Should I bother finishing a basement in an old house?
Hello all. I am new to this forum--usually I am over on Kitchens. I have been reading posts here trying to educate myself and will continue to do so, but since we are talking to to contractors already about finishing the basement I want to go ahead and ask opinions here.
Our house was built in 1910, and is outside Boston. It's a Victorian with a small footprint. Rubble foundation, and of course none of these exterior vapor barriers and such. We do have exterior french drains and a sump pump; we have had some water in the past but I think has often been from gutter issues (which of course could occur again). We are currently having the foundation repointed (interior now, and xterior when it's warm enough). The main issue is that it is COLD down there--40 degrees today (outside temp was around freezing, so not much different). What is going on here? Where do we need to insulate?
Ideally we do want to use it as a playroom--it is semi-finished now (ceiling, some finished closets) but needs a WARM floor, walls, and yes WARMTH. We would waterproof (vapor barrier on the inside walls and a trough/drain cut around the perimeter)and then install some kind of vapor-barrier flooring and insulated walls (not sure what kind of insulation,I am overwhelmed at this point). HOwever, my husband thinks the project is basically hopeless because of the age of the house, type of foundation, etc. Is it? Please advise before we commit to $$. Thank you!!