LESLIE: If you’re thinking about finishing your basement, you might be Matt in Georgia who’s joining us next. What can we do for you?
LESLIE: Thanks, Matt.
TOM: Our pleasure, Matt. So what are you working on?
MATT: Well, we have a storage room which is part of our basement and it’s got cement block on two walls and on one wall it has a pipe that extends out that goes vertically up and down the wall and it sticks out about four or five inches from the wall.
TOM: OK, like a plumbing pipe or something? A vent pipe or something?
MATT: Exactly, a vent or a drain pipe. I’m not sure. But I need to be able to put some drywall on that cement block and finish out that room. The ceiling is finished. I just need to finish that.
TOM: First of all, what we want you to do is to frame a wall away from the cement block. I know you’re giving up a little bit of square footage in doing that but you’re better off not attaching the wood and then the drywall right to the concrete block because …
LESLIE: You’re just going to have a whole moisture situation.
TOM: Yeah, yeah. It’s really damp and it’s just not a good thing to do. So we would recommend that you frame a wall out in front and that will deal with the pipe issue.
LESLIE: But only like six inches or so, right?
TOM: Or less. I mean you could just leave a little bit of a space between, say, the bottom sill plate and the concrete block but bring it out in front of it.
Secondly, don’t use regular drywall. Use a product called Dens Armor which is a fiberglass-faced drywall. You don’t want to put a paper …
LESLIE: It’s from Georgia-Pacific.
TOM: Yeah, you don’t want to put a paper-faced product down there because it becomes mold food in that damp space. So if you use the Dens Armor product, which you can get at Depot or at Lowe’s and lots of other home centers, you can put a drywall surface there that’s not going to grow any mold.
LESLIE: And it finishes exactly the same way as traditional drywall, so you don’t have to worry about doing anything extra special. (Tom and Matt chuckle)
MATT: Sounds good.
TOM: Alright, Matt. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.