A.Paul Fisette, director of Building Materials and Wood Technology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a JLC contributing editor, responds: For the typical basement remodel, this is probably not a good plan. In fact, I think that in most cases it’s a recipe for collecting moisture, and it has the potential to create an unhealthy level of mold and mildew. The first question to ask is: What moisture are you trying to control? The answer may be slightly confusing, because your wall assembly needs to control moisture moving from the outside to the inside as well as from inside to outside.
Unless you can verify that the basement was built with good moisture protection, I would proceed with caution. Your approach places an impermeable plastic vapor barrier on the both the warm and the cold side of the 2x4 wall you want to build.
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