Basement Insulation and Finishing Systems

Few people realize how much energy loss can occur through an un-insulated or unfinished basement.
Building performance testing has revealed that as much as 20% of the energy loss in a newer home can
be traced to the exposed basement concrete walls. A house with an un-insulated basement has a “hole”
in the bottom of the building’s thermal boundary and is essentially no different than walking on cold
ground. As a matter of fact, in order for a new home to meet Energy Star criteria, the basement must
be insulated. Take a moment to consider the following:

• A 6 to 8 inch thick wall of concrete has an R-Value of 1,
• The frost-line in Colorado is 3 to 4 feet deep in the winter,

• That means the upper half of the wall is below freezing,
• The ground doesn’t reach a constant 55 degrees until over 12 feet deep,
• The amount of energy (heat) that a below-grade concrete wall can absorb is unlimited,

As a result un-insulated basements are responsible for:

Cold floors above,
Large energy losses from exposed ductwork,
Basements that are too uncomfortable to use in winter,
Moisture, condensation, mold and/or dank odors.
Build-up of Radon gases.



Furthermore improper insulating and/or finishing of below grade walls can cause or exacerbate the conditions mentioned above.

In an effort to achieve the “most energy saved per dollar invested” and in the interest of health and human safety, This Efficient House can insulate and finish basements in a basic cost-effective manner at a fraction of the costs of full-blown remodeling project. For example, a basic “one-big-room” approach, which includes air sealing, insulation, framing, drywall installation finished and primed, can be accomplished for $8.50 - $10.00 per square foot, plus a $1500-$2000 allowance for basic electrical including outlets and lights. Of course all work is performed to BPI and building code requirements.

For some insight into the complexity and importance of basement insulation systems, follow this link:



Energy Audits I Air Seal/Insulate I New Windows I Whole-House Fans I Hot-Water Heaters I Heating & Cooling I Basements
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