Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Basement Workshop

I am very excited to announce the newest project I am working on.  It is going to be a workshop in my currently unfinished basement. 

My previous house had a small workshop which was nice, but shared the space with the boiler and oil tank.  This house has a much larger unfinished basement area that is going to allow me to have a dedicated workshop that is separate from the rest of the basement.  It has always been a dream of mine to have a nice workshop.  This will make organizing my tools easier as well as keeping the dust out of the rest of the basement (important because we have a forced hot air system now).

I bought a Dust Collection system off of Craigslist and will install it into a closet with my 17-gallon air compressor.  I will run lines to the individual tools for both of these.

It has always been my dream (I know I am weird!) to use spray foam for insulation.  It is the best insulation out there and closed cell is an automatic vapor barrier (1.5" or thicker).  With an R-Value of 7 per inch, it outperforms any other insulation out there. 

So, I convinced my wife to let me spray foam the basement walls in the workshop.  The plan is to spray foam the rest of the basement at a later point. 

I contacted 4-6 spray foam contractors and only received responses from 2.  I had them both give me quotes for 2" of closed cell spray foam.  They varied by about 33%.  Got references from each and since they both received glowing recommendations, I went with the less expensive one. 

Over the last couple of years I have read many many articles, blog posts and such on the best methods to finish basements.  Of course all of them agree that spray foam is the best way to insulate.  But I did see an article on HomeConstructionImprovement on insulating a basement.  He uses 2" XPS Foam sheets glued and taped onto the concrete walls as well as how to insulate the rim joist.  My rim joist currently has unfaced fiberglass batts stuffed into the cavity.  Not ideal and not sealed well as well as potential for mold and other things. 

I decided that I would price out doing the XPS foam just to see if the spray foam was prohibitively more expensive and if my dreams would be crushed by my practical side.

To do the workshop with XPS Foam, I would need 23 sheets at a cost of about $30/sheet with tape.  Just for the walls (not including rim joist), it would be $690.  The lower spray foam quote was $940 including rim joist.  And I don't need to install it, it is a perfect seal and it is SPRAY FOAM!!

In preparation for the spray foam, I removed the door leading to the bulk head, and cleaned out the area of all tools and such so the installers wouldn't have anything in the way.  The spray foam installers came by yesterday around 2PM and were pulling out of the driveway by 5:15PM.  There is no way I could have done the XPS foam in 3.25 hours...I was thinking more like 2 days.

I placed my order with Lowe's for all materials that should be delivered tomorrow afternoon.  I will start construction this Saturday.  Not sure how far I will get, but will definitely be taking pics.

Oh yeah...and I love Google Sketchup.  I have used it to design my basement.  It made it easy to calculate exactly how many 2x4's I would need, how I would lay things out, how much electrical, number of outlets, location of things.  It really is a great tool.  Kind of difficult to use because you have to draw each item at least once.

Before pics of the basement

After spray foam!!

Because the stairs are pre-cast, I wanted them to seal the section where the concrete meets the steps.  

I am VERY HAPPY with the way it turned out!  I am excited to finally have a nice workshop.

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