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Proper way to drywall a basement

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Drywalling Options & Opinions Galore

Postby danolie on Tue May 02, 2006 7:46 pm

I have had a lot of different advice from everyone from the local hardware store guy to these forums. I've heard some advise against a vapor barier, others advocate for Drylok paint... then for the insulation, some advocate a fiberglass insulation, while others a foam insulation, and still others say no insulation necessary.

For framing, I am hearing 1x2's... and 2x4's flat against the wall, then framing like you would a regular wall (http://www.rd.com/content/openContent.do?contentId=17480

what to do, what to do? At the end of the day, anything is goign to beat what I have, which is an exposed concrete wall that has crumbled over the years, and has had moisture problems at some point, which I think I have fixed by improving drainage both through downspout improvements and grading.

I just want to do it "Right" whatever that is. I am NOT into Mickey Mousing stuff like most of the previous owners have been over the last 75 years.
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Postby kec01 on Wed May 03, 2006 6:19 am

Have you contacted your city's building code department? In theory, they are supposed to be looking out for the homeowner so I'd think they would be able to suggest a good route to go. My co-worker contacted his city as he's undertaking a basement project and his city had tons of code requirements - most of which were very sensible. Might just be another source of confusion....but could provide some insight, too.
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Postby moonshadow317 on Wed May 03, 2006 9:07 am

Sorry, but I don't think it's a good idea to contact building code people. I don't know how it works in Denver but here in NY if you drywall your basement it's considered living space and taxable. That might just open a whole new can of worms what with permits and all. Unless you want to go that route.

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Postby lrkrgrrl on Wed May 03, 2006 9:23 am

But, if you don't permit and you go to sell the house with "living space" in the basement, and it doesn't meet code, you could have serious liabilities, especially with living space in a basement with high radon levels. Not to mention the health of your self and your family.

Personally, if you are creating more living space, permit, work to code, and pay the damn fees and taxes. Otherwise, it's all emm-eye-ceee kay-ee-why....
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Postby moonshadow317 on Wed May 03, 2006 9:37 am

To me a sheetrocked basement does not equal living space. If you were to add a bathroom and/or kitchen then ok. Sounds like Dan just wants to clean and brighten the space for storage or a workroom or someplace that the kids could play. Why should the "Man" get paid everytime someone tries to improve thier lot in life??? When and if he goes to sell sheetrocking a basement will not be a tax liability but a big plus for someone buying.

To me the radon issue is a whole nother story and should be taken care of before sheetrock and insulation.

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Thanks for your replies

Postby danolie on Wed May 03, 2006 9:42 am

THe downstairs is already a living space... was finished when we bought the house.

I spoke to a radon expert yesterday and he recommended i DO finish the project before having him come in and test again, because some of the work I'm doing may mitigate the problem to some degree.

I am going to call the building inspections office... get their take.

Will keep y'all posted.
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Postby HB on Wed May 03, 2006 12:46 pm

I would skip the painting part, leave the existing furring strips in place as long as they're secure and provide enough space to insulate, and place rigid foam between the furring strips and then put plastic sheeting over the whole wall before putting up the drywall.

Caulk all cracks that you can find, and then re-test for Radon. If you add a radon mitigation system, it will probably also help keep the existing foundation well ventilated as it exhausts the air from under the basement slab.

Good Luck.

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Postby Starr-Point on Wed May 03, 2006 12:50 pm

I can't speak for Colorado, but in Maryland basements do not get assessed in your property values, nor do attics, finished or not. In contacting your building department, I would not be concerned with taxes as much as getting the job done right. In other words, good for you. Let us know how things turn out.
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Pics are up!!

Postby danolie on Wed May 03, 2006 1:38 pm

Here are some pics of this little project in my basement... http://theos1450.blogspot.com (by the way, blogspot is a super easy and free way to post pics)
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Postby Don M on Wed May 03, 2006 1:56 pm

Curious hidden space! It looks like there is another interior wall with lath & plaster to the left side of the hole?! It does seem a waste of good space. How about pouring a concrete floor in there to seal up the possible radon infiltration and using it for more deeper storage? Would that other plastered wall showing benefit from more shelves &/or storage too? Don
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