Finished space can add resale value, but only if done right
You can apply 1 1/2-inch polystyrene (R-value of 7.5) or 2-inch (R-10) directly to the walls with adhesive. The sheets are 2 feet by 8 feet, and the long edges are notched to accept furring strips every 2 feet.
You can then install drywall or other wall finish materials directly to the furring or, depending on the level of insulation you want to achieve, you can add a second layer of rigid foam to the furring, then add your wall finish. Conduit can be attached to the walls first for electrical wiring, and the polystyrene is easy to route out as needed over the conduit.
Obstacles such as posts or other structural supports can be framed around using two-by-fours. Horizontal duct runs and large horizontal plumbing runs can be framed into overhead soffits. If there's a sufficient amount of headroom, a suspended ceiling allows for the installation of decorative, sound-deadening tiles that are easily removable to allow access to overhead utilities.
Basement conversions can be a very rewarding use of existing space, and they can add a lot of resale value to your home -- but only if they're done right. If you have any questions about moisture control, insulation, structural issues, zoning or anything else, be sure to get them answered by the pros before you get started!
Remodeling and repair questions? Email Paul at email@example.com. All product reviews are based on the author's actual testing of free review samples provided by the manufacturers.
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