Case Study: Basement renovation- historic house
(This is the first in what will be an ongoing series spotlighting some of our projects)
It's tough enough to do a successful basement remodel in a 20th century house. If you don't take care of the water, you'll have a disaster on your hands. Now imagine trying to get good clean, dry space in the basement of an 1830's house with a fieldstone foundation.
Our clients have a lovely Greek Revival home outside of Boston. With 4 young kids they really needed more space. A tight lot eliminated an addition from consideration, which meant that the basement was the only option. Here's what we started with:
The first step was to install a system to prevent water infiltration. We hired Pioneer Basement to do this work for us. They installed a perimeter drain system leading to a sump pump and also also a membrane over the fieldstone walls which would direct any water that came through the stone towards the drainpipe. This system is shown below.
With the water situation addressed, we proceeded to install framing and mechanical systems, as we would on any project:
Before closing up the walls, we had Icynene insulation sprayed against the membrane that covered the foundation walls. The Icynene really took the chill out of this space. We don't like to use fiberglass insulation on any of our projects, but it's particularly important, in our opinion, not to use fiberglass in a basement where it can pick up moisture and allow mold to grow.
After insulating we installed the finished walls and ceilings (plaster skimcoat over blueboard), flooring (cork flooring tiles), a built in entertainment center, and other finishes. In addition to a great playroom for the kids (and a football watching area for their dad complete with wine storage), their mom got a space for her art studio. This historic house basement renovation transformed what was a typical dark, damp basement into a really useful, pleasant space for this growing family.
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Mark Landry is the President of Landmark Services, Inc, one of the premier old house renovation contracting firms in Massachusetts. He loves old houses and would welcome the opportunity to discuss your renovation, restoration, or addition.