement? Do you insulate and close it and hope for the best or do you address somehow?
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Old 2007-09-06, 11:54 AM
Mark & Lynda Mark & Lynda is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph View Post
If you do use the rigid foam way, you'll want to use the 2" thick. But even with that, the R value will not be enough to meet code, so you'll still need some batt insulation between your studs. You will not need the tar paper. And you do not need the vapor barrier if you use 2" rigid foam. But inspectors being what they are, they may force you to put one on anyways. (yes, you do need to get a building permit to finish off your basement, and it needs to be inspected... and if you do any electrical wiring, that needs to be inspected too).

As Greg said, just frame (box) around the duct work, and drywall that part.
I wouldn't use a Vapor Barrier on the warm side of the batts if you're installing 2" of XPS since the 2" foam board is a Vapor Barrier. A double VB is a no no and could lead to mold problems since moisture could get trapped. A solution would be to use 1" or 1 1/2" XPS (less than 2" is not a vapor barrier) then use a VB on the warm side of the batts.
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Last edited by Mark & Lynda; 2007-09-06 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 2007-09-06, 12:22 PM
Joseph Joseph is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark & Lynda View Post
I wouldn't use a Vapor Barrier on the warm side of the batts if you're installing 2" of XPS since the 2" foam board is a Vapor Barrier. A double VB is a no no and could lead to mold problems since moisture could get trapped. A solution would be to use 1" or 1 1/2" XPS (less than 2" is not a vapor barrier) then use a VB on the warm side of the batts.
I know that, and you know that... the problem is some (most?) city inspectors do not. And they will insist on you putting the VB.
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Old 2007-09-06, 01:40 PM
Mark & Lynda Mark & Lynda is offline
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They're applying above grade science to below grade applications. The building code is flawed and should be amended to account for finished rooms below grade.

FYI. Here is another helpful read for insulating the rim joists.

http://www.taunton.com/finehomebuild.../021189072.pdf
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Last edited by Mark & Lynda; 2007-09-06 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 2007-09-06, 01:45 PM
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Does an inner layer of tar paper act as a vapour barrier? i.e. would tar paper then the batts then a vapouir barrier be a "no no"?
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Old 2007-09-06, 02:06 PM
oakvillehomeowner oakvillehomeowner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John & Linda View Post
...I plan on having a suspended ceiling once all the walls are done, but how do you deal with the odd furnace duct that just sticks out to far?
I cannot lower the ceiling to cover it, I'm 6'-6" tall and need the headroom.
...
I've seen it done where the duct that protruded below the suspended ceiling was painted white to match the ceiling tiles, and the ceiling bar/edge moulding was screwed to the duct - looked pretty good. they had also put some foam tape on the corners to protect against noggin injuries.
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Old 2007-09-06, 09:14 PM
Joseph Joseph is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggieG View Post
Does an inner layer of tar paper act as a vapour barrier? i.e. would tar paper then the batts then a vapouir barrier be a "no no"?
The tar paper is not a VB. So you need a VB on top of the batt insulation.
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