Finishing cinder block basement walls

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Old 04-10-19, 06:54 AM
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Finishing cinder block basement walls

Hey,

I have a basement that I'd like to finish. I have cinder block foundation walls. I'd like to finish the walls but I'd ideally like to leave the walls exposed (and not add framing with drywall). I'm thinking of either plastering the walls, using stucco, or Bondo to smooth the surface. I don't have experience with this and would like some input from people that have experience. Will it work? Any tips of the best method would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!!
 
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Old 04-10-19, 07:01 AM
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Welcome to the forums!
Are they bare block or have they been painted? Is there currently electrical in conduit or none at all on the exterior walls?
 
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Old 04-10-19, 08:42 AM
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Hi,

Thanks for the welcome and for your reply.

The blocks are currently bare, never painted, and in good condition (some efflorescence in a few spots but dry to the touch). There is currently no electrical wires or conduit along the walls.

The walls have a four inch indentation on the top half of the wall which is above ground. I'll be framing that part so that it will be flush with the bottom part and I'll have the wiring/receptacles placed in the top half.
 
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Old 04-10-19, 10:28 AM
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You can stucco directly to bare cinder block although I have little experience on that being done on the inside.
 
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Old 04-10-19, 05:07 PM
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Foundation blocks are usually 8 inches thick Is the 4 inch indentation due to changing to a 4 inch block or the 8 inch block shifted outward 4 inches? Either way doesn't seem like a good design. I would look into filling the indentation with some type of masonry or structure so the total width the lower blocks is supporting the weight of the house.
 
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Old 04-10-19, 05:27 PM
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A basement wall that is not insulated, framed, drywalled or wired is by definition still "unfinished". Just adding stucco and paint to a wall does not create a finished space. You likely have building codes that specify how much insulation your basement walls should have before they are finished. If the lower section of wall is already ICF, that might explain the odd construction. Hard to say without being there and seeing what you see.
 
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Old 04-10-19, 07:29 PM
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Thanks for the replies.

I think it is 8 inch blocks below grade and 4 inch above. House is at least 60 years old and seems to be in good structural shape so I don't want to mess with anything structural.

Regarding the code, we are not allowed to add separation walls, bedrooms, bathrooms or anything really in the basement so I will not be pulling a permit or involve the city whatsoever. I've seen many videos where people add Styrofoam insulation, framing and drywall but I much prefer not concealing the walls so that I can see if there is any moisture issues.

So I can apply stucco directly to cinder block? No need to use bondo / primer or some other material before applying the stucco?

Thanks


 
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Old 04-11-19, 02:41 AM
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It should be 12" block below grade and 8" block above ground.
I've painted 100s of houses where the exterior block was stucco'd directly to the raw block.
 
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Old 04-12-19, 10:30 AM
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I've painted 100s of houses where the exterior block was stucco'd directly to the raw block.
So you're they guy to ask ;-).

1) Have you applied stucco to those walls or did you paint them?
2) Does the stucco disconnect from the walls over time?
3) If you did stucco, is there a specific method or material you'd recommend?

Thanks!
 
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Old 04-12-19, 11:05 AM
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I was just the painter although I have done minor stucco repairs prepping houses for repainting.
Usually if the stucco comes loose from the cinderblock there are other factors in play. I've painted houses [that were stucco'd over block] 20 or so yrs later with the only issues with the stucco being settlement cracks.

For repairs I've just used mortar mix. I think stucco men add a little this or that to their mortar before calling it stucco.
 
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