Background: Newer construction, poured foundation with rubberized membrane and Dow blue foam on the exterior of foundation, perforated tile at footings on interior and exterior emptying into sump well. Experienced two years of seasonal changes – never any leaks, seepage, or signs of water (besides the tile network doing it’s job and emptying into the sump). The basement remains cool in summer, warm in winter – ductwork is installed above, but we keep the grates closed.
I’m planning on finishing our basement in stages.
Right now, I’d like to put up some walls to divide the mechanical area from the future finished space (mainly so my three sons don’t explore where they shouldn’t be exploring….). I also want to frame out space around our sump pump (make it look like a corner closet/pantry area.
The mechanical area – about 1/3 of the square footage – would remain unfinished storage. The future finished area would become one large rec room/home theater/bar area.
I have enough floor space that I can build most of the walls – excluding the egress window area where I’ll build window seats – far enough away from the foundation to access the space later (I’ve mapped out a 24” perimeter around all the exterior walls that’ll be finished with chalk to sketch the space). My thought is this – with enough space to maneuver between the foundation and backside of the finished studwall, I can install whatever types of wiring we need in the future, allow for air to circulate around and over the walls (suspended/drop ceiling), and monitor for any leaks down the road.
In the unfinished storage area, I’ll be running a dehumidifier to balance humidity regardless of my method of finishing.
Is it still necessary to use a vapor barrier between the foundation and the finished, drywall covered studs?