I'm new to Home Improvement. I've been planning to start (slowly) finishing my basement myself. The first thing I need to do is tear down the existing ruined insulation and replace it.

I'm trying to find options for 'waterproof' or 'water-resistant' foam insulation panels - there are none at the local Home Depot & Lowes - and I suspect that if I knew what I was doing, there might be better options for where to purchase 'home improvement' supplies.

Any suggestions? Do professionals buy from Lowes & Home Depot? Should I try to find a different local place? How do I find a local business that sells these types of supplies?

  • Depends if the B.O.R.G. and the B.B.R.G. have stomped out your local lumberyards/buildings suppliers or not. Search, and ye shall find, or not. – Ecnerwal Dec 5 '15 at 22:29
  • Apart from taking care of good materials, my experience with that kind of jobs is that 50% of success comes from careful, exact and thouhgt-over effort. – Marek Oleszczuk Dec 6 '15 at 8:30
  • Where are you at? – DMoore Jan 4 '16 at 22:11
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    You need to deal with your water issues first, or you're asking for a repeat of the moisture problem--mold, rot, stink. – isherwood Jan 4 '16 at 22:20
  • Most home centers can order this sort of stuff if they don't stock it. Ask them, or check their online catalog. – keshlam Jan 5 '16 at 7:12

EPS (white, like styrofoam) or XPS (pink or blue) foam panels should be available there and are just what you need. EPS is cheaper per R-value and easier on the environment to manufacture and should be preferred if you have the choice. Polyiso foam could also work although I don't know if Home Depot sells that stuff. Other big box chains may. I think Menards does. Other locations to get insulation boards would be lumber yards and construction supply houses. If you're buying in bulk (e.g. enough for a whole basement) they'll totally sell to you.

Finishing a basement can be tricky to do safely, though, as you've already discovered based on your need to redo what someone else did. Here is an article that you should fully read and understand before proceeding: http://buildingscience.com/documents/digests/bsd-103-understanding-basements

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  • EPS is not waterproof. XPS is. – Ecnerwal Dec 5 '15 at 22:29
  • Neither is "waterproof." But neither needs to be for an interior basement wall application since neither would hold back water coming in through the wall. – iLikeDirt Dec 5 '15 at 22:33
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    I would stay away from PolyIso in possibly wet situations, it loves to hold onto water, and the weight can cause problems. – ench Jan 4 '16 at 23:44

Can you start with a faucet or washer hoses or painting or light fixture updates instead? "Finishing" a basement includes a lot & should only be done when water or even just "moisture" issues are handled, electrical outlets & lights are wired everywhere, ceiling joists are built-down with plumbing & wiring being moved or updated, foundation walls being solidified, possible height considerations to meet or exceed legality if you desire a "warm floor". You won't enjoy the process nor the result if those aren't all major parts of your plan.

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