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I am writing from Montreal Canada and I am planning a basement reno. The house is a typical Montreal row house dating back to the 1920's and attached on either side. The foundation walls are made of stone and are in excellent condition considering the age. There has never been any problems with humidity or mold or water infiltration.

My question is this:
I am planning on finishing some portions of the wall and leaving the exposed stone in in other places. Now the foundation walls one either side of the house are attached to the neighbors' foundation walls and the walls in the front and back of the home are not. How do I go about finishing the wall with insulation, vapour barriers, and drywall so that I do not affect the integrity of the stone and mortar...or do I simply install the drywall without a vapour barrier so that the wall can breathe. Please note that heating the space is not an issue as there is already a few hot water radiators heating the space and the client is considering adding a high-efficiency gas or wood fireplace in the space.
I've had colleagues suggest anything from spray foaming the walls that will be drywalled all the way to doing nothing at all to the walls so that they can be ventilated behind the drywall & 2x4s.
As you can imagine from the location winters are particularly brutal as far as cold and snow are concerned.

Any thoughts...anyone?

thanks!
 

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I think it's good that you're smart enough to at least ask the question. Most people don't give much consideration to issues like this. If it were me, I'd go to the building science website and try to find a similar detail. The general rule of thumb though, is put your least permeable layer to the exterior, otherwise you need to look into venting the wall assembly. Good luck.:thumbsup:
 
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