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The Plains Theater - Page 23

post #661 of 1535
Thread Starter 
I need a little advice on basement insulation. I am currently suffering from a substantial case of analysis paralysis.

I need to insulate the two exterior walls in my theater. Both are framed walls that are between 1/8" and 1" from the concrete. I'm at a loss as to what to do about vapor barriers. My inspector says it's not an issue here, and I can install either paper faced (as it's easier) or not depending on what I want to do. I was planning to use unfaced, but I'm worried it will fall onto the concrete wall over time, and possibly start to mold. I'm hesitant to add XPS to the wall as the exterior has a spray on membrane followed by a poly dimpled mat that will act as a vapor barrier. I don't want to end up with the dreaded double vapor barrier problem. I tried adding some fiberglass mesh to hold the insulation off the concrete, but I can't get it pulled tight enough that I feel like it will help.

Any suggestions would be awesome!
post #662 of 1535
Whichever option gets it hung this weekend is the right one. Make it hap'n Cap'n!
post #663 of 1535
When I researched this some years back, the thought was to not install a vapor barrier on the inside. I think that is what you mean by the double vapor barrier problem. I believe the rationale was to provide a path for moisture to work it's way through the drywall (from the inside out). I'm no expert and I often suffer from analysis-paralysis, so I'll let others chime in. For me, I have a combination of faced and unfaced with no inside vapor barrier. The inside of the exterior block walls have Drylock, but nothing on the outside. Do you have any drain tile or other system in case of water (assuming a basement)? - I don't.

Again, I'll wait for others to help.
post #664 of 1535
Kraft facing is vapor semi-permeable. If you want to use it to hold the insulation in place there shouldn't be any harm based on what your inspector said.

If the walls are framed properly, unfaced insulation should friction fit without a sagging problem.

I personally wouldn't use the kraft faced batts because they're more expensive!

Drywall with primer and a coat of latex paint is also vapor semi-permeable, so I guess we all have a vapor barrier. Two layers of drywall and green glue? Who knows!

Tim
post #665 of 1535
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure what to think now biggrin.gif

Fred, I'm almost to that point! I'm tired of agonizing over it.

angryht, my house has all of the waterproofing on the outside. The concrete walls have a sprayed membrane, then a 1/4" dimpled plastic membrane (which I assume will act as a vapor barrier since it's the same material as the poly you see on basement walls a lot) followed by a drainage mat that adds some nominal R value. At the bottom of all that is a drain tile that leads away from the house and dumps out the side of the hill my house is on.

The problem I'm facing is the standard practice of putting XPS on the concrete is not required in this part of the country. On top of that, I already have a vapor barrier on the outside, so I'm afraid the XPS would act as another. With the 2x walls spaced off of the concrete, there is a path for air circulation anyway, so I don't think the kraft paper on the bat insulation will matter, but it sure would make hanging it easier.
post #666 of 1535
Thread Starter 
Mr. Tim,

If I use the faced insulation, do you think there is any benefit in cutting the paper facing? I've read a few places to cut the kraft paper to prevent it from acting as a vapor barrier, but I'm not convinced smile.gif
post #667 of 1535
Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post

I need a little advice on basement insulation. I am currently suffering from a substantial case of analysis paralysis.

I need to insulate the two exterior walls in my theater. Both are framed walls that are between 1/8" and 1" from the concrete. I'm at a loss as to what to do about vapor barriers. My inspector says it's not an issue here, and I can install either paper faced (as it's easier) or not depending on what I want to do. I was planning to use unfaced, but I'm worried it will fall onto the concrete wall over time, and possibly start to mold. I'm hesitant to add XPS to the wall as the exterior has a spray on membrane followed by a poly dimpled mat that will act as a vapor barrier. I don't want to end up with the dreaded double vapor barrier problem. I tried adding some fiberglass mesh to hold the insulation off the concrete, but I can't get it pulled tight enough that I feel like it will help.

Any suggestions would be awesome!

Analysis paralysis??? Well sir, you came to the right person (as notated by Avatar tagline)!! I have exactly the same situation as you with two framed walls in front of exterior walls. I hate to say this, but given that some of your framing starts at 1/8" from the concrete, a closed cell spray foam solution is out. You need 1" minimum for the foam to function as a continuous vapor barrier. Like spray foam, the only way to do a vapor barrier with XPS is before the walls go up. Installation can be more involved with the foam board glue needed to adhere it to the cement, caulking the lap joints and Tyvek taping all the joints. It is also recommended that you have a few cans of spray foam (Great Stuff low expansion in the blue can) at-the-ready to fill gaps in the corners and at the very top and bottom (immediately above and below the XPS) to "seal" it to the concrete wall. XPS strips are a total waste of time.

So you are left with the pink fluffy and either kraft-faced or non kraft-faced will work just fine. The actual vapor barrier would come from a 6 mil poly sheeting over this insulation and the entire wall assembly. Up north this poly is code. Down south in "lower 'bama" it probably isn't code and to be perfectly honest I think adding the plastic is discouraged. Can you call your inspector and ask what code is for cement basements and vapor barriers?

As long as you have good framing, the friction fit of the insulation will be sufficient to keep it from slumping and off your walls. Since it doesn't matter if you use kraft-faced or not and you have this slumping concern...I'd say just go ahead and get the kraft faced so you can fasten it to the walls and breathe easy.

If you don't use a plastic vapor barrier and still have long-term concern about mold, I would use the NON kraft-faced insulation to eliminate the paper and then use a paper-free fiberglass facing drywall like DensArmor Plus, sold at many local building material distributors and some of the big box stores. This stuff is about 2.5 times the cost of normal drywall for the same size and thickness of board, but with zero paper it is not a food source for mold.

So, in short: 1. Call your inspector about 6 mil barriers in your area 2. Buy the unfaced pink fluffy stuff and install 3. Install mold-free fiberglass-faced drywall for your first layer. Hopefully these three simple steps cure your paralysis!!
post #668 of 1535
post #669 of 1535
Thread Starter 
TMcG, thanks for the (not so) gentle nudge biggrin.gif

The first thing I did was call my inspector. I was expecting him to tell me to tear down the framing and add foam (rigid or sprayed) and then re-frame everything. He did mention that a lot of people are doing that now, but that in this area it was NOT required, and that a vapor barrier at all was not necessary. I think this is in part because there is some debate about which side a vapor barrier should even go on in this area. Remember, average soil temp is in the mid to high 60's, and we're running the AC off and on all winter. it's not unreasonable for the walls in the lowest part of the house to be a little warmer than the air that gets down there. Of course, our vapor barrier is on the outside, so it sort of bypasses all of that.

Anyway, the more I think about it, I really feel like I'm over thinking this. But It worries me to put all this effort into it only to have a mold problem in a few years. I think you're onto the right path. I'm not sure the DW is necessary as it won't come in contact with the insulation due to the hat channel, and mostly because 2x the cost of normal DW makes my wallet cry.

Fred, I'm not sure how you got my high school senior photo, but it's a little creepy that you have it wink.gif
post #670 of 1535
Basement walls are excepted from any vapor barrier requirement (IRC 702.7 #1). In my opinion, you will do more damage than good installing a vapor impermeable/class I barrier like polyethylene in the majority of scenarios.

Kraft facing is at least semi-permeable, so any moisture trapped in the wall can migrate out. With below-grade walls, and also in Alabama (climate zone 3A), the moisture drive will always be outside-->inside. If you had the walls partially out of the ground in a cold climate, than an interior barrier could be considered.

If it's really driving you crazy, I recommend buildingscience.com. They have some good stuff about insulation and vapor barriers in today's modern homes.. Their information is referenced by professionals regularly.
post #671 of 1535


Too much? ...maybe that's too much...
post #672 of 1535
Thread Starter 
Fred, I'm not sure I get your meaning? I wish you would quit beating around the bush and just say what you mean!

One of the things I don't understand is if my insulation doesn't touch the concrete (and in my case the DW either, why does the vapor barrier matter? It shouldn't get wet even if water condenses on the concrete.
post #673 of 1535
Thread Starter 
Fred, you'll be proud to know, I just did it! I'm sure it's touching in places, but hope is my plan now. I've read and read and read about this, and I don't think there is much information regarding my specific situation. At any rate. Unfaced insulation on the exterior walls is up!

In other news, when you guys were in school, was there always someone that talked everyone else into getting into trouble? You know, stuff like, "Just one more drink," or, "one smoke won't kill ya," or, "bet you won't jump off the roof of the house onto that burning trampoline and bounce over the fence into your neighbor's pool...... in your underwear!" We had a guy like that. I think his name was Fred. Hey, I just noticed he's got the same name as HopefulFred..... What a coincidence!
Quote:
Too much? ...maybe that's too much...
biggrin.gif

Next question, will it hurt anything to use faced insulation in the interior walls? I've already got some, and like working with it better than unfaced.
post #674 of 1535
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMcG View Post

1. Call your inspector about 6 mil barriers in your area 2. Buy the unfaced pink fluffy stuff and install 3. Install mold-free fiberglass-faced drywall for your first layer. Hopefully these three simple steps cure your paralysis!!

Steps one and two complete . . . step three pending budget approval! LOL!
Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post

Fred, you'll be proud to know, I just did it! I'm sure it's touching in places, but hope is my plan now. I've read and read and read about this, and I don't think there is much information regarding my specific situation. At any rate. Unfaced insulation on the exterior walls is up!

Next question, will it hurt anything to use faced insulation in the interior walls? I've already got some, and like working with it better than unfaced.

Wow! From paralysis to completed project in record time! Proof of Progress (POP) pics???

No, it won't hurt anything whatsoever to use faced on interior walls.
post #675 of 1535
Thread Starter 
Thanks, TMcG! This is the first project in my life where I'm second guessing things that I KNOW I KNOW! I've started second guessing just about every step along the way. Hopefully things will speed up once I get to the drywall rolleyes.gif
post #676 of 1535
Thread Starter 
I think I've got the rough framing done. Extra studs in all the corners that need it and finished up all the blocking. I even had to fur out the "nook" along the back wall because the drain going out of the house stuck out past the wall about 1/4". I just added some 2x's horizontally where my channel will go. Have I mentioned I'm glad I bought that framing gun? All that would have probably taken 4 or 5 hours without it, and it only took 2 with it.

I've also started with my clips on the ceiling. Pretty slow to start with, but once you get the pattern down it moves quickly. It takes longer to get the laser level setup than it does to actually put in the clips. Unfortunately, I'm having to run my channel short ways across my ceiling because of the furring strips on the ceiling. Speaking of laser levels, I'd highly recommend that you put your ceiling clips up before you put up your insulation in the one wall. With my level inside the room, it doesn't quite catch the last two joists. I've been setting it outside the theater and letting it shoot through the wall so it covers those last two joists. It might actually be faster using some masons line rather than setting up the laser level, but I'm almost half done with the ceiling at this point. It will be a huge help on the walls since it will light up 3 walls at a time.

No "proof" of progress just yet. Right now I'm afraid if I posted any pictures OSHA would descend on my home in hazmat suits and wrap the place up with yellow tape. Now that the framing is done I'm going to try to clean up a bit and post some pictures next week.
post #677 of 1535
Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post

No "proof" of progress just yet. Right now I'm afraid if I posted any pictures OSHA would descend on my home in hazmat suits and wrap the place up with yellow tape. Now that the framing is done I'm going to try to clean up a bit and post some pictures next week.
I can relate, but I'll believe it when I see it. smile.gif
post #678 of 1535
Thread Starter 
I had a feeling you'd say that biggrin.gif
post #679 of 1535
Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post

No "proof" of progress just yet. Right now I'm afraid if I posted any pictures OSHA would descend on my home in hazmat suits and wrap the place up with yellow tape. Now that the framing is done I'm going to try to clean up a bit and post some pictures next week.

Don't worry, they have another week or so to decontaminate the Stonewater Cinema from all dangers...rolleyes.gif They've only made it 7 feet into the room and ran out of violation forms.... *sigh*

Seriously though, I ran out of drywall to do my second layer so I hope to get these last couple of pieces done and "stick a fork" in this part of the project. I'll celebrate by giving the room a proper cleaning, complete with photos. Moving forward things shouldn't be quite so dirty since I won't be sanding fractions of an inch off drywall, cutting screws, caulking seams and the like. So much to do...

Well, I hope you make the progress you intend to make this weekend and looking forward to seeing the progress pictures.
post #680 of 1535
Thread Starter 
Well, it finally happened. Shutdown by my 3 y.o. rolleyes.gif I've made it to the last 5 or 6 rows of clips on my ceiling. Unfortunately, those last few rows are right under my son's bedroom. I knew I was trying my luck, but I finally woke him up. Oh well, he's got more business sleeping than I do piddling in the basement.

However, I'm really worried about the soundproofing now. It's always had me a little concerned, but now I have a little proof that if the soundproofing doesn't work, my theater may be unusable after bedtime. That's really my primary motivation for going to all the trouble. If I can't keep the bass in, then I might as well be using headphones. There are certainly some areas that can pose a week link. We'll see.

For all you nay-sayers, here's a little proof that I've been doing something biggrin.gif


I have learned a few things along the way. First off, it's been a lot quicker to dig out the 'ol 100' tape and mark ALL of my rows at both ends of the theater. Then, just set up the laser level and start attaching clips. Next, I started wearing my camo pants with the big thigh pockets. Why's that important you ask? Well, I can drop a handful of clips in one of those pockets which is enough for two rows on my ceiling. Before that, I was putting my clips on top of the ladder, and they kept falling off when I moved my ladder. No worries, at least half the time they missed my head mad.gif Lastly, just figuring out the clip pattern sped things up quite a bit (I know, I mentioned that before, but I did say I've learned a "few" things).
post #681 of 1535
Speaking of camo pants and large thigh pockets. I (at the urging of fellow AVS'ers) purchased a tool belt. Came in very handy for just the things you speak of. Oh and the Lee Dungeree's Denim jeans with the hammer loop? Yeah, I actually during my build used the loop for what it was intended for. biggrin.gif

No worries with the little one, you could always move his room somewhere else, and besides at his age he doesn't really need to sleep does he?

Regards,

RTROSE
post #682 of 1535
Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post

However, I'm really worried about the soundproofing now. It's always had me a little concerned, but now I have a little proof that if the soundproofing doesn't work, my theater may be unusable after bedtime. That's really my primary motivation for going to all the trouble. If I can't keep the bass in, then I might as well be using headphones. There are certainly some areas that can pose a week link. We'll see.

Even with decoupling and two layers of 5/8" drywall with Green Glue, there will still be audible rumble heard outside the theater - although it will sound like a relatively quiet distant thunder and not really distinct sound. And I say this with the system volume at reference level. Screwing directly into the structure with an impact driver or power drill at this point would definitely be very audible as you found out. But don't fret - once you get the first layer of drywall in you will be happy and once the second layer with Green Glue goes in you will be very happy.
post #683 of 1535
Thread Starter 
RT, I thought about dragging out the tool belt, but it covers all the convenient places to hang my drill. I may use it when i start on the walls since it will be longer runs. BTW, the guy that decided to put a belt clip on a cordless drill should be nominated for some sort of prize. Fairly certain he's related to The Most Interesting Man In The World. biggrin.gif

TMcG, I hope you are right! If the noise from my finished theater is nothing more than a rumble, I'll be very pleased. When my wife came down the stairs to tell me my little boy was awake, I saw images of me sitting in my theater watching a movie wearing headphones.
post #684 of 1535
Thread Starter 
I managed to steal an hour and finish up my clips on the ceiling. I thought about taking a picture of each clip and posting it as proof, but I'll leave it at one smile.gif This particular row of clips is for the soffit at the front of the theater, so I added a clip at each joist. There are also extra clips at the side walls and the back.



I mentioned in an earlier post that I had to add some furring to the nook in the back of the theater due to the drain pipe. Here's a super exciting action shot of that (concrete is still curing after all). You can also see my door in that photo. I ordered a 1-3/4" solid core INTERIOR door, but they sent an exterior door instead. I think it will work out well, though. I'm planning to take the threshold off of the bottom and build one out of oak. The benefit is this thing is hung on a 1-1/2" thick jamb. Much thicker than the 3/4" thick jambs I usually see on interior doors.



And finally, I made a rookie mistake earlier and mentioned that I'd finished with the rough framing. Fortunately, I remembered that I needed to move this one stud so that I can route my HVAC supply behind my screen wall. The blue tape there on the floor is a rough layout of where my screen wall and riser will go.



Here's the post stud relocation shot. I spent longer finding all my tools than I did actually moving the stud. If you don't own a Sawzall, you really need to get one. This is NOT a precision instrument by any means, but if you're just looking for a way to cut something apart, that thing will do it! next time I'll use an even longer blade smile.gif



I also got my drywall lift today. I ordered it from Amazon on Friday with free shipping, and it showed up today. I was impressed!

Next up is insulation followed by adding some drywall at the top of my walls for fire blocking. Then it's time for clips on the walls and finally channel! I actually feel like I'm getting close to being ready for drywall! biggrin.gif
post #685 of 1535
Thread Starter 
Another update..... Man, I'm rolling lately smile.gif It's tough to go down there at night after the kids are in bed when I know I'll only have an hour or so. But I'm enjoying the work smile.gif It's fun to get to build something again!

Finished with the insulation in the room. I'll be glad to be done with the insulation. The thought of those glass fibers flying around my house and my kids is a little disturbing. I'll still have to fill my dead vents and risers, but at least the walls are done.

Here's a shot of the front of the room



Here's a shot of the back



I also cut all the strips of DW I'll need to do my fireblocking. I had a sheet of 1/2" laying around, so I cut it into 4" strips that I will screw to the top plate. This will hang down about 2" from the top plate, and give me something for my first layer of ceiling drywall to seal against. I'll run a bead of caulk between my fireblocking and my first layer of ceiling DW. Hopefully my first set of pictures of the DW on the ceiling with clear all that up.

BTW, I "think" 1/2" DW is suitable for what i'm doing here. If anyone knows differently, please let me know smile.gif Here's proof:



And a parting tip for anyone following along. In that first picture above, you can see some pages taped to the wall. One of the first things I did after getting my layout back from Dennis was annotate important dimensions and added notes, and taped it to the wall. That way I've got a reference handy rather than going and getting my laptop. I've also taped the clip layout and IB-1 clip spec sheet on the wall for reference as well. Just one of those things that will save you a few steps.
post #686 of 1535
Wow, you are really flying now! Looks great!

I agree with TMcG. Once you get the 2nd layer up with the GG and it has a month or so to cure, you will be amazed how little gets out of the room.

Keep up the good work!
post #687 of 1535
do you have a drywall square? much easier to cut drywall with rather than a level.
post #688 of 1535
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GWCR View Post

Wow, you are really flying now! Looks great!

I agree with TMcG. Once you get the 2nd layer up with the GG and it has a month or so to cure, you will be amazed how little gets out of the room.

Keep up the good work!

Thanks for the reassurance! I'm sure this is a case of me worrying for no reason, but I did get that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when I heard my wife coming down the stairs smile.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktm250rider View Post

do you have a drywall square? much easier to cut drywall with rather than a level.

I do not, but it is on my shopping list. I just keep forgetting to pick one up. My poor level has been asked to do things it was never designed for smile.gif
post #689 of 1535
Thread Starter 
This is what I'm going for, BIG. This is taken from one of the SIMs that I got from Ted and John. Because my ceiling is furred down, my ceiling layer is below by double top plate. I'm adding the extra DW to give me something to seal against. I'm I off track on this?

post #690 of 1535
Yes, I deleted my post when I looked at some more of your pictures and spotted the clips. To complete the fire-blocking you need to seal the back edge of the top plate. At this stage, packing in mineral wool works.
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