Finishing Poured Concrete Basement Walls – Expert advice from Bob Vila, the most trusted name in home improvement, home improvement, home improvement and DIY. Seen, real, trusted home advice
Basement wall finishing A lot of square footage can be achieved by finishing a basement, but special attention must be paid to concrete walls at low level before the space is occupied. Here’s what you need to know to build a comfortable home.
Finishing Poured Concrete Basement Walls
Due to the increase in the cost of housing, many homeowners are planning to expand the square meters of their house with a finished basement. These spaces can be an affordable solution for tight spaces, but concrete floor walls require special attention before the space is comfortable to live in. The basement is surrounded by soil, and moisture in the soil can seep through cracks in the walls or through the concrete itself, resulting in damp or damp conditions inside.
Basement Wall Floor Joint Leaks
Read on to find out what to do (and what not to do) when finishing basement walls to achieve high-quality and comfortable conditions.
Get permission before making any major changes (although you don’t need to if you’re just painting the basement walls).
Although community regulations vary, you generally do not need a permit to seal or paint concrete floor walls. If you want to build new walls inside existing concrete walls and/or run wiring or plumbing into the walls, you may need a permit.
Since basement renovations are not visible from the outside, some homeowners may consider skipping the permit application, but not getting a permit can cause a number of problems. If the local building authority finds you, you may have to pay a large fine or have to remove walls and other improvements. In addition, not getting a permit can stall the sale of your home: Prospective buyers may be reluctant to make an offer when they find out that your basement is not ‘ meet the description listed on county records.
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Even if there are no obvious cracks or leaks in your basement walls, you may still have moisture issues. A simple DIY test will help you find out. Tape a 1-foot-by-1-foot-square piece of plastic to the concrete wall in your basement and let it sit for 24 hours. Then remove the tape and look at the page. If there is condensation inside the plastic, there is a moisture problem.
If a moisture test shows condensation, but the walls are dry to the touch, the solution may be as simple as applying a layer of masonry sealer, such as DRYLOK Masonry Waterproofer, before painting concrete floor walls. In some cases, measures to keep water out of the foundation, such as installing gutters and downspouts, can reduce basement moisture.
Waterproofing walls for visible leaks and standing water, which may include filling cracks or installing internal drainage under the floor to divert water from leaks and filter to a sump pump .
Building new walls within concrete walls is a standard way of finishing basement walls. A project like this requires working knowledge of construction, so many homeowners hire professional carpenters for the job. But if you have carpentry skills and want to do it yourself, be aware that local building codes require the use of moisture-proof and rot-resistant building materials in your basement.
How (and Why) To Insulate A Concrete Floor
If you want to run electricity in the basement walls, local building codes dictate how many outlets you need to install and who can install the wiring (usually an electrician is required allowed). A general rule of thumb here is to run the electrical wire through the roof drains above the wall and then drop the wires down between the studs in the wall.
If you have pipes on the inside of your concrete walls, the best course of action is to leave the pipe in place and build the new wall inside the pipe. For example, if a 3-inch downward curve runs along the surface of a concrete wall, build the new wall 3.5 inches away from the concrete wall. You will lose inches of living space, but it is much simpler and cheaper than rerouting pipes.
The International Residential Code (IRC) requires an escape window to be installed in every basement and bedroom. The window opening must be at least 20 inches wide and at least 24 inches high. In general, the window should offer 5.7 square feet of escape space, and the bottom of the window should be no higher than 44 inches from the floor.
Installing an egress window means excavating the soil from the foundation site, cutting out the basement wall, and installing the window and window well. This allows the occupants of the bedroom to escape in case of an emergency. Window well systems, such as the modular window well system come with a window and rails to provide a safe exit from a basement bedroom.
Finally Starting Our Home Build! Just Had Superior Basement Walls Installed Yesterday After A 2 Month Delay. Hopefully On Track To Finish By February.
The most common way to build a new wall is to put it on the ground, then turn it upside down and fix it. If you are building a wall in a basement where the concrete floor is uneven, this is not the best method, because the wall can be too high or too low.
The best way to build a wall is to attach the top board to the ceiling joists first, and then attach the bottom board to the concrete floor. After installing the plates, measure and cut each stud individually. This will give you a wall that fits perfectly. The process is a bit slow, but you will get an exact match.
To build basement walls in the traditional way described above, you need good carpentry skills. If you’re not ready to tackle such a project, consider a unitary wall system like the DRIcore SMARTWALL, which has modular panels that only require floor and ceiling routing for installation.
The panels are tongue-and-groove so they fit nice and flat, and have moisture-proof insulation on the back. Once installed, the panels can be painted and crown molding and baseboard installed for a finished look. End walls with DRIcore panels cost about $21 per square foot.
Brownstone Boys: Finishing A Basement
Any general contractor or carpenter can install traditional walls as described above, and homeowners have another option for finishing basement walls. Basement finishing systems from Owens Corning offer a complete basement solution that includes wall panels that can be removed later if needed to access wiring or plumbing. The panels are resistant to mold and mildew and also reduce noise.
Interestingly, installing these systems is not a do-it-yourself job; instead, the manufacturer arranges for a qualified team to install them. A professionally installed Owens Corning basement system can run up to $30,000, but keep in mind that they finish the basement to a high standard, including installing the floor and ceiling materials.
Even in a new home built by professionals, everything is rarely perfectly smooth, level and square. In the basement of an old house, the perfection of walls, floors, ceilings, doors and corners is like finding a four-leaf clover.
Instead of trying to make changes along the way, make a few changes before you start to save time and frustration later. To see if your walls are grainy, bumpy, and not perfectly aligned, place a 6-foot level on the wall, move the surface from left to right, then turn the level 90 degrees and re- report
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Mark the spots on the wall where you found the studs, then draw a line of studs from each spot and mark the floor. The farthest mark is the easiest place to build a new wall.
Whether the basement is finished or not, there is still a risk of moisture and flooding. Therefore, some electrical regulations, such as GFCI protection, may apply in each case.
The 2020 National Electrical Code (NEC) update states that all outlets in finished and unfinished basements must have GFCI protection due to the risk of shock from wet or damp conditions common in basements. . Previously, the NEC only required GFCI protection in unfinished basements.
It is also helpful to know that permanent smoke detectors and security alarms in the basement do not require GFCI protection.
Structural Shotcrete Walls
Not every wall in the basement needs to be made of wood studs with drywall or a modular system built by a certified installer. There are many other options for basement wall ideas that are inexpensive and can accommodate access panels for a water shutoff, sump pump, or other functional features that require quick access from time to time.
Instead of plasterboard, consider plywood panels, which have recently become a micro-design trend and are often an inexpensive way to finish basement walls, or clapboard-style wooden boards or clapboards.
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