Stone Foundation Cellar Walls

normwannabeJanuary 22, 2009

This is a subject that has been visited many times here in this forum. I have a 150 year old house with a stone foundation. My understanding of the conventional wisdom is that you should not frame and insulate walls inside the stone because the freeze and thaw cycles will eventually damage the foundation.

Is there any downside to simply framing walls and putting up paperless drywall inside the cellar without insulating? I'm trying to make the cellar usable for a workshop, and framed walls would help a lot even without the insulation.

Thanks for any suggestions.

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mainegrower

It would have been extremely rare for a 150 year old house to have had central heat with a furnace or boiler in the cellar when it was new. The foundation survived - and was designed to survive - many years under the same conditions that will exist if you add framing and insulation. The most important thing 150 years ago and today is to keep water away from the foundation by grading and any other means. If there is no water to freeze, there will be no damage. Stone foundations were almost never mortared below grade; this enabled them to flex with soil exapansion and contraction without being damaged. In this case the conventional wisdom is just wrong. The danger is from water, not a lack of heat getting to the stone walls.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 5:46AM
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