Is your newly built, energy-efficient, eco-friendly home still cold and expensive to heat? It’s probably your floor. In well-constructed, insulated, efficient newer homes an uninsulated basement or crawlspace can be accountable for possibly 50% of heat loss.
For homes with conventional construction basements these can be insulated on the inside or the outside. Interior insulation can be either wet-spray, batt, rigid foam, or extruded/expanded poly. If rigid foam is used, most agencies having jurisdiction will require they be covered with drywall.
If the decision is to insulate the outside, then extruded or expanded polystyrene is typically used. Where exposed to the elements, it must be covered. Several materials such as metal to blend in with siding, cement board or something similar to stucco.
An option to consider during construction is insulating concrete form. This is basically giant foam building blocks for grown-ups (although, most kids would love to build forts from them). These giant foam blocks are the form for the concrete to be poured in. The foam remains in place after the concrete has cured, providing incredible insulation.
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