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Exposed Block In Basement

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Old 03-12-2018, 03:07 PM   #1
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Exposed Block In Basement

I am remodeling a basement and the owner wants to keep the block wall exposed. If it's an existing condition do I have to insulate the block walls in Fairfax County?
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Old 03-12-2018, 03:35 PM   #2
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Re: Exposed Block In Basement

I cannot possibly think of someone who could answer this more quickly and accurately than a building inspector from Fairfax County. Certainly no random person from other parts of the world on these forums anyway.....

Give them a two minute call. Almost always willing to talk about these kinds of things with builders ahead of time so they don't have to deal with them later.

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Old 03-12-2018, 04:55 PM   #3
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Re: Exposed Block In Basement

Typical homeowner question... If you, not a homeowner how long you in the business to be asking this question... Is this your first basement remodeling?
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Old 03-12-2018, 06:55 PM   #4
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Re: Exposed Block In Basement

How can you know if the Building inspector is or isn't making up stuff that is not in the Building Code if you have not read it start to finish?

How do you price a job without KNOWING code requirements?

The State Code requires R10 outside of concrete/mass walls, or R 13 inside. slab to ceiling.....
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Last edited by Fouthgeneration; 03-12-2018 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 03-14-2018, 05:01 AM   #5
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Re: Exposed Block In Basement

Regardless of your city or state code, you need to go by the 2012 Energy act. They should be the same anyway.
Starting January 1st, 2012, the Energy Code, that was modified, went into effect. The one major change was that all states had to follow the Energy Code. Before Jan. 1, 2012, the code was there, but it said that states could use their own code, if they chose to do so.

Here is a link.

This version is broken down into an easy to read format.
On p.11, you will find "Any nonconditioned space that is altered to become
conditioned space shall be required to be brought into full
compliance with this code
 Converting a garage to a family room
 Heating an unfinished basement "

Page 15 shows the climate zones.
It appears that you are in zone 4.

Page 34 shows the walls covered by IECC.
Basement walls is listed.

P. 44 Defines below grade walls.

As said above, the local building inspector should be happy to answer your question. He'll know exactly what you are talking about, since you already have the permit or will be getting one.
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Old 03-14-2018, 02:08 PM   #6
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Re: Exposed Block In Basement

I'd really question this homeowner carefully. They don't sound like a good candidate for a happy remodel project. Exposed concrete block is going to detract from any remodel you do, first of all they. They are likely to not like it. Second, the basement is going to feel cold due to radiated cold from the wall. Third, they are going want to heat the room and with no insulation the bills are going to be higher than necessary. The cost in terms of loss of room size and framing are well worth it. I'd walk away if they don't want to do the excavation and remodel correctly.

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Old 03-15-2018, 01:45 AM   #7
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Re: Exposed Block In Basement

A CMU wall can't be destroyed by getting wet......

Rub it down with a rubbing stone, prime and paint, you are DONE....

Insulate the EXTERIOR face, save 50$ of space every foot of wall.

You can install outside plastic/ polystyrene based insulation that won't rot or grow mold.... NO ADDED FUEL load inside the house other then the removable rug(s). Only mouth breathers install carpets below the water table.......

The Thermal mass of the wall(s) reduces the # of starts of your HVAC system lengthening its service life at Zero cost.

If you must "finish" the wall, glue on some fiberglass rock, NO paper faced products in the mold Zone. Plastic mop boards....
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Old 03-15-2018, 08:33 PM   #8
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Re: Exposed Block In Basement

+1 reading IBC 2012

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