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Basement Systems And Listener Questions

by The Handyguys

in Audio Podcasts

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The Handyguys address a listener question about his air conditioning and then talk about basement finishing systems.

Ranch Style HouseOur listener Marc used our new call-in feature on the website and asked us about his air conditioning system. Marc’s question, in summary is

I live in a ranch style house that has two HVAC zones. We spend most of the time in only half of the house. Would it be OK to turn off the system in the half of the house we don’t use?

Great question Mark.

Before we answer – Mark has a great podcast and website for woodworkers called The Wood Whisperer. If you ever want to be inspired to do some woodworking yourselves make sure you check out what Mark is doing online.
OK, back to marks question. Short answer is yes. You will have spill-over from one half to another. A simple solution would be to just put up a heavy drape to keep the cool air in the part of the house you are in. We would also recommend not turning off the system completely but just turn it back. An automatic setback thermostat can help with this. There could be issues – Does the system share duct work throughout the house? Will the “design committee” allow for such a guy thing as a curtain in the middle of the house? Does the floor plan even allow for a separation?

Maybe you can make friends with an HVAC guy, invite him over for a beer, and ask his opinion.

Listen to the podcast to hear Marc ask his question and for our more detailed answer.

Thanks to Owens Corning for the picture of their system going in

Thanks to Owens Corning for the picture of their system going in

Basement Finishing Systems

The Handyguys, Brian and Paul, have both done DIY basement finishing. We have been asked our opinions on so called basement finishing systems. These are not DIY solutions. A company will come in and use their system of pre-fabricated panels to put up your walls.

Some companies offering these systems

  • Owens Corning
  • Impressive Basement Systems
  • Ultimate Basement Makeover
  • Basement Living Systems
  • Basement Max
  • Beyond Basement
  • Basement Tuxedo

Handyguy Paul found an old webpage where the author recounts his experience with one of these systems. Check it out – Owens Corning Basement System Experiences.

Brian and Paul discuss the pros and cons of these systems. Listen to the podcast for all the details. Oh, and we ran out of time. Make sure you check out next weeks episode (link wont work until next week) where we finish the discussion! If you subscribe you will get the new show automatically. Cool.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Tim Troy August 5, 2009 at 6:18 pm

Hi. When you cover flooring on the follow-up to this episode, please let me know what you think of cork flooring in a dry basement. I have an unfinished room that I want to turn into a more comfortable gym. I plan to properly insulate the walls, put in baseboard electric heat, and improve the lighting. The cork seemed like it might work for this idea but wanted to hear your opinions.

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The Handyguys August 10, 2009 at 8:00 am

Tim – I think cork would be a great option. I don’t have a home gym myself but cork is soft and may be a good option. You can get it in sheets on in click together panels. Make sure the manufacture of the flooring system rates it for “below grade” applications and that you follow their install instructions.

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Anne W. Parker June 22, 2012 at 10:18 am

We make a Wall System that is top notch, attractive, affordable and easy for the DIYer.

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