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My way of finishing a basement at the cottage

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  • Jan 29th, 2018 4:52 pm
[OP]
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My way of finishing a basement at the cottage

So about a year ago my basement at the cottage completely flooded, and with the mold and wet wood, drywall and insulation it is time to completely gut and refinish properly.

The old basement has a wood framed load bearing wall upon which sits a beam down the middle of the length of the building, with floor joists spanning approximately 11 feet from this main beam to each outside wall. The exterior walls are concrete block, and were framed, insulated and had vapour barrier installed by my Wife about 25 years ago soon after she purchased it (It was built less than 30 years ago). There were three rooms in the basement, a laundry room, a spare bedroom (never used) and a large storage room with the wood burning stove. The basement is bare concrete floor, uninsulated slab.

My plan is to add a sump pit for the few times a decade the water table rises enough to intersect the basement (The house foundation is only about two feet above the high winter lake level), properly construct and insulate new walls, properly insulate and wet proof the floor. and then finish it as a work storage area, possibly putting a rec room downstairs, or more of a guys hang out, toy storage and project area.

To start off, here are two images of the aftermath of the flood, and how damaged the basement is.

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Last edited by TomRFD on Jan 7th, 2018 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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[OP]
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So the gut was done over the summer, absolutely everything that could be removed was sent to the dump. about four small trailer loads, a lot of the stick framing was salvaged, cut down to remove the mold affected ends, sprayed with mold killer, and stored, and may be used for projects including a new shed or a tree house, but will not be used indoors no matter how well they cleaned up.

Later this fall I started with reconstruction of two of the four walls (there is only so much lumber a van can hold). I decided to go with 'Bluwood' as it is not a large project, the material is not too expensive, but I did have to source it in SW ontario (Waterloo) and drive it up to Barrys Bay.

Rigid Pink styrofoam was sourced along with Delta FL roll flooring at Home Hardware in Barrys Bay. Here are two images of the walls going up, and the flooring rolled out. Upper walls are 3" foamular C behind 2 x 4 studs, the lower sections are 1" Foamular C behind 2 x 6 studs, giving a total rough wall thickness of 6.5 inches from block wall to stud face. PL-300 (I think) was used to glue the rigid foam to the block walls after being constructed on the floor. The foam was attached using 4" screws with metal caps, just on every stud with the shiplap holding it in place.

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Image
"The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is."
Just a guy who dabbles in lots of stuff learning along the way. I do have opinions, and readily share them!
[OP]
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over the course of four days, I had the entire south wall and a short section of the west wall completed top to bottom, the east end wall top section framing done, and all of that covered by spray foamed myself using a Touch n Foam 600 kit. Plus the Delta FL laid down on the floor.

I only added about 1.5 to 2 inches at most of spray foam, as I did not need to do cavity fill as with the rigid foam I will be well over R-20 where it counts (I am thinking of an uninterrupted layer of 1/2" or 3/4" ISO foam on top of the studs, followed by some finished wall treatment, which will give close to R-30). Because of the thin layer of spray foam, I did not install electrical yet, but will do so later. Most electrical will be run along the lower 2 x 6 wall section (plugs every 12 feet) so I will likely have to trim back a minimal amount of foam, if any at all.

For flooring, I am going to lay 1/2" ISO foil rigid directly on top of the Delta FL, followed by 5/8" tongue and groove ply, using Tapcons 8 per sheet pattern, and I think on top of the Ply I will use some type of Industrial commercial high durability, low maintenance flooring, perhaps rolled rubber or something, but have to do some research as to what is best there.

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"The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is."
Just a guy who dabbles in lots of stuff learning along the way. I do have opinions, and readily share them!
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What is the advantage of the stacked framing? The upper and lower sections.
[OP]
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bubuski wrote: What is the advantage of the stacked framing? The upper and lower sections.
Good question~!

There are no real advantages, but doing it like that made things easier in a number of ways.
1 - Because I was planning to sprayfoam before electrical (due to time constraints) I wanted a little more room to run wiring and install boxes, which will happen only in the lower 2 x 6 section.
2 - I was bringing all my lumber 400km, so I precut multiple lengths down from 8' I think I had the equivalent of sixty 8 foot lengths in the van, but only about twenty were 8 ' long, so I could make the trip with the liftgate closed
3 - There is no real need for R-20 plus insulation a foot off the floor. So there was a little cost savings in rigid foam, probably around a hundred bucks for the whole basement, That's six good quality microbrew six packs~!
4 - I found it easier to take measurements to make the stacked wall fit perfectly snug against the Delta FL, rather than taking a lot of 7' plus measurements, I think I was taking 20" measurements.
5 - there was hardly enough room on the floor to build an 8' tall wall section on the floor and raise it in place.
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Just a guy who dabbles in lots of stuff learning along the way. I do have opinions, and readily share them!
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Dec 10, 2008
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Why did it flood in the first place?
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[OP]
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RCGA wrote: Why did it flood in the first place?
Eastern Ontario cottage country flooding in the spring of 2017, a combination of extremely high winter lake levels, high snow accumulation, a fast melt, and two weeks or so of unusually high rainfall immediately after the melt off.

The flooding in our area and others was what led to the flooding in the Ottawa River and ultimately Montreal Island and area.

Additionally, the cottage basement slab is probably only a foot or two above the high water level of the lake, which is only fifty feet away, and the cottage is on sand. This was definitely not the only 'flood' at the cottage, but it was the longest lasting and the highest water level. Based on the mold growth found on bottom plates of various ages (some when house was built, others five years later, and some when I did minor work ten years back) It is reasonable to conclude that infrequent flooding, perhaps once or twice every ten years or so, was an issue that plagued the house. I will be installing a sump pit
Last edited by fieldhousehandyman on Jan 7th, 2018 6:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is."
Just a guy who dabbles in lots of stuff learning along the way. I do have opinions, and readily share them!
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fieldhousehandyman wrote: Additionally, the cottage basement slab is probably only a foot or two above the high water level of the lake, which is only fifty feet away, and the cottage is on sand. This was definitely not the worst 'flood' at the cottage, but it was the longest lasting and the highest water level. Based on the mold growth found on bottom plates of various ages (some when house was built, others five years later, and some when I did minor work ten years back) It is reasonable to conclude that infrequent flooding, perhaps once or twice every ten years or so, was an issue that plagued the house. I will be installing a sump pit
Are you confident in your sump size, etc? Looks like a rather severe flood risk, especially if at worst you have to pump out the lake..
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We put in a second sump hole in Bracebridge area after the last few years. We are higher from the lake (maybe 6’? And 120’ away) but from the road to the cottage and eventually the lake is a nice 30 degree slant and we are in a valley so we get run off from up the hill and down into our area. Our across the street neighbours are also on the lake so they get some runoff too. In a normal spring we used to get water in from road runoff as there wasnt a proper swale put in around the 40’ of cottage and another 25’ of attached garage that face the road (its a big face to the road that collects water).

We havent flooded since the sump pump quit a number of years ago, but we are also block wall foundation. We did 3/4 styrofoam, 2x4 Roxul laid horizontally, then 2x4 studs also filled with Roxul and spray foamed the snot out of the joist bays. Just putting up the styrofoam raised the basement temperature by 2 degrees Fahrenheit. We dont have the room to add floor insulation and are unlikely to ever finish the basement beyond the ping pong and power tools/storage of stuff we do and dont need.

In all, nice job OP. I do like the blue wood.
[OP]
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hoob wrote: Are you confident in your sump size, etc? Looks like a rather severe flood risk, especially if at worst you have to pump out the lake..
I should have clarified that the slab is only a foot or two above the highest ever observed late winter lake level, and about 5 to 6 feet at least above the summer lake level. For the first five years my wife lived there alone, She only had one flood, with a few inches of water in the basement, that only lasted a few days.

I am certain that over the last 17 years we have been married it has only flooded twice, once to the same level of a few inches, pumped out and dried after a week, and then this recent extraordinary event, where about a foot of water ingressed.

I plan to install a concrete walled sump pit approximately 3' x 5' in size, and up to 3' or more in depth. I plan to dig it out and temporarily brace the walls, gravel the bottom, and monitor water levels over an entire year before finalizing the depth.

I am fairly certain that a 1/2 hp sump pump that intercepts the water table two feet or so below the slab will entirely prevent water in the basement.
"The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is."
Just a guy who dabbles in lots of stuff learning along the way. I do have opinions, and readily share them!
[OP]
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Jerico wrote: We put in a second sump hole in Bracebridge area after the last few years....

We havent flooded since the sump pump quit a number of years ago, but we are also block wall foundation.... .

In all, nice job OP. I do like the blue wood.
Thanks for the input! Fortunately for us, overland water flow is absolutely not an issue, as the soil is virtually 100% mid to coarse sand, so any of the previous water ingress issues have all been high water table related, there is no evidence at all of water ever coming through the block walls.

My brother in law who has helped dry it out on some of the past occasions said this spring after he drained and got it mostly dry, he could see water ingressing from the joint between the slab and the lowest course of block.

Good that you have had no issues after you added your additional sump pit.

Thanks for the comments
"The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is."
Just a guy who dabbles in lots of stuff learning along the way. I do have opinions, and readily share them!
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I decided to sprayfoam as well. Less itchy and less time consuming than roxul.
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Ah i remember this flood. you're right it was like a once in a decade flood.
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+1 for the Bluwood, I framed our basement with it in full. Definitely worth the minor addition in cost to help mitigate risk of any potential water issues down the line. Was the 2x6 Bluwood special order? The Lowes near me (Toronto Castlefield) only carries 2x4 and 3/4'' ply.

Did you frame your wall on top of the Delta, or is Delta just butted up to the sill plate?

Beautiful job, subscribed. Very interested to see how this all turns out.
[OP]
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jacquesstrap wrote: +1 for the Bluwood, I framed our basement with it in full. Definitely worth the minor addition in cost to help mitigate risk of any potential water issues down the line. Was the 2x6 Bluwood special order? The Lowes near me (Toronto Castlefield) only carries 2x4 and 3/4'' ply.

Did you frame your wall on top of the Delta, or is Delta just butted up to the sill plate?

Beautiful job, subscribed. Very interested to see how this all turns out.
Both the 2 x 4 and the 2 x 6 were in stock at Lowes Waterloo, they also had 2 x 3 and the ply, but are running out of stock soon.

Framing was on top of the Delta-FL, as the wall is not load bearing, and is 'hung' from the joists and glued to the block wall also, You should be able to see the Delta FL rolled tight up against the block wall in one of the photographs. I wanted the added protection of raising the sill plate a half inch off the concrete on a plastic/air barrier support over just having the sill plate on a gasket, which I really don't think is all that good.

Thanks again~!
Last edited by fieldhousehandyman on Jan 10th, 2018 4:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is."
Just a guy who dabbles in lots of stuff learning along the way. I do have opinions, and readily share them!
[OP]
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nx6288 wrote: Ah i remember this flood. you're right it was like a once in a decade flood.
In our area, it probably would easily meet the criteria for 'hundred year flood' The lake levels on Kaminiskeg were the highest in recorded history, approximately four to five feet above summer levels, and at least two feet above any levels recorded in the last few decades.
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fieldhousehandyman wrote: In our area, it probably would easily meet the criteria for 'hundred year flood' The lake levels on Kaminiskeg were the highest in recorded history, approximately four to five feet above summer levels, and at least two feet above any levels recorded in the last few decades.
Yup, the roadway to island was even under water.
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Just wondering why you never installed a puck system ( water proofing ) behind the foam on walls since you said over years small leaks. Yes I know at bottom joint but still your using on floor and could had made and envelope even with the bottom foot.

As well you should look into a battery backup subpump, I know the area and power outages are common and for a under $400 investment = piece of mind.
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theguyz wrote: Just wondering why you never installed a puck system ( detra ) behind the foam on walls since you said over years small leaks. Yes I know at bottom joint but still your using on floor and could had made and envelope even with the bottom foot.

As well you should look into a battery backup subpump, I know the area and power outages are common and for a under $400 investment = piece of mind.
To clarify, the walls have never leaked, ever, and the exterior of the block wall is painted / coated with waterproofing tar. The only way the water has ever gotten in is by rising through the slab, more specifically the edge joint of the slab, or possibly even the concrete block base for the center load bearing wall. For this reason, the additional expense of an interior wall dewatering system was not justified.

And I will definitely be considering a battery backup system, but it also depends on when I go solar...
"The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is."
Just a guy who dabbles in lots of stuff learning along the way. I do have opinions, and readily share them!
[OP]
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theguyz wrote: Yup, the roadway to island was even under water.
My wife and brother in law know a few people on Mask Island, and It left the road under half a foot of water~! The top of the culvert is at least close to three feet under the paved surface, and I have never seen the water level within a foot of the top, leading to my conclusion that the water could have been three or four feet higher than normal, or more.
"The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is."
Just a guy who dabbles in lots of stuff learning along the way. I do have opinions, and readily share them!

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