Basement Finishing Questions

Old 04-29-04, 07:31 PM
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Question Basement Finishing Questions

Hello all,

I am (still) finishing my basement and have a couple more questions.

Background: I live in a newer (1.5 years old) condo with condos on either side meaning I have "dirt" on the other side of only the north and south walls. The south wall was already framed and insulated and vapor barriered when I moved in. The east and west walls have neighboring units on the other side. The basement has always been completely dry. The perimeter of the unit was tiled and there is a sump-pump which has never ran (but does work) and has been dry since we moved in even during extended periods of rain.

I recently read that when framing there needs to be an inch gap between the poured wall and the studs. Unfortunately, I had one of the walls already up and had nails already shot into the treated sill plates before I read it. The studs and sill plates contact the wall in some areas and at this point it would be a real @#%# to take it down and move it. Also, the wall next to the stairs had only room for 2x2s attached to the walls.

1) What are the potential implcations of the 2x4s and 2x2s contacting the poured walls?

I am using 5/8" sheetrock for the ceiling (and walls) rather than a hung ceiling for increased space and budget constraints. There are various pipes and wires running through the joists (gas supply wrapped in a yellow ribbed coating, n/m (Romex) electrical wires, copper for hot and cold water supply, heating/cooling ducts, recessed lighting cans, PVC waste/vent, a copper pipe wrapped in black foam coming in from the air conditioner).

2) When I insulate the ceiling and walls using the NON-kraft paper faced insulation rolls, what can and can't the insulation come in contact with?

3) I have heard the term "fire barrier" used frequently. What exactly does that mean in the context of finishing a basement? I think I read someone mention sheetrock as a fire barrier though I could be wrong.

Thanks again in advance for all your advice,
Old 04-30-04, 03:19 PM
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Hi Pat,

I would leave the wall you have up in place since you've already got it pretty well nailed down. Probably would be a good idea to use unfaced insulation on that wall & go over the insulation & studs with a poly moisture barrier.

Don't think you should have to worry about anything in your ceiling coming into contact with your faced insulation, except for possibly the can lights, alot of those will have warnings on the fixture stating how closely insulation should be placed.

Sheetrock is your fire barrier & the 5/8" that you plan to use is your best bet.

If you can manage it though it would be best to set the rest of your walls an inch or so inside the concrete walls, you post indicated that this unit is fairly new & the basement has always been dry, but over time this may not always be the case.

Good luck!
Old 05-03-04, 09:42 AM
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Thanks Dell

I went with unfaced insulation for the exterior walls and throughout the ceiling joists and the can lights are rated for contact with insulation. I used a clear plastic vapor barrier for the walls.

I'm glad to hear the 5/8" sheetrock will work as a fire barrier. I assume this means I should rock the inside of the utility closet. I wasn't planning to at first but I assume that that should be done as the fire barrier.

One last quick question. I have been in many finished and unfinished basements and the ceiling in the utility closet is never finished. Do I need to sheetrock the ceiling of the utility closet? With all the wires and pipes and vents and what not, this would be a real drag.

Finally, when I ran the unfaced insulation in the ceiling, I ran it into the utility closet. Will this be a problem as far as a fire hazard? Will the fiberglass in the utility closet with no vapor barrier be blown around the house? Should I just run the insulation up TO the utility closet?

This trip is actually going a lot better than I figured after the first night. It took me a little while to get up to speed. I was doing the 2x2 furring strips on the wall next to the staircase and when the first two took me over an hour (figuring out the triple stud method to facilitate sheetrock nailing) I overheard my girlfriend on the phone with her sister saying, "We hope to be done by the winter. It's just a long slow process." Three weeks later and the framing, electrical, and insulation is done (except for "DoItYourself" refinements). Thank you all again.


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