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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0
votes
1answer
93 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
214 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
248 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
4k 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
36k 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
89 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
78 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
votes
1answer
50 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
62 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
100 views

Can I use 1“ XPS and fiberglass batts instead of 2” XPS insulation in my basement?

I have read multiple sources on the internet suggesting use of 2" XPS foam boards to insulate basement foundation and then building a 2x4 wall in front of it. 2" foam board is very expensive when ...
3
votes
1answer
249 views

Why do basement walls need less insulation than crawlspace walls?

I used this DoE calculator: http://web.ornl.gov/sci/roofs+walls/insulation/ins_16.html For Washington, DC, it recommended R25 for crawlspace walls and R11 for basement walls. Why would they be ...
8
votes
4answers
5k views

Does XPS+OSB subfloor need to be anchored?

Mike Holmes is a big fan of OSB/plywood over 1" XPS for basement floors, though his book leaves something to be desired in terms of details. His book says: ...on top of the foam, you want to have ...
1
vote
0answers
47 views

What can I do about a basement window well that is filling with water?

My house was built in the 1950s and I have a basement window well that was filling up with water after a hard rain. I have covers however the water would come up. After much reading online that there ...
2
votes
1answer
89 views

Is there a recommended distance between fasteners on sole plates?

We've just started installing pressure treated 2x4s as sole plates in our 5 year old basement. We drove 3 nails into each 8' plate, one at each end (around 3 or 4 inches in) and one somewhere at the ...
1
vote
2answers
97 views

How can I stop my basement from filling with water?

I have my house in a sloped area ,it has problems of water seeping inside the basement area which gets filled up to 1 to 2 feet height what may be the solution for this .... i have tried all water ...
0
votes
0answers
70 views

Should I add an air return in my basement and seal old vents?

My question is basically a variation of two prior questions: "How do I close and seal an old external vent" and "Should I add an air return in a finished basement." My house has a bottom level that ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Are there any risks in removing these steel basement window frames?

I am planning to replacement my basement windows (see this related question) and was planning to remove both the glass and frame. A window vendor advised me not do this claiming that the steel frame ...
31
votes
6answers
43k views

Should I use a subfloor for a finished basement's floor?

We are refinishing our basement and have not yet decided what to do for the floors. Part of the basement will be tile, and we are all set. However, the rec room side is going to be carpet. The ...
1
vote
1answer
89 views

Rapid changes in humidity levels in basement suite?

I live in the basement suite of a house in Vancouver. I've noticed something strange when running my dehumidifier in my bedroom: when I turn it on, the humidity is at 80%(!); after running for 30 ...
4
votes
5answers
637 views

How can I insulate my basement on a budget?

I have a home built in 1925, a "Chicago Bungalow" style, in Louisville, KY. I have roughed in the basement, trying to take advantage of every square inch. I am planning on using it for short-term ...
6
votes
1answer
30k views

How do I calculate the size of electric baseboard heater needed?

I'm working on finishing our basement which does not have any duct work to tie into for heating, so we're planning on using electric baseboard heaters. How do I calculate the needed size of heater ...
2
votes
2answers
552 views

Do I need a vapor barrier in an exterior basement wall if I use purple drywall?

I purchased some purple drywall (mold and moisture resistant)for installing in a finished basement bedroom. One wall is an exterior wall. Do I need to install a vapor barrier between the drywall and ...
15
votes
2answers
674 views

Is it better to waterproof a basement from the outside or the inside?

Is it better to waterproof a basement from the outside or the inside? I've heard different things about this. We have a home built in the 40's on a cinder-block foundation. One side of the house is ...
4
votes
3answers
158 views

What is the proper order in framing the basement walls?

I am thinking of finishing my basement and am wondering what is the proper order of things for framing the walls. Do I put up perimeter walls first with electrical, insulation and vapor barrier, and ...
3
votes
4answers
9k views

What is the best flooring for my basement?

I live in Michigan, where humidity is fairly high. I have a 70 pint dehumidifier that works great. I also have a sump pump and water powered backup sump pump. I am looking to floor my basement ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

What should I look for in a battery backup sump pump?

I've got a pretty basic 1/3 hp sump pump that does the job quite well. However, i'm concerned about losing power and just the wrong time. Or worse the pump goes bad! What sort of features do you look ...
1
vote
0answers
204 views

Connecting a sump pump to sewer

I'm attempting to install a new sump pump in my basement after having a few minor flooding incidents and addressing as much of the external causes as possible (gutters, etc). The pump is only used for ...
8
votes
3answers
20k views

Should we install carpet before the baseboard and door casings?

We just had a carpet layer come in for measurements and a quote. We've not put in the baseboard or door casings yet, but the carpet layer has suggested that this will make things easier. Is this true ...
0
votes
0answers
46 views

Which should I do first? replacing furnace or resurfacing concrete floor?

I'm going to get two things done in my basement soon (by hiring professionals), but I'm wondering what the right order of operations is. One task is to replace the gas furnace that sits near the ...
18
votes
1answer
10k views

Humidity Levels

What is a healthy and safe humidity level that I should try to keep my house at?
7
votes
4answers
3k views

How should I insulate my basement?

My basement is CMU blocks and concrete floor. I had water issues, so I waterproofed it with an interior french drain, drainboard at the edge and a sump pump. This wouldn't take care of dampness so I ...
1
vote
4answers
1k views

How realistic is lowering a concrete floor?

So first off, I love basements, its almost like a fetish. Ook.. so this guy is selling a basement in his building and its perfect(got good water, electricity, comms, location and cheap!) except for ...
1
vote
0answers
125 views

frame soffit against foundation wall

I'm framing my basement and I have a duct that runs along the foundation wall. There's a little over a 1" gap between the duct and the wall, so I was planning on putting up XPS along the wall and then ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Glass deck above basement addition [closed]

We're planning to expand our basement underneath our deck and would ideally like to cover this section of the deck in glass as in this photo. (Posted: Wear skirts at your own risk!) Our architect ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

Sewer drain cap replacement options

I have sewer cap that has lost its threads. I am wondering what options I have to replace/fix that does not involving tearing up the cement floor. Are compression fittings a good option?
2
votes
4answers
278 views

How do I mount this pullup bar?

I bought this pull up bar that is designed to go into studs that are 16" apart Ultimate Body Press My basement walls are only framed out so I can see all of the studs. I started to mount it and ...
4
votes
6answers
496 views

Would insulating a basement prevent it from passively cooling the house in the summer?

I have an unfinished basement in Upstate NY in a large old house that helps in keeping the house cool in the summer. Would insulating it limit the cooling effect in summer?
0
votes
2answers
98 views

Minimizing wall thickness for basement drywall?

I'm trying to optimize acoustics of my future home theater by maximizing dimensions to minimize standing wave problems. I would like to minimize the thickness of a finished wall consisting of drywall ...
3
votes
2answers
367 views

Must NM cables around panels in unfinished basements be protected?

I'm thinking about installing a new circuit. The panel is on the wall in an unfinished basement. Three questions: Is the new NM cable going down to and around the panel considered to be "subject to ...
0
votes
1answer
97 views

Can I support a fiberglass tub with a layer of 1" thick foam board between a concrete subfloor and mortar base?

I'm trying to maximize the headroom in my basement shower. I originally planned on placing the tub on top of the subfloor and sleepers that make up the rest of the floor, but then I realized I can add ...
18
votes
5answers
151k views

What humidity should I set my dehumidifier to?

I just bought a 50 pint dehumidifier for my basement. What humidity level should I aim for? This time of year the outside humidity is very high (over 80%) and we do not have central air. Right now ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

Do I need to close the windows and doors in the entire house when doing a radon test?

I'm trying to perform a home radon test, the first step in the instructions for the Pro-Lab Radon Gas Detector Kit read that I need to close all the windows and doors for 12 hours before hand. Do I ...
0
votes
1answer
75 views

Removing Steel Basement Windows

My basement has the original steel (I think) framed windows in place from 1962, when it was built. I've removed windows in block before, at my previous house, but this one does not seem as clear. As ...
4
votes
3answers
373 views

Is it okay to protect NM Cable in an unfinished basement with ENT?

Adding a 20 amp subcircuit (120V) to furnace room to turn it into a workshop. Initially it will have one duplex and 2 fourplex receptacles, the fourplex receptacles will be on cement walls, the duplex ...
2
votes
2answers
162 views

How can I insulate behind pipes that are close to a foundation wall?

Reading around, it seems like most people suggest to put up XPS insulation when finishing a basement. That's great and all, but how do you put 2" of rigid foam behind pipes that already exist in the ...
0
votes
1answer
171 views

How do I frame this oddly spaced rough in

It's been a long time since I posted about this stupid rough in (dang kids), but I'm attempting to get back on it. The spacing for these pipes are driving me crazy. For a quick reference, the ...
2
votes
1answer
285 views

Subfloors and stairs

It seems to me that many people put subfloors in their basements (and other floors), but what do they do when it comes to the existing stairs? I'm code says that you can't have more than 3/8" ...
0
votes
3answers
1k views

How do you install a solar light tube through an outside wall into the basement?

In renovating a basement, is it possible to install a solar-light-tube through the wall to the outside and still gather light?
1
vote
3answers
190 views

Gutted a basement and found a window, what should I do?

I recently gutted my basement in an early 1900s home that was finished in the mid-80s, and discovered a window! This window is directly under my front door, hidden by a deck that I've never really ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

Quantitative measurement for sound dampening methods

I'm planning to finish off my basement. Which type of basement ceiling insulation is most effective at reducing sound transfer between levels, blown in cellulose or rock wool batts and how much more ...