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Basement Renovation Questions.
Jenny Johnson
November 14, 2012 in Design Dilemma
Hi everyone! We are in the beginning stages of making our unused basement into a fun family living area. I have looked at many ideas! The walls are already insulated and the ceiling painted. Next week the duct work is getting torn out and new ones installed (inbetween the floor joists as much as possible). The ceilings are about 7 or a little bit less.

My first question!!
What can I do to the top of the walls right before the ceiling? We live in Atlantic Canada and it gets cold so it had to be insulated.

Second question: Our furnace is right in the middle of the basement. As well as the chimney (which is no longer used as we now heat with propane). What would you suggest? We were thinking to build a wall around the furnace.

I appreciate any information or suggestions that anyone wants to pass along!!!

Thanks in advance:)
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PRO
Walsh Krowka & Associates, Inc
Not sure what you're asking about the top of the walls. Won't a new ceiling cover the tops of the walls? Or are you talking about the insulated space betweeen the bottom of the floor deck and the top of the wall where it's insulated already?

I would check the fresh air requirements and exhaust requirements for the propane before building a wall around the furnace. You might have to duct fresh air to the furnace.
November 14, 2012 at 1:34PM   
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Jenny Johnson
The propane tanks are outside and everything is vented outdoors, so there is no worry about that! Yes, that is what I mean..sorry for my lack of the lingo..its the space that is insulated already...its ugly!
November 14, 2012 at 1:36PM   
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houssaon
Does foam insulation have a higher R-value? If so, you could use that. To cover, since it looks like you are leaving the ceiling exposed, I'd put rough siding over the insulation and paint it the same color as the ceiling. Or are you talking about the one inch gap of the wall and the joists? If so you could put a trim piece.
November 14, 2012 at 1:41PM   
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olldcan
plans to finish the ceiling?
November 14, 2012 at 1:48PM   
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Jenny Johnson
I am conflicted about the ceiling...I want to finish it, but I have no idea how. I do not want to put tiles because I will loose too much space. Suggestions??
November 14, 2012 at 1:49PM   
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PRO
Walsh Krowka & Associates, Inc
Build a small wall on top of the existing wall and sheet rock it to the bottom of the floor deck. Paint the bottom of the floor deck and the beams. New little wall will cover the insulation and you'll have a nice funky look for the ceiling. It will give you the feeling of a bit more height as well. If you need to insulate the bottom of the floor above for sound attenuation it can be done. Then add a 1" x 1" wood strip along each beam side below the insulation and add the ceiling material of your choice.
Paint or finish beams and ceiling as desired.
November 14, 2012 at 1:55PM   
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Jenny Johnson
I think I understand what you are saying! In that case (if I am understanding you correctly) we would have to cut each piece to fit around the floor deck?
November 14, 2012 at 2:05PM   
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olldcan
You could do a suspended ceiling around the perimeter of the room. The tiles are only 1" thick and the grid could be pulled up as much as possible. It would look like a bulk head but at least it would enclose the skinny pipe and let you get past it to cut and put the next piece vertically between the floor joists.
At first glance I thought, oh your not using insulstops. The purpose of insulstops is a flush covering to keep the insulation in place, it fits neatly (friction) between the joists. Unfortunately these are not the answer for you since there wax covered corrugated cardboard.....but even they'd look more tidy. Just a tip on the insulation. Anywhere the insulation is jammed in and scrunched it's not providing you the benefits you think it might. The insulation needs to be cut to fit with no pinching or compacting it into place. Your also missing vapour barrier, a very important part of the insulating process. Unfortunately the insulation is only doing about half of what it can, with it being installed the way it is and the Vapour Barrier issue.
November 14, 2012 at 2:11PM   
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PRO
Walsh Krowka & Associates, Inc
Not around the floor deck, but below the floor deck and floor insulation and between the beams. The beams would be showing. It would look like the beams are holding the floor/ceiling up. They look like some big old beams....it must be an old house.
Actually, the right lingo for those members is floor joists, not beams. My bad.
November 14, 2012 at 2:14PM   
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Jenny Johnson
Its hard to see--there is insulation and vapour barrier, but its been painted.
November 14, 2012 at 2:18PM   
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Jenny Johnson
Yes, this house was built in the 30's.
November 14, 2012 at 2:19PM   
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Jenny Johnson
The insulation is not jammed it. It is fitting in there nicely and after the insulation was put in the vapour barrier between the floor joists was glued with that black sticky like glue in the tube.
November 14, 2012 at 2:21PM   
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Jenny Johnson
Then we spray painted the ceiling..which now that we are going to replace all the duct work should have waited!
November 14, 2012 at 2:22PM   
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olldcan
Yes i see there is insulation there however if the insulation is compacted in any way it's not doing it's job. If the Vapour Barrier is not sealed around the edges (which it looks like it not) with and acoustic sealant or tuck tape it's simply not sealed at all. Just thought I would mention it, cause you might want to horse in front of the cart so to speak :)
November 14, 2012 at 2:24PM   
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Jenny Johnson
Thank-you, I will have to look into that.
November 14, 2012 at 2:26PM   
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olldcan
You got that right......"black sticky glue like". Is a perfect description for acoustic sealant. Great you confirmed that's done, puts my mind at ease :)
November 14, 2012 at 2:27PM   
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Jenny Johnson
Yes, it was done! and the red tape too.. I thought it was done correctly,,,you were scaring me!
November 14, 2012 at 2:31PM   
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Jenny Johnson
What would you guys recommend for around the furnace? I was thinking to build a wall around it. The basement is 24x32 and i was thinking a 10x8 wall around the furnace. Leave enough room to beable to get in and move around it. I
I saw a post this morning that build a tin wall around the furnace area...thought that was different. Id live to cover up the furnace so 1) the kids wont touch it and 2) wont be a huge eyesore.
Thanks!
November 14, 2012 at 2:53PM   
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olldcan
There will be some sort of restriction with your furnace as how close walls can be etc. Also check your area for codes. 10x8 sounds like a good size for a furnace room but I can't say for sure. I totally understand both reasons for wanting it out of harms and sights way. I wouldn't cover the brick chimney though, It adds charm and character to your home, whether it's still functional or not.
November 14, 2012 at 3:33PM   
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Jenny Johnson
Exactly! I have checked and as for code with 8x10 we are good to go. I have the chimney acting as the corner for the wall..i love it...it has some old signatures on it!
Have you ever seen anything done with tin (sheet metal)...would we just frame up the wall like we would with gyproc? Id think tin would be safer as well?
November 14, 2012 at 4:14PM   
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PRO
Walsh Krowka & Associates, Inc
Gypboard is a fire retardant material...tin conducts heat. For safety's sake, I would gyp board the framing, then put tin over it. Gyp board will reduce sound transmission as well.
November 15, 2012 at 6:30AM   
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Jenny Johnson
Ohh!! Wonderful, I never thought of that. Thanks so much!
November 15, 2012 at 8:55AM   
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