Home-made removable insulated panels for basement walls?

alexander3_gwDecember 14, 2006


I am planning on finishing half of my basement. Ideally, I would like to be able to access the foundation. The Owens Corning system would allow this, but is way expensive, and I don't really want beige cloth covered walls.

The basic concept of the OC system appeals to me, and I was thinking of making my own panels. There would be a wooden framework to hold the panels, and each panel would be a sheet of drywall fastened (glued?) to a sheet of 2 inch thick foam insulation board. Although I have not yet made one, I'm guessing it would be pretty rigid. The seams would be covered by wooden strips that could be screwed to the framing to hold the panel to the wall.

Obviously I have some details to flesh out, but is there anything wrong with the basic idea? Any suggestions?


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Why do you believe you will need to access the foundation walls? If you have a moisture problem, it should be repaired before finishing the basement.

If you have a specific location that needs to be accessible, then purchase or build an access opening for it. Cover with something hung on the wall to disguise it for appearance.

Also, drywall is easily repaired if ever required. In my opinion would be less effort than building panels. Ours is studs and drywall. BTW, I have the same feelings toward the Owens-Corning solution. Looks too much like an office.

Photos of our finished space are linked from "My Page."

    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 11:38AM
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>Why do you believe you will need to access the foundation walls? If you have a >moisture problem, it should be repaired before finishing the basement.

Of course I agree. I don't suppose anyone drywalls their basement expecting water damage, but obviously it happens. When the remnants of hurricane Ivan came through, I saw plenty of carpet and drywall out on the curbs. We have a couple trouble spots, and I believe they have been resolved, but I'd just rather play it safe, and leave the option of being able to access the walls. In addition, this is sinkhole country, and I like to keep an eye out for cracks.


    Bookmark   December 17, 2006 at 5:23PM
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OK, now I understand.

I would use only pressure treated or metal structural support and styrofoam for insulation. Then, green wallboard (moisture resistant).

I would install it with screws, but not tape the seams. Cover the seams with a nice piece of wood trim which could easiy be removed accessing the drywall sections. Would only be necessary to locate the screws for the center studs for the section when removing one.

As for an entirely removable section, I believe it would be necessary to attach the drywall to plywood or another surface. My concern, based on the conditions you describe, is that the plywood would warp and ruin the wall.

Another thought - install a flush door (either hinged or a door panel) where the problem areas need inspection.

Hope this helps a bit.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2006 at 5:52PM
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Thanks for the ideas, the flush door idea is interesting. I'm chuckling at the thought of guests opening them, and the ensuing confusion :)

I think installing the wallboard with screws and not taping is the solution I'll go with. Similar to what I was imagining, but easier to implement. Gardenweb comes through again!


    Bookmark   December 21, 2006 at 10:06PM
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You might want to look into thermax white, it's a solid insulation sheet coated on one side with thermal reflective metal and the other side with a white vinyl, and it can be installed in a basement without a thermal barrier (drywall), and painted any color.

I'm thinking about using this, but I can't find a local distributor (yet).

All the best!

Here is a link that might be useful: thermax

    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 9:48AM
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Thanks for the Thermax suggestion, I'll call their number to see if there isa distributor nearby.


    Bookmark   January 1, 2007 at 9:51PM
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You could tell guests that the door used to go to a serial killer's dungeon. With a straight face.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 6:35PM
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I was a subcontractor for Basement Experts / Owens Corning for years. Worked my but off for them.
Just a warning for those subs out there considering working for them, in the beginning they pull money from your checks as an insurance policy to make sure you guarantee your work for a year. I can understand that. But once the year passes with no call backs they are to return the money.
Its been 2 years and I still haven't seen my $700.00. Beware subs, they'll screw you the same way they do everyone else.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 10:51AM
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