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
85 views

How can I stop this drain pipe from backing up?

In my basement laundry room is (to my knowledge) the only drain pipe in the whole basement, which hooks into the end of the main line as it exits the house and heads to the septic tank. When we moved ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

How can I reduce the humidity level in my basement?

I have an unfinished basement in my 1040 square foot ranch house. I just bought an energy star 30 pint dehumidifier to replace an old one that came with the house 1 year ago (I set it on the "driest" ...
4
votes
2answers
263 views

How much water is too much water underneath the basement concrete?

We are getting ready to install a new shower in our basement. When we had our house built about 8 yrs ago we asked to have a shower & toilet drains roughed in. I cut off the plastic cover for ...
4
votes
3answers
129 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 ...
0
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1answer
82 views

How can I put a drain hose through a basement wall or window?

I am putting a dehumidifier in our basement, but need to drain it to the outside.
0
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0answers
30 views

Radon sealant on the basement floor, when does it need replacing?

Our house is 30 years old, when we bought last year the Radon mitigation system was 12/15 years old no one really knew. When cleaning the basement it got me thinking how long these things last? We ...
0
votes
0answers
28 views

Drywall Type for Conditioned Basement

In my conditioned basement, should mold and moisture resistant drywall be used? I've read varying accounts, including use it everywhere, use it on the walls (but not ceiling), use it on the bottom row ...
0
votes
0answers
59 views

Insulation of Basement Block Wall and Framing

In finishing part of my basement, we've gone ahead and installed 3/4" rigid insulation (R-3.8 IIRC), and then 2x4 framing against the rigid insulation. Then, the small gaps with between the 2x4 ...
0
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0answers
54 views

Leveling basement floor while keeping it sloping to the drain?

I am having similar problem with the basement slope being exceptionally steep around the floor drain (similar to this: How do I level a basement floor but not the slab underneath?). The discussion ...
3
votes
3answers
328 views

What type of flooring can be used on a concrete slab?

I have a split ranch house in NY and the downstairs hallway and half bath / laundry room currently has vinyl tile on a concrete slab. I would like to cover the vinyl tile with a new floor. What is ...
2
votes
1answer
76 views

Is rigid foam on rim board in basement worth doing if walls aren't insulated?

We bought an older home that we use more as an office. The basement is totally uninsulated including the rim joists. Last winter, it got really cold down there to the point that the floors upstairs ...
1
vote
1answer
100 views

How to maintain temp for always cold office in finished Basement

I work out of my home in an office in our finished basement. The room is always cold whether it's the middle of winter or the middle of summer. I often run a cheap space heater (especially) in the ...
21
votes
6answers
29k 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, ...
7
votes
2answers
911 views

Should I insulate steam pipes in the basement?

I have a steam-radiator heating system. The furnace is in the (unfinished) basement, and the steam-carrying steel pipes spread out across the basement ceiling before going up into the rest of the ...
0
votes
2answers
63 views

Do I need to install a sump pump?

The crawlspace under our house has a tendency to get a bit muddy when the rains are heavy and then dry up a few days later. When the rains are especially hard water will collect in a pit in the ...
1
vote
3answers
430 views

What is a reasonably economical way to heat a basement bathroom?

I have a basement bathroom (roughly 8' x 4') that corners two outside walls, and has no heat vent. Months like this it's ice cold. I'd like to heat it up, just not sure how, outside of running a space ...
0
votes
1answer
88 views

Wood Working in Basement with Furnace

I'm thinking about setting up a woodworking workshop for hobby projects in my basement. However, my basement is small and my woodworking would take place close to my furnace / hot water heater. Is ...
0
votes
0answers
35 views

What would cause mortar to have a patchy finish?

I started a re-pointing project in my basement, but it was way more work than I had anticipated, so I haven't continued in about six months. However, now that i'm looking at mortar I originally ...
5
votes
3answers
385 views

How can I protect the soleplate when framing basement walls?

I plan on finishing my basement and I have a specific question about framing the walls and protecting the soleplate. I plan on framing and setting up the walls BEFORE laying the subfloor, but that ...
1
vote
1answer
361 views

1“ x 2” Furring Strips for Drywall Ceiling

In my basement, there's currently a tile ceiling that's installed on furring strips attached to the joists. The furring strips are 1"x2", attached to the joists by nails. We're currently replacing the ...
1
vote
2answers
52 views

Cracks in basement cement that seem to leak more when water is running?

I came home from a 2 day trip and found cracks in my basement cement with water seeping into them. I noticed that when I ran the water it leaked more, any guess what the problem is?
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Should I be concerned with my back flow valve pit filling with water?

I have never had foundation or ground water problems in my basement but I did have a sewar problem and as part of a recent replacment of that, I had a back flow valve installed that looks like this: ...
3
votes
6answers
21k views

Can a wet vac be effectively used as a pump?

Can a wet vac effectively be used as a pump to move water? I figure if a basement floods, that this can serve as double duty.
4
votes
1answer
194 views

How can I reduce or eliminate flaking from a limestone basement?

I have a 1902 house that was built on a limestone foundation. In the basement, the limestone blocks flake a bit which gets to be somewhat annoying having to sweep/vacuum it up from time to time. Are ...
1
vote
0answers
40 views

Basement subfloor using p.t. sleepers and plywood?

I am a contractor in the Boston area. I need to install a subfloor over a concrete basement floor. I am thinking of using p.t. sleepers and 3/4" plywood. Is this an efficient and cost effective method ...
2
votes
1answer
115 views

Do I need to get an engineer for badly poured conctrete basement floor?

I am having a new home built on Cape Cod. The day they poured the concrete floor a storm was predicted and it rained and snowed that night. The floors are a mess, pitted, uneven etc. The builder ...
1
vote
5answers
174 views

Can i leave existing drywall alone when adding two small walls to a finished basement?

I am building two small walls in a finished basement to create a enclosed landing at the bottom of the stairs. The new walls will meet at 90 degrees, both will be coming off studs in the existing ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

How can I install a tub over this tub box?

In our unfinished basement, we have a roughed-in bath. I can see a water closet exit, a sink exit, and a tub exit. The tub exit is covered by this product: ...
2
votes
2answers
306 views

How should I insulate this basement wall?

I've been doing a lot of reading. I live in Maryland, not particularly cold. We have an 8 foot ceiling in the basement which is poured concrete built in 1973. Only about a foot is above grade. I've ...
16
votes
3answers
9k views

What is the best way to incrementally finish an unfinished basement?

my wife and I are in the process of buying our first house. The house has a 750 square foot unfinished basement (cinderblock walls and concrete floor), and is brand new (rather, it will be brand new ...
2
votes
2answers
889 views

Is it okay to staple romex to a floor joist when running it perpendicular behind a finished basement ceiling?

Taking down my ceiling to run some wire to new outlets. The outlets are going in an area with an unfinished ceiling, so I know the romex there will need to be ran through the joists when going ...
3
votes
5answers
4k views

How should I encapsulate a basement wall with chipping paint on a porous surface?

I have a basement wall with several layers of chipping paint. I can't say officially, but I'm pretty certain the bottom layer (dark green in the photos) is lead-based, while the upper layers are not. ...
2
votes
2answers
123 views

How do I install fire blocking while finishing a basement?

In Colorado, the building code asks for a fire block when finishing a basement. I know this goes against the out walls (foundation). I've seen 2x4 and OSB used: which is better? And how does the OSB ...
30
votes
6answers
37k 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
2answers
382 views

How do I seal a basement cinder block wall behind a shower?

My wife and I have a basement bathroom that I gutted: back in 1980 someone decided to put tile directly on drywall and not properly seal anything, with the obvious moldy result. So I ripped it down to ...
0
votes
2answers
58 views

How to project basement level of humidity before building?

Assume I am considering buying a lot and building a house in it. Is it possible and how would I project what the humidity level will be in its basement? Say the basement is built using concrete ...
1
vote
0answers
163 views

Do I use a wooden frame for a basement hopper window?

I am replacing a basement hopper window. The previous owners replaced an old hopper window with a too-small piece of storm window and piece of plywood: I want to replace this with a correctly-fit ...
1
vote
2answers
200 views

Can I use a pump to discharge kitchen sink waste water, rather than digging up the concrete?

We are installing a small kitchen in the basement. There is a full bathroom in the other corner of the area, same side as the planned kitchen. I could use some experienced recommendations for the ...
15
votes
2answers
619 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
243 views

Will internal waterproofing solve my moisture problems?

We've been working on our water problem for awhile now. Here's the deal: There is black drain tile under the home (all the way around) tied into a sump crock. Water was only coming in one side. A ...
2
votes
1answer
72 views

How to tell if carpet is destroyed after a flood?

The other day ago a water line going to an exterior faucet exploded in the wall and flooded my finished basement. The water level was around 1"-2" high and we imagine the water was running for ...
1
vote
1answer
258 views

How do I clean a root cellar under my porch to make it suitable for food storage?

I have a root cellar under my porch. How should I clean loose stones on the floor and get rid of a musty smell so I can use the space as a safe food storage area. Small field mice entered and some of ...
0
votes
1answer
71 views

Should I remove, or work around dividing basement walls?

The basement of my house is bare concrete floor with bare concrete block walls. I'm in Canada and would like to (and should) insulate these walls, at least the above-grade portion, which is about ...
0
votes
2answers
42 views

How to test for mold in basement?

The air quality in my basement is unpleasant. I don't know if I have mold. How to test for it? How is the smell of mold? I know that we had a water problem in the basement, the walls were cracked so ...
2
votes
3answers
104 views

Will removing the insulation from an unfinished basement cause it to be a lot colder?

We live in upstate NY and the house has an unfinished basement. It's waterproofed with cinder block walls and a concrete floor. There is no framing, no drywall. However someone put up this hanging ...
2
votes
2answers
536 views

Do stairs need to be the same height after landing?

I have set of stairs that leads from the main floor to the basement. A little over half way down there is a landing (typical L-shape). I'm looking to put in an insulated subfloor in my basement, ...
5
votes
9answers
14k views

How should I add lighting to a low ceiling basement?

I have a basement ceiling that's around 6'6" high and currently the lights are standard bulb outlets that are attached to the beams so they sit down at eye level in the room. This means when you're ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

What should I consider when cutting/making window in concrete foundation?

I am thinking about putting in another window for my basement apartment. I would like to know what do I need to consider before trying to find a contractor to do this. I have uploaded a picture of ...
2
votes
2answers
864 views

Is a raised floor viable and safe in a basement bathroom?

A contractor wants to build a raised floor for my bathroom basement that he is building for me instead of breaking the concrete. The plumbing would be underneath the floor. Is this a viable and safe ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Can the blanket Insulation in my basement be left in place when refinishing?

I'm thinking about finishing my basement. It currently has the blanket insulation that the builder installed when we built the house last year. I'm unfamiliar with this product. Is it meant to be used ...