Should we paint over interior concrete or insulate then sheetrock?

Anonymous's Avatar (by Gravatar) by Anonymous in  Insulation 

Hi we just bought a house built in 1918 the walls seem to be solid concrete through and through. The walls are currently painted with some peeling.

Wanted to know the best way to handle this situation?

We can either paint the walls or put up sheetrock and insulate due to the low R value of concrete?
If we don't need to insulate should we scrape down all the paint on the concrete walls or can we paint on top of the paint already there?
There are some cracks in the walls how would we fill them in?
Is there a special method for painting and priming concrete?

If we need to insulate is there anything we should know that's unique to interior concrete walls regarding insulation?

We are trying to move into this house as soon as possible. I would have liked to work room by room but with two kids was concerned for lead paid so
I would want all work done before we move in.

Thanks so much any tips appreciated!

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Answer by

Just scrape and paint-over, then insulate the basement ceiling only, no drywall. You'll find the entire house and especially basement are quite comfortable. Insulating between floors and the attic or topmost ceiling are where almost all efficiency and comfort come from. Hot air rises and cold air falls. Hot or cold radiating through walls is EXTREMELY minimal in comparison.
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Only if, you wanted a finished live-in basement that actually looks and works like the rest of the house would you insulate and drywall, AFTER getting the home's full-time heating and cooling into the space...exactly the same as any other room in the house.
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IF, you want a drywall ceiling, then you'll need to remove plumbing valves and electrical boxes and safeguard plumbing pipes and electrical wires by spacing the ceiling down and away from them. Your other ceiling option is to skip all of that and install a slightly lower (2-inches) Drop-Ceiling of readily removable panels. BUT, you'll still be required to add lighting and electrical outlets to the basement...again, to make it the same as any other room in the house.
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Presuming the basement wall cracks are just minor or surface-only cracks, you can fill them with cement or even just caulk them for a flawless paint job...any worse cracks could be actual foundation problems of much more expense and effort. Lead Paint is only a concern where a kid can nibble at the paint, "Mouth-able Surfaces"...corners, columns and protrusions.

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