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WEEK 12 : Warm floors without radiant heat.

Owners of our houses comment on how warm the basement floors feel. Some people even think they have radiant heating, although we never recommend it except for heating bathroom floors. The way we achieve this is by installing underfloor insulation. In an energy efficient building, insulating against the always cold ground is important. It removes a large source of heat loss, gives a warm feeling underfoot in winter and avoids dampness in the summer from the condensation of humid air on a cold surface.

This week, our superintendent Tom, and his assistant, Brandon, laid 2 inches of blue R10 foam board over the entire basement area. The edges have a special overlapping joint called “shiplap” to avoid cold gaps.

On top, we install a yellow moisture barrier called Stegowrap. This new product is a premium 15-mil vinyl that is puncture proof and virtually water vapour proof. It’s sealed to the walls and pipes using tape and thick gooey mastic. With a high water table below, moisture has a constant trend to move up through the concrete. This barrier will allow us to use wood floors in the basement and prevent the potential for dampness in the concrete (which also adds to the humidity load in the summer).

The next day, the concrete arrived and was leveled and troweled smooth. Now we have a level, flat floor. We will be able to install the basement walls so the plumbing and heating contractors can start work soon.

At the same time, a lot was happening on the top floor. The masons returned and installed the last part of the north red concrete block wall. The framer returned on Thursday and Friday and raised the gable walls. With the window openings cut out, we can begin to see the final shape of the building.

Next week, if this fabulous fall weather continues, Tom and his crew will complete all of the roof framing and plywood – ready for shingles.

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