Finishing a Basement

Handy man in traing here. I have a few questions in regards to finishing a basement?
1) metal vs wood studs. I've never had a problem with water in basement and was just wondering which would be the better option?
2) How far off the cement walls typically are the studs placed to frame the walls?
3) insulation: What r-value should i be looking for living in Michigan? Is the foam board a better option that the rolls in the walls?
4) lastly would using greenboard be a overkill or should i just use regular drywall.
Thanks for any help and advice, Nate
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On Fri, 04 Aug 2006 12:38:36 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@spam.invalid (nateneu2424) wrote:

If the basement walls get VERY cold, as they might in Michigan, you can have some discoloration show through the drywall if metal studs are used. It usually shows up as blackish lines.This used to be a problem, not sure if it is still true with newer materials.
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nateneu2424 wrote:

FWIW;
Having had my basement complete finished and buttoned up for some years not where you are just planning, the one thing I "WISH" is had was access to certain areas behind the walls. I've recently seen several TV ads for a basement finishing system from (I think) Owens-Corning that includes instructions, studs, vapor barrier, wall materials, fasteners, etc.
Might be worth looking at for your answers AND the wall panels are removable after installation should that ever be necessary.
Good luck.
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1) metal vs wood studs. I've never had a problem with water in basement and was just wondering which would be the better option?
Wood studs, 2x3 would be good. 2x4 if you got the room. I would use pressure treated wood on the sill plates on the floor. Ramset them right in.
2) How far off the cement walls typically are the studs placed to frame the walls?
I would be AT LEAST 1" away from the outside wall. 2" would be more comfortable.
3) insulation: What r-value should i be looking for living in Michigan? Is the foam board a better option that the rolls in the walls?
This depends too. I used r13 encapsulated insulation down there. It basically provided me with sound and thermal insulation. Worked out OK.
4) lastly would using greenboard be a overkill or should i just use regular drywall.
Greenboard is good down there, especially on the lower half if you ever had a flood. Otherwise regular is OK. I used allot of greenboard because at the time is was minimally more money. So I said why not. The only spot your not suppose to use it is on the ceiling (this was according to the manufacturers info)
One thing to recommend is MAKE SURE that you do NOT have to put or do any additional work behind those walls. If there is plumbing or something else behind those walls you need to make sure everything is tip top shape before sealing it all up. Thats one of the downsides of drywall. In my case most of my work was against blank concrete walls. Any sort of access areas that I may need to go to I bought oak cabinet doors off of ebay and make a frame. It came ok pretty good. I just need to get my carpet guy in there soon to finish it up.
Tom
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You may not have water in the basement but your walls may get wet and mold anyway when sealed, I put in remevable panels incase of future issues. Steel has no insulating value, go wood. Foamboard blue or pink is R5 per", Foilfaced polyisocyanurate is R 6.8", fiberglass batt is only R3.5". Im just south of you and used 3" polyiso foamboard. You have little room so foamboard makes a big difference in winter to keep out the cold.
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nateneu2424 wrote:

Try here: http://www.extremehowto.com/xh/article.asp?article_id `211

Metal studs are far superior to wood studs.

1"
No opinion.

Regular drywall.
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Metal can rust and is not as strong as wood, wiring needs special protection from sharp edges

R20, foam is much more expensive but will not absorb water like fiberglass or cellulose. Also foam needs no vapour barrier.
Make sure you airseal the walls

Regular
Other:
You may also want to insulate the concrete floor for comfort.
Insulate above the ceiling for sound control and energy efficiency, especially if you heat the basement room independently from the upstairs.
I've always regretted finishing my ceiling with drywall, looks better than suspended but NO access!
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Martik wrote:

But galvanized metal studs won't.

So? You don't kill a fly with a sledge hammer.

True, but that's no big deal.

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