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Aunt Zero

Pimp My Basement!

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Of many things my dad never finished on the house, insulating the basement was one of them.  Now, other than wintertime, it’s not been an issue, but I’d like to do something about it.  Here’s what it looks like now....

 

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The first idea is to put insulation along the perimeter where there’s nothing but brick on the other side. We’d want to seal it in so bits of insulation don’t get in the air.  This part looks easy as most of it has no obstructions to deal with, and where there is a obstruction, I can cut the insulation to slip over/around it.

 

The other idea is to also close in the ceiling, but we don’t want anything permanent or expensive.  As you can see, plumbing, gas, phone and electrical is run along the rafters.  Dad didn’t bother with conduits.  So if we want to add or repair anything, we’d have to be able to access it.  I was thinking of a veneer that could be screwed into the rafters.  While doing this, I also considered adding a layer of insulation, but the typical space between rafters is 15 inches.  The barrier would both close in the ceiling and ensure the insulation stays isolated from open air.

 

I don’t know if anyone makes a “sealed” insulation.  I’ve seen the kind that has a “lip” so you can staple it in place, but that’s all I know of off the top of my head.  Would a drop ceiling do the job better...especially when coupled with perimeter insulation?  As you can see in the second photo, there is only a few inches between the bottom of the rafters and windows in the basement.  I’m not sure if that’s enough space.

 

The odds are we’d have to hire a handyman to do the ceiling (definitely a two-man job) but I could probably do the perimeter myself.

 

Thoughts?

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Good luck with it. Sounds like a fun project. Make it a space you enjoy being in. 

 

I love being home. 

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Gotta basically agree with googus . . . Stud (16" o/c), insulate *, and sheet rock the walls; add a short-drop grid ceiling (w/lightweight foam panels) for future easy access.

 

*If it's in the budget, look into closed foam spray insulation for the walls; it does an excellent sealing job and really helps with sound isolation/exclusion. 

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Yes, they make “sealed” insulation, google “encapsulated insulation”.

 

The ceiling, consider leaving it open and renting or buying a high volume paint sprayer and just painting it all a light color. I did this in my semi-finished office/gym in my basement and I’m happy with the results. It is a bit industrial looking, but that fits with the basic theme here, and it was waaay cheaper than any of the other options. I also have a fairly low ceiling and didn’t want to lose any more height to a dropped ceiling. Drywall was never an option, it would bury too much crap that might need to be accessed. 

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I'll echo what was said above. Spray in insulation (pay to have it done). Drop ceiling (a pain I the ass to install) or paint, it does a decent job. 

If you really want to soundproof get some roxul and stuff it in-between the joists.

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Spray insulation will not give you a  complete access to your wires. I do agree it is the best in some applications, but any electric lines or such would be buried and it is $$. 

If you want the walls insulated, I would build out a 2x4 wall with a fire block or per your code. 

I don't know of a way to insulate basement cinder block walls without framing it out.

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Not looking to do walls.  Just better insulate the floor....possibly close in ceiling.

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Maybe this for the floor with plywood over it?

IMG_1437.PNG

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37 minutes ago, googus said:

plywood over it?

In my cellar man cave, I used quarter inch finished plywood that I oil stained and attached the panels with rounded head screws so I could remove them if needed.  I think that it looks OK for what it is.

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Insulate the floor? That’ll be a project, and one with limited benefits. When you’re done  you can pray you never have even minor water issues or you’ll be pulling it all up. 

 

You’re honestly better off insulating the walls and putting down some rugs if you want to warm up the space a bit. 

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....sound deadening for the wild paties ain't a bad idea.

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On 1/25/2018 at 8:19 PM, Redbird said:

Insulate the floor? That’ll be a project, and one with limited benefits. When you’re done  you can pray you never have even minor water issues or you’ll be pulling it all up. 

 

You’re honestly better off insulating the walls and putting down some rugs if you want to warm up the space a bit. 

Or maybe he is trying to keep the heat upstairs to have warmer floors?

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2 hours ago, blackhawkxx said:

Or maybe he is trying to keep the heat upstairs to have warmer floors?

 

That makes more sense and you're likely correct. I think the disconnect was I would have phrased it "insulate the ceiling" when talking about the basement, even though the ceiling of the basement is also the floor of the level above. I tend to think in terms of the room I'm in.

 

 

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In the first pic of the ceiling, there's a forced air HVAC vent (not a return) in the ductwork; so, can we assume the basement space is currently heated/cooled? 

Was that vent (and/or any others in the basement space) part of the original HVAC design? (The HVAC system would have been appropriately sized per code and subject to inspection.)

If it is, then it may be all that's needed is to consider insulation for the walls and possibly the floor.

If not (meaning that vent was an add-on, or afterthought), you could consider sealing it up, consequently not heating/cooling the basement space, and then consider an insulation application for the ceiling/first floor only.

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Around the sill/perimeter, don't mess with stuffing pink insulation.   Get some of that 2" thick foil face foam, cut to fit between the joists, and use the spray can foam to seal it in place around the edges.  It will make it airtight around there.   That will do more for it than anything.

 

If it were my place and no water issues,  I work toward framing and insulating the block walls to make it more of a semi finished space.    A coat of water sealer paint over the block, framed in steel studs, and filled with spray foam would make it pretty much resistant to any potential future water issue.   If you do that, you really don't gain much insulating the ceiling, just cover it for looks.     

 

 

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