Tim Healey

Q: I was recently asked about finishing a basement in a home located in a very cold climate. Plans would include cutting a doorway in the foundation for a walk out, with the grade retained on both sides of the opening. Is there a way to protect the footing and foundation from frost using exterior insulation once the opening is cut?

A: Steve Baczek, a residential architect from Reading, Mass., who specializes in building science, responds: The detail you would need to protect the door exit is not unlike a frost-protected shallow foundation. In this case, you’d have to excavate and insulate the foundation and the footing below the doorway. But one of my building mantras is “...

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