Best Practice for Basement Insulation


Old 03-24-06, 10:35 AM
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Best Practice for Basement Insulation

I know there are many methods to insulating and finishing a basement but I would like to know what would be the best way to insulate a basement. Here is the scenario I am faced with:
I have a basement that is 3/4 below grade and it has several basement windows at the top of the walls. It also has a wood burning fireplace. The cinder blocks are drylok-ed and there is also a french drain. There appears to be no water issues (I hope) and no mildew/moisture to speak of. There are curently 5/4 x 2 wood strips 16" o.c. (I took down paneling - no insullation!)
Should I just cut 1" rigid foam boards in between the strips and then sheetrock? I think I have seen rigid with an R value of R4 and even R6.5. Is that sufficient? (I live in north NJ) Or should I remove the strips and put up 2x4s? If I should bite the bullet and put up the 2x4s what is the best method to properly insulate? Can I nail the 2x4s to the blocks like the current strips? Or should they be away from the blocks? I see on the Owen Corning sight that they recommend to install their insulpink rigid boards (1.5" thick, R7.5) by putting them against the blocks and then nailing studs into the groves that would end up being 24" o.c. then sheetrock. Is that sufficient? Or do I use 2x4s (up against or away from the blocks) and just use kraft back insulation (what R value?) and then sheetrock? The big concern I have in using the 2x4s is that will bring the wall flush with the brick faced fireplace or maybe even past it and I don't think that would look good at all. I also would probably end up with deep window wells. But I definitely want to insulate properly and not have large heating bills. Also, has anyone heard of/used Radiant Barrier insulation? One product I found is Prodex Foil-Foam-Foil (FfmF). They claim that the two layers of reflective foil surrounding 1/4-inch closed-cell Polyethylene foam center will out perform R30 fiberglass insulation and bubble wrap insulation. It is only 1/4" thick! How can that work? Could I / Should I use this type of insultation? I just want to achieve the best way to insulate and finish off the basement (who doesn't). I just have that concern of the wall with the fireplace and depth of window wells. Thanks in advance for some insight!
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Old 03-24-06, 07:11 PM
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I have no experience with the Prodex, so I will yield to the others on that one. One thing to remember, all the below grade part of your basement is naturally insulated geothermally and will stay the same temperature all year long for the most part. So biting the bullet may not benefit you insulation wise. Installing the foam boards between the existing furring strips should be adequate. I would check locally, however, to see if that is the norm, since you live in the northern part of the country.

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