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Ever Notice People Finishing Basements that Really Shouldn't Be?

Posted by edlincoln (My Page) on
Wed, Feb 5, 14 at 13:41

Anyone noticing a lot of people finishing basements that really shouldn't be finished?

I'm not an experienced do-it-yourselfer, but as time goes on I've noticed folks who don't know much more then I do taking on dangerously ambitious projects.

In particular, I've come to suspect a lot of people are finishing basements that really shouldn't be finished.

Contrary to the modern paranoia about mold, a little dampness on the walls of an unfinished basement after an unusually big rainstorm isn't a huge deal. But once you slap carpets on the floor, cover the walls with drywall, put a plasma TV there, and have your young children sleep there, it becomes a big deal.

I tend to think the first step in finishing a basement should be to evaluate it for leaks and address those leaks. Then you should insulate it. A lot of folks seem to be skipping those steps, slapping carpet on the floor, slapping drywall on the walls...then are surprised when they lose several thousand dollars worth of furniture, have mold problem, and have heating bills that are through the roof.

I also tend to think you shouldn't finish the basement of a house you just moved into, and be very suspicious of recently finished basements. Until you've been there a year or so, you don't know what happens to the basement after a big rainstorm.

Anyone else notice this phenomenon?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Ever Notice People Finishing Basements that Really Shouldn't

Reading and following the two pages of information in the linked publication from the US Department of Energy would eliminate the problem. Instead, a continent of diyers follow their "common sense" and the advice of whatever clerk is on that day at the local lumber yard. Wood sleepers on the concrete floor, the "pink stuff" on the wall and away you go.

Here is a link that might be useful: Basement Insulation Systems

RE: Ever Notice People Finishing Basements that Really Shouldn't

My poor neighbors bought their house with a beautiful in-law suite in the basement. Everything has been ripped out twice now due to water. Even after it was "waterproofed" by professionals the first time. So much money like water down the drain.

I like my basement to be a clean, functioning dungeon. I can hide the scary things down there (like those family treasures that somebody who shall not be named) holds on to for sentimental reasons. Plus the spiders need somewhere to go....

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