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Basement perimeter wall construction

stlounick | Posted in Building Code Questions on

My basement has a full perimeter sump pump; drainage mat on wall from 1 foot below ground level to loop into the plastic cove that empties to the sump drain below; limestone foundation walls; penetrating sealer on the concrete floor.

I plan on installing light steel perimeter walls where no steel will touch the limestone foundation walls. Closed cell spray foam, treated with a fire barrier, will be installed professionally after plumbing and electrical runs are completed.

Behind the utility sink area, I plan on installing galvanized steel panels. My question is will I meet codes if I install the panels directly on the steel studs or do I have to install paperless drywall before installing the steel panels?

I do want to meet or exceed all applicable codes and I also plan on checking with my local building department before proceeding. But I want to understand my options first.


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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    Make sure that there is plenty of room between the steel studs and your foundation walls. I would aim for between 2 and 3 inches -- enough room so the spray foam contractor can get plenty of foam behind those steel studs. The steel studs are a thermal disaster, so a fairly substantial foam layer behind the studs is essential.

    For more information on this topic, see this article: How to Insulate a Basement Wall.

    I can't think of any reason why you can't install galvanized steel panels on your studs, but of course your local code authority will have the final say.

  2. stlounick | | #2

    Hi Martin. Thanks for your response. I'll make sure the steel studs are positioned away from the foundation as you suggest. Thanks, again!

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