Completing the Basement Finishing System and Repairing the Basement Stairs

Project: Basement Finishing and Family Space, Episode 4, Part 2



The Melrose, MA, basement remodel enters the finishing phase now that the mechanicals, plumbing, drainage, and moisture-proofing upgrades have been completed. Sheet-metal tracks are screwed into the concrete floor and up into the joists as carriers for new steel studs that are trimmed and doubled up for a sturdy, moisture- and mold-proof framing system. The Owens Corning Basement Finishing System™ is installed using PVC lineals that allow for nail-free installation. These polyolefin-covered fiberglass panels are rated at R-11 for energy efficiency and may help save up to 25 percent of current energy costs. A suspended ceiling, trim, molding, and doors give the space a clean, finished look. The stairway is strengthened with posts drilled into the concrete and up into the stringer, and stiffened with plywood backing and reinforced tread-to-riser connections. Harvey Majesty custom, energy-efficient clad windows are installed once the old sash has been removed and voids filled with foam and caulk for a tight, efficient installation. As Bob learns about the costs associated with purchasing a total finishing system like this, Suzie Mitchell of Owens Corning explains that studies show 90 percent of the costs associated with finishing a basement can be recouped in just one year.

Part 1: Recapping the Remodeling and Converting an Unfinished Basement into Living Space
Part 2: Completing the Basement Finishing System and Repairing the Basement Stairs
Bob talks with Frank Palmeri and Suzanne Mitchell of Owens Corning about the basement finishing system that has just been installed in the Melrose, MA, home. Palmeri explains that the system is unique because of the use of a structural lineal made of PVC that snaps together without nails, screws, or fasteners. The system does not support moisture or mold growth because it is made of PVC and fiberglass. The wall panels are easily removed if the homeowner needs to get behind the wall. Mitchell explains the walls give great energy-saving benefits to the homeowner. Studies show an insulated basement can provide up to 25 percent savings to whole-home heating costs. Palmeri explains that the ceiling is suspended so that anything above the ceiling is easily accessible. Mitchell points out the ceiling also muffles up to 95 percent of sound, a handy feature in this home as the father is a professional musician. The deep-well window frame is made out of birch and set to fit the existing window frame. The trim is set to the window. Palmeri explains that the lighting units were installed by a licensed electrician and set according to the local building ordinances. A fire alarm and carbon monoxide detector were also installed. Bob explains that the staircase doesn't meet contemporary codes so structural repair was required. Carpenter Cyrus Beasley of Sweenor Builders shows how a portion of the staircase is completely unsupported and requires a support post. Beasley applies building adhesive to the base of the post to ensure it will not slide or move. Decking screws are drilled in to completely fasten the post to the floor. Plywood is secured to the existing staircase treads to reinforce the structure. The plywood is secured using adhesive glue and decking screws. The treads are then secured to the risers using decking screws. This should add rigidity to the stairs. Bob notes the staircase is now secured and complete with wallboard and trim to marry the old staircase into the new basement system.
Part 3: Replacing and Installing Windows and Costs of Finishing a Basement

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