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mtconleyca

07:57AM | 05/01/01
Member Since: 05/02/01
3 lifetime posts
Bvbasement
I just bought a house that has a workshop below the garage. The foundation is a slab, the shop has cinderblock walls, and the ceiling is reinforced concrete (it's the floor of the garage). I want to insulate it and cover the walls in aspenite or drywall, but I'm not sure the best way to go about it. The previous owner had started nailing furring strips to the walls with styrofoam sheets between them, but that seems to me inadequate. I'd much rather have 2x4 studs all around, but am uncertain as to how or whether to attach them to the walls.

What I'm thinking of is simply fastening the sill plates to the ceiling and floor and then attaching the studs to the sill plates without attaching them to the walls. Would this work?

The next problem is how to deal with the ceiling. The room is huge (the size of a 3-car garage), and spanning it with joists seems excessive. On the other hand, hanging a drop ceiling from concrete is likely to be a lot of work, and in any event I'd like to be able to hang lighting and a vacuum system up there.

It's a pretty unusual setup. Any suggestions?

Jay J

05:51PM | 05/02/01
Member Since: 10/26/00
782 lifetime posts
Hi MT,

Go ahead and stud-out the room as normal. Use pressure-treated wood for the baseplate. (All this assuming you can afford to 'shrink' your room 7" ...)

As for the ceiling, you'd want the ability to run wires and such above the ceiling. You didn't say how high it was but do you really need to do anything? I mean, it's a workshop. Use sheet-based insulation on the walls. And I hope you don't have any moisture problems (at least you didn't mention any.)

My best to ya and hope this helps.

Jay J -Moderator

PS: Metal furring strips are fine too. I've done them for above-grade basements w/no moisture/water problems. Because the strips 'bend' when you put pressure on them, I would stuff a couple of pieces of insulation board behind the installed strip to keep the strip 'out'. Also, I used a CO2 nail gun; no hammer ...

BobF

03:07AM | 05/03/01
Member Since: 10/19/98
223 lifetime posts
What you describe is the common method. Move the studs about an inch from the foundation walls. Do insulate. If you live above the mason-dixon line the insulation will pay for itself in a few years (less if prices stay high like this year!).

As for a suspended ceiling - most of it will be supported by the studs. You'll need to drive some hangars into the concrete ceiling to support the middle, but you won't need many of those.

mtconleyca

06:41AM | 05/03/01
Member Since: 05/02/01
3 lifetime posts
Thanks for the feedback. A couple of followups:

- Moisture: There's one corner of the room that has damp walls. It appears to me that this is due to poor landscaping outside, and that if I restore the slope away from the house this should clear up. In any event, should I put plastic or other moisture barrier behind the stud wall?

- Ceiling: My only concern about the ceiling is heat loss in the winter. We're in Minnesota, and it gets a bit chilly! That's why I thought it might be a good idea to put some material up there. Thoughts? What if I just insulate the ceiling of the garage upstairs? Would that suffice?

Jay J

05:50PM | 05/03/01
Member Since: 10/26/00
782 lifetime posts
Personally, IF you can get the moisture/dampness reduced to almost nothing, then I wouldn't put any plastic up. The 'trick' is to let the moisture in and remove it w/a dehumidifier. Plastic and 'things' that inhibit the movement of moisture only cause 'hidden' problems.

As for insulating the ceiling, you can do that with any board-type insulation. If the ceiling is dry, you can even glue it up there. It may be worth NOT insulating for at least 1 Winter to see how you feel. Heat does rise. Maybe all you need is 1/2" foil-faced Homosote or something to 'reflect' some heat back. Give it a year before you do anything. See how you feel and how much you spend on heating the space. THAT should help in your decision.

My best to ya and hope this helps.

Jay J -Moderator

david_wv

03:13AM | 05/04/01
Member Since: 01/28/01
171 lifetime posts
mtconleyca - I'm finishing my basement now. I'm using the steel studs. To attach them, I'm using a power-matic (?) which uses a .22 cal blank to shoot nails into concrete or mortar. Definitely use hearing protection. Steel studs allow me to attach the bottom plate, stand up and attach the end studs, then add top plate and infill studs. I can work a few minutes at a time, everything is definitely plumb, and I can unscrew and reinstall goofs. Fiberglass batts are 16" wide not the 15" for wood studs.

What's the heat source? You may want a ceiling or other fan. Like Jay J posted, work in sections so you can see how you'll actually use the space.

mtconleyca

05:11AM | 05/04/01
Member Since: 05/02/01
3 lifetime posts
david_wv, my heat source at the moment is undecided. There appear to be vents in the slab which should lead to the main furnace. There's also a gas heater hanging on the wall (which implies that whoever hung it there couldn't get the vents to work, so there you go). It would seem that heating would be one of those two options.

Jay, re using a dehumidifier: If I have stud walls up (with a gap between the stud wall and the cinderblock, it seems then that I'll have to put in vents or some other means of getting the moist air out from behind the wall to the dehumidifier unit, yes?

Jay J

05:16PM | 05/04/01
Member Since: 10/26/00
782 lifetime posts
Yes. You can use 'dummy' vents (adjustable register vents for walls) like you use in an upstairs room. One per wall is fine. Be sure there's a way to close the vent. In Winter, there's probably not much moisture so you'd want them closed more than in Summer.

For David - .22 cal. shots are expensive. If the wall is block, I know for sure you can use a pressure canister to shoot your nails. I don't know about poured walls. I DO know you need to use them when shooting nails into poured floors. But I'm not sure if that's because you're nailing THROUGH a base-plate too (where a canister just doesn't 'emit' enough power.)

Good luck. My best to ya and hope this helps.

Jay J -Moderator

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