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Am I required to insulate my conrete basement walls?

Am I required to insulate my conrete basement walls?

New postby pnemery on Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:34 pm

I am finishing my basement (I live in climate zone 5) and do no want to go through the expense of putting up vapor block, insulation, and drywall. Also the added thickness will put other things out of code, such as the toilet being too close to the wall. The basement itself has never had problems with moisture or even being cold in the winter. I have a vague handout from the building department that states "Basement Wall R-Value = 10/13". If I must insulate, does that not take away my option as a homeowner to decide? I know it will save me money, but that is my decision to make. Thanks for the help!

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Re: Am I required to insulate my concrete basement walls?

New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:52 pm

Hi Paul,

pnemery wrote:I am finishing my basement ...

If I must insulate, does that not take away my option as a homeowner to decide? I know it will save me money, but that is my decision to make.


That is well within the purview of the applicable code.

Now, if you lived out in the middle of nowhere and did not use any electricity or burn wood, coal, etc., and decided to live in an unheated cave ... you would not have any thermal insulation requirements.

However, once you join society and civilization you are expected to contribute to the overall aspects of that society and that includes not wasting energy - even if you want too - as that harms your fellow members of society.

If you want to finish your basement, then your basement is required to be supplied with suitable heat, and that means the basement needs to meet the requirements of the energy code section of the building codes.

There is nothing different about that than requiring the rest of the house to meet the building codes.
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