Prepping for basement exterior wall framing

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Verac

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Hello all,

So I am in the process of trying to get my basement renovated. There was some old paneling that I removed and I have a builder/contractor family friend that is going to frame up the exterior foundation walls for me.

I want to make sure that everything is in order before he begins the actual framing. I'm thinking about moisture barrier / insulation and that kind of thing.

Now, there was nothing behind the paneling previously, and I've been here for 5 years (and some ridiculous rain) and never seen or smelt a drop of moisture in the basement. It has no pump and has seemed been very dry.

That said, I've been perusing youtube videos and seen insulation, moisture barriers, and even filling in holes with cement before people frame the exterior walls.

I'll post some pictures of the walls here below, but my general questions are this:

1. Do I need to fill in the holes that are currently there with cement? (saw someone on youtube do this)
1b. Do I need to cut, drive back, and do the same for the existing nails that were used for the boards the paneling was on previously?
2. Do I need a moisture/vapor barrier?
3. Should I insulate, and if so, recommendations on what kind? (I've seen videos of people using polystyrene board)

Pictures below but any thoughts/advice much appreciated!

 

Sparky617

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Here is a great site to read up on your subject. They also have sample home types based on your climate which is worth a look. What works in Florida doesn't necessarily work in Pennsylvania.


I'm in the final stages of finishing my 1999 built basement in central NC. Mine has poured concrete, and is a walkout with framed walls on the walkout side. Before I started I tested the walls for water vapor penetration. Tape a piece of plastic or aluminum foil on the wall in several places. Seal all four sides with tape. If after a few days you have water condensing between the wall the the foil/plastic you have water vapor coming into the house. If you do, I'd look at painting the walls with either Thorough Seal or Drylok to better seal the walls. If you have water condensing on the foil/plastic on the room side your humidity is high and you will probably want to add HVAC or a dehumidifier. I have a separate heat pump for just my basement. I've never had a musty smell issue or dampness in anything in my basement.

From the reading I've done on the subject you do not want to use a plastic vapor barrier in the basement. The craft paper facing of the fiberglass insulation is all the vapor barrier you want. You could look at using poly-iso sprayed insulation. Any wood touching the concrete block walls or poured concrete floor should be pressure treated. When I framed my basement walls I pulled the studs off of the wall by an inch. This was required by code in my area. I did have to seal between the wall and the studs every ten feet of wall space for fire blocking. I also found out after I framed it that the inspector required me to install house wrap on the back side of the studs, this was a major pain to accomplish after the fact. It was of dubious benefit, but I had to pass inspection so I did it.

This thread has some pictures of my basement project in progress. I need to post some more recent pictures. I'm installing doors and getting ready to tile the shower. All the sheetrock has been primed.

 

Sparky617

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1. Do I need to fill in the holes that are currently there with cement? (saw someone on youtube do this)

IMO the surface defects do not need to be filled.

1b. Do I need to cut, drive back, and do the same for the existing nails that were used for the boards the paneling was on previously?

I would lean toward cutting them if I did anything. Are these hardened nails? If so, banging them sideways with a hammer would likely break them pretty easily. Pulling them could cause more surface breakout of the poured concrete walls,

2. Do I need a moisture/vapor barrier?

See the link above and my comments.

3. Should I insulate, and if so, recommendations on what kind? (I've seen videos of people using polystyrene board)

Yes, see the link above about how to insulate a basement. I used fiberglass batts in my basement with craftpaper facing.
 

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