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Old 07-18-11, 07:31 AM   #1
S-F
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Default My new project



I'll get into more detail later today when I have some time!

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Old 07-18-11, 08:21 AM   #2
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What I had to work with. This is the simple attempt at finishing a basement when I came into the project.



And after We tore everything out.





Colin and Lane with the home made saw horses.



Enough R-13 bast to cover all of the perimeter walls.



Enough foam to bring the walls to R-29 and the floor to R-16.



Had to tear out a column and put some LVL's in instead.





Foam on the floor.





Then down goes the Advantech subfloor. It's screwed down with 5" tapcons.







Then foam on the walls.

Also check out the new radon stack in that last one. It penetrates the slab in two places on separate sides of the house. I got the previous owners to install that. It brought the radon down from 19.x to below 3. Once I'm done sealing up the house I'll take measurements again. I might have to install another stack.






Then framing.

I recently got the heat load calcs back and they are basically 0. The basement can be heated with 4 75 watt incandescent bulbs at -5. It also is improving the existing load of the house by about 25%.
Unfortunately I was becoming deathly ill during this whole process so progress has slowed to a crawl in the past two weeks. I have all of the wiring done, including running CAT-6 all through the house, and the framing is finished. I'm probably in it for about $5,000 in materials all done and said. It's interesting to see how little it costs to do this kind of thing when I'm not subing out plumbing and electric. Tomorrow I spray the band joist area with foam. I got a 600 board ' kit. I have only ever used the 200 ' kits before so I've had this one warming up for days now. The manual J suggested that 10% of my whole house heat loss was through the band joist and the masonry above grade. So I'm nipping that in the bud right there.
More to come.

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Old 07-19-11, 01:40 PM   #3
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Geez. No one? Lol

I thought this was pretty interesting. An entire finished basement that needs 0 heating. Maybe everyone has R-30 on their basement walls.
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Old 07-19-11, 02:19 PM   #4
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Was gonna check out the huge amt of pictures when I got home, then forgot. I'll get back to ya.
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Old 07-19-11, 03:04 PM   #5
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Only thing I wish was you had spent a year there so you had a direct comparison to see just how huge this improvement actually works out to. It looks like it should be great. I totally wish I could do the same at my place. How are you handling the increase in floor height at the doors? I have the headroom to add insulation but the basement door swings only 1/2" above the floor Same with the interior doors
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Old 07-19-11, 03:24 PM   #6
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Well there are no interior doors left over. I tore everything out and have been burning it all in the (poorly made) brick fireplace in the yard. The door to the bulkhead is garbage and is slated for replacement so that's that. It's nothing more than some tongue and groove boards and a latch. The ceiling is pretty low. It's 2 1/4" polyiso and 3/4" Advantech sub floor then I'm going to have a firm carpet put down so I'm raising the floor about 4". Sucks. Fortunately it'll really only be the kids down there and they are smaller than I am. I'm not going to put a drop ceiling in like usual. I'm just going to put up a light colored wood paneling. I could probably sheet rock it but I don't think I'm going to ever sheet rock a ceiling again.... ever... in my life. It's going to stay unfinished until I figure out things like HRV/AC duct work and minor plumbing. Even with the crappy basement door and windows the previous owners showed me their utility bills from last year and the coldest month was only $100 in gas for heat and hot water. I'm hoping to get it to the point where it only takes that much to heat the house all winter. I'm not going to be able to afford to get there this year though.
I'm having an energy audit in the next couple weeks so I'm hoping to get Mass Save to air seal my attic and whatever else they want to do. Then I'm going to bring my attic to R-60. Then I've gotta get the HRV and so on installed and running before I close up for the winter.
Next spring is tearing the siding off and recycling it (it's aluminum), wrapping the entire board sheathed house in bitchathane and screwing 4.5" of polyiso on.

No one said you can't just slice a couple inches of the bottom of the doors though.
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Old 07-19-11, 05:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S-F View Post
Geez. No one? Lol

I thought this was pretty interesting. An entire finished basement that needs 0 heating. Maybe everyone has R-30 on their basement walls.
No, your progress is quite impressive, but it's a bit of info to digest.

So, here are a few questions:
  • What is the new headroom in the basement?
  • Did you consider building a cold closet in a corner of the basement?
  • How are you handling moisture / water?
  • What are you planning for windows and the exterior door?
  • Why did you start in the basement? I'm guessing it was the least disruptive place to start a major insulation project.
  • What are the basic stats on the rest of the house?

Good work, keep us updated!

Tim
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Old 07-19-11, 06:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimJFowler View Post
No, your progress is quite impressive, but it's a bit of info to digest.

So, here's a few questions:
  • What is the new headroom in the basement?
  • Did you consider building a cold closet in a corner of the basement?
  • How are you handling moisture / water?
  • What are you planning for windows and the exterior door?
  • Why did you start in the basement? I'm guessing it was the least disruptive place to start a major insulation project.
  • What are the basic stats on the rest of the house?

Good work, keep us updated!

Tim
The headroom is under the 7' code requirement but only by a couple inches. Maybe 6' 10" or so.

I did consider a cold cellar but space is limited and I won't be keeping a garden that can produce enough roots to necessitate it for a long time so that project is on hold for 8 - 12 years.

The basement id bone dry. Every basement in the area is. The previous basement construction was cheap garbage and there wasn't a single sign of mold or any kind of rot. The previous owner was an architect and she kept her drawings down there. I was prepared to hammer out the perimeter and install drain tile but it appeared to be completely unnecessary. In fact, I took out a carpet they had on the floor that had a layer of poly under it. The underside of the poly was completely dry. This is why I decided it was OK to use polyiso instead of XPS like normal. I am taking extra measures to channel rain water away from the foundation though.

The windows will just be regular awning basement windows. Double pane. I'll make Lexan inserts for the winter with additional framing to fit a 2.25" piece of polyiso in at night or when not in use. The door is going to have to be custom made due to its size so I'm going to go all out with a fiberglass filled metal door with a magnetic weather seal like a refrigerator has.

The reason I started with the basement was that finishing it doubles the square footage of the house instantly. I value peace and quiet but my children don't and it's not right to expect them to. So I'm making them an entire floor where they can smash things and scream ride scooters in the winter. Also, right before I was getting ready sign papers my mother told me to be prepared for my daughter to move in. The last time she said that I brushed it off and then she moved in for 9 months so I took her seriously this time. I'm making her a bedroom down there. She's 11 and my other children are 5 and 2 so she needs her own space. Oddly enough two weeks before I began construction her mother had an episode displaying her unhealthy frame of mind and all kinds of insanity came to light. So my daughter is indeed living with me now.

The house is an 1100 sq ft ranch. I chose it because of how easy the geometry of a ranch is to work with. Finishing the basement effectively makes it a 2200 sq ft house. Crazy that you can double the size of a house and drastically decrease its energy usage for under $10 K. The foundation of 40' x 20'. It's pretty simple. Fiberglass in the attic and a little cellulose. Nothing much. Some outdated fiberglass in the walls. It's got an 80% efficient Buderus boiler for heat and hot water. One really key feature is that close to 1/4 of the wall space has baseboard radiant heat. The shear volume of radiator is allowing me to run a really low temp water. I had been planning on scrapping the boiler for 2 ASHPs but it would never ever pay off.
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Old 07-19-11, 06:49 PM   #9
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Very nice work so far! I was curious about the polyiso when I saw you using it for the flooring but see you explained that already. Definitely keep us updated. I'm curious to see how the spray foaming goes for you.
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Old 07-20-11, 01:11 PM   #10
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I'm liking the project. Ditto on the serious interest in the spray foaming.

I have to insulate after I do some interior wall framing and wiring. Spray foaming is my intention as we did it when we built our house nine years ago and we've been reaping the benefits ever since.

Be nice to know how hard it is to do and what the cost per square foot of wall space. Of course, how deep your cavity is too.

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