For questions generally relating to habitable spaces in a home below ground level, and to foundation types that include a space of this type.

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1
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1answer
67 views

How should I build a low profile stud wall in a basement?

I'm considering several options for building out a wall in a basement. Unfortunately, due to the way that the stairs leading to the basement are positioned in my house and the spacing I have to build ...
6
votes
5answers
445 views

How many Tapcons should be used to anchor a baseplate to a concrete floor?

I'm building a non-structural wall in my basement. I'm using Pressure-treated lumber on top of a foam sill gasket to protect from any moisture. How many tapcons should be used per 8-foot length to ...
3
votes
2answers
80 views

What can I do about my deteriorating basement floor with a large hole that seems to go right through to clay?

We live in 90 year old house with an unfinished basement. I've been working on removing a lot of the crap that the previous owner did, and removing a lot of concrete debris. Then I ran into this ...
1
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0answers
45 views

How can I determine which pipe is the drain and which is the vent in rough plumbing?

My basement has the below slab drains pre-piped, but just capped off. Coming up through the slab is a 4" cast iron pipe (toilet), (2) 2" pipes sink/vent and then a 10" or 12" square filled with stone ...
5
votes
2answers
487 views

how critical are distances between studs?

I'm in the process of finishing my basement (east-central Minnesota, US). So far, I've put up a couple of wood stud walls... non-load bearing, simple partition walls. One one of these walls, the ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it OK to block off an unused root cellar to mitigate moisture problems?

I have a root/cold cellar underneath my front porch. The walls appear to be poured concrete as I can't see any bricks or cinder blocks. The room sweats like crazy so there is an obvious moisture ...
14
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3answers
4k views

How much damage can a grow-op do to a house in 3 months?

There is a home for sale about 10% lower than market value in the area in which we're shopping for a home. When we visited, the real estate agent disclosed that renters had used the basement as a ...
1
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2answers
347 views

Suggestions on finishing a concrete vault

I have a newer home that the builder put a concrete vault in. It is basically the porch that was dug out fully to make a room under it with a steel security door. The concrete porch is the ceiling. ...
5
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2answers
687 views

What equipment could I use for digging out a basement after the house is built?

My mother and father built the home I live in many years ago. It only had a half basement. My father had started on the other side, but passed away before finishing it. I have now taken this job on. I ...
0
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0answers
50 views

Should a basement interior drain be installed above or next to footings?

I am DIYing in a perimeter drain in my basement with some hired help. I am doing it because my water problem is not severe; I get very little water and only when it rains a whole lot. I know "very ...
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0answers
22 views

Basement insulation under cantilever [duplicate]

I have a currently unfinished basement in a rather new home. There are a few places that have bay windows, or cantilevers that currently have only a bit of pink insulation thrown in fro the basement. ...
6
votes
3answers
8k views

How to finish room with protruding concrete ledge/foundation?

I am finishing a basement room and have a concrete ledge which is part of the foundation. It protrudes into the room about 2.5 inches and is about 6 inches high. This ledge is the result of a ...
2
votes
1answer
131 views

Should I use traditional 2x4 framing or 1x3 grid framing for a New England basement remodel?

I'm trying to decide which framing method to go with for a particular room while finishing a basement. I live in New England and I already have 2" foam board glued to the concrete using the correct ...
3
votes
3answers
83 views

Can I remove the framed wall on the outside of my basement?

I have a 20 year old house (which is a basic colonial box). The basement has a standard poured concrete exterior wall. Against the concrete exterior wall, they framed a standard wood 2 x 4 wall, ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

Tile vs cement polish

We have unfinished basement. Years ago when we gutted, we put down a layer of dry lock on the walls & floors because that's what we thought was protective. We've never had water come in thru floor ...
0
votes
2answers
70 views

polystyrene insulation over dryloc basement walls

I am a DIY beginner. If I am installing polystyrene over drylocked basement walls, do I need a vapor barrier? Do I put the studs on top of the polystyrene? So, from exterior to interior it would ...
1
vote
1answer
383 views

Should I install insulation between the rim joist and the top of foam insulation?

I am in the beginning phases of finishing my basement, newer house with poured cement foundation and engineered I-beam floor joists. No moisture issues in the basement. Rim joist currently has a batt ...
1
vote
2answers
111 views

Is there a way I can fill cinderblocks in my basement to stop water from coming in?

Could I drill holes in each block and fill with sprayfoam that would fill the blocks with a water tight seal and then paint the inside with drylock? How about hydroclay?
5
votes
4answers
829 views

Adding insulation to basement that already has vapor barrier

I have leftover insulation from doing my basement, little bits and pieces. In between the joists on my basement ceiling it is insulated with vapour barrier already from when the house was built. ...
0
votes
2answers
59 views

How can I stop a water leak in my basement?

I have an unfinished basement in 40 year old home. Block walls are extremely clean and show no signs of water having come down or through them from ground outside but when it rains for a couple of ...
0
votes
1answer
88 views

What I do about mouse droppings in basement ceiling where I can't reach?

I had a mouse infestation a while ago - they were coming in from dryer and exhaust vents too close to the ground. I trapped the mice and fixed the vent/exhaust situation to prevent more from ...
5
votes
3answers
10k views

What is the best way to fill a hole in a concrete basement floor?

My basement floor has a hole cut where the water line enters the house. This hole is around 2ft square, and digging down a little I hit dirt and small roots. I'd like to seal this hole as I believe it ...
3
votes
0answers
322 views

Cost of XPS panels vs. sprayed closed cell foam

I'm starting the process of finishing my nearly full height (7'2") basement and am costing out the insulation. Based on my research of what's best below grade, I'm debating between XPS foam panels ...
4
votes
3answers
358 views

What happens if XPS is an inch away from basement walls?

I live in Maine and am planning to insulate my basement. It has fairly smooth poured concrete walls. I've read online that spray foam is one option, and 2" of XPS directly against the wall is ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Can I put tile in my basement over Ditra and existing mastic?

My basement has been prone to getting water for many years before I bought the house. We're having the basement walls repaired (excavated outside) & sealed. So this problem should go away. The ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I install carpet tiles in a below grade room?

A few years ago, I saw an advertisement for carpet tiles that had a jagged edge so there would be less movement in the interlock between tiles, and prevented the need for glue. (would like to find ...
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2answers
80 views

Damp smell in basement

I have a gap between outside wall and pavement. Could this be the reason for damp smell in the cellar? If I poured bitumin down said gap, would this help prevent the dampness?
1
vote
1answer
116 views

Water heater on concrete--should I build a platform? how much heat loss in winter?

I don't know if that title the best way to phrase the question. It's winter(ish) now, and I swear the hot water just doesn't last as long as it does in, say, September. The water heater tank is ...
4
votes
3answers
267 views

How do I prevent water from leaking into my basement?

How do I prevent rain water from leaking directly into the basement? As you can see in the diagram below, rain water drains into small concrete cracks (near the bright red line shown below) and finds ...
1
vote
4answers
61 views

standalone pump options for leaky below-grade room

A friend of mine runs a martial arts studio where his concrete-floored office in the back is slightly below grade and floods every time it rains. I assume that a proper solution would presumably ...
0
votes
0answers
48 views

HVAC ducts ready for finished basement?

I'm starting to finish my basement. Before I do so, I want to be sure the ductwork is sufficient to keep it warm during Colorado winters. The basement was finished when we moved in, but gross, so we ...
0
votes
1answer
104 views

rigid foam board in basement with exterior guard overkill?

I'm finishing a basement and have 8 foot and half concrete walls that I will be placing a stud wall in front of. I've scoured the net only to find a large number of opinions. My basement wall has an ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Plumbing connections for basement bathroom

My house is a bit of a strange design. Although the living room appears to be an addition to the home, it was actually built at the same time as the rest of the house. Looking at the front of the ...
1
vote
3answers
261 views

Low ceiling clearance non load-bearing door opening question

I'm finishing my basement, and am framing in a room. I have 81.5" of ceiling clearance to the ceiling joists, and am in the process of framing in a door for a bedroom. My question is, since this ...
1
vote
0answers
23 views

Repairing concrete block on inner part of basement

I have had water seepage into my basement through concrete block for many years. The exterior part of the block is covered by a deck and patio and is not easy to get to. I've mitigated a lot of the ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Fragile paperback on cellar ceiling batts

Installed in 1968, these insulation batts now fall, or hang. The paperback has become so fragile the insulating weight pulls it apart. What suggestions for a remedy? Replace? Or?
3
votes
3answers
8k views

Renovating interior stone basement walls

We have a 100 year old house, and I would like to finish the basement but leave the stone walls exposed. I believe the stone can look great, but the mortar needs some work, and I am mostly focused on ...
0
votes
1answer
98 views

which layer of rigid foam should i caulk when insulating rim joist?

I am insulating my rim joists with rigid foam board in a manner similar to that described on the familyhandyman's website. I am considering adding a second layer of foam board to get closer to the ...
1
vote
2answers
99 views

Basement supporting wall header increase

We are finally in the process of finishing our basement after a number of years. I have a load bearing wall that has a header for a doorway, however, we are looking to have a more open hallway. I ...
1
vote
1answer
142 views

Can I enclose my new boiler in a closet?

As part of a new residential boiler installation, two 6-inch ducts venting to the outside will be installed, one near the ceiling and one near the floor. They won't be attached to the boiler itself, ...
2
votes
1answer
97 views

Are portable electrical outlets permitted in a basement?

I would like to install a portable outlet box near a work area in an unfinished basement. I have seen these installed in commercial buildings and educational laboratory type areas, always dropped from ...
0
votes
1answer
159 views

Are uninsulated steam pipes behind walls and touching beams a fire hazard?

We are getting our unfinished basement done. We have replaced and rerouted (to make more space) our steam pipes (house built in 1937) with new pipes (Black and I believe 4 inches in diameter). These ...
2
votes
2answers
349 views

Vapor and moisture barrier for “above ground” basement

I'm finishing the basement of my home in New Jersey, and I'm a bit confused about the general guidance for basement moisture and vapor barriers. My "basement" is built from concrete block. However, ...
0
votes
0answers
593 views

Replacing Load-Bearing 2x4 wall with beam and posts - Basement

I would like replace a 64" section of a load bearing wall with a beam and 2 support posts. The current wall is 2x4 pressure treated sill plate on top of poured concrete, 5 2x4 vertical supports and ...
2
votes
2answers
5k views

How to properly close a chimney hole in the basement

I recently removed the old unused wood stove in my basement. I now want to properly condemn the chimney. I found this question which answers what to do with the chimney outside, but I am still unsure ...
22
votes
6answers
40k views

Should I use steel or wood studs for basement exterior walls?

Related: When should you use metal studs? I'm planning on finishing my basement. (assuming all water issues are resolved) I'll be putting up a water barrier (tar paper) on all exterior walls, ...
2
votes
3answers
123 views

What should I do about water filling the excavation for a house's foundation?

I live in Duluth, Minnesota. As stated, I am putting a new foundation on my house. When the contractor was excavating, they hit water. They are constantly pumping this water out. I now have 2 new ...
1
vote
2answers
107 views

Where do I need to drain the footing drain when I waterproof a basement from outside

I am planning to waterproof a basement. (please see the attached picture). I would like to know if the component labeled collector on my attached picture is needed. Since my lot is virtually flat I am ...
0
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1answer
62 views

How to make a basement warmer? [closed]

I'm looking for some cheap way to renovate my basement and make it warmer and quiter,any ideas?
0
votes
4answers
80 views

Do I really need a redundant sump pump? [closed]

So I'm getting my dirt basement encapsulated, and the contractor is installing an interior perimeter drain and sump pit/pump. They offer either a single good quality pump, a redundant system with just ...