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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3
votes
3answers
82 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
25 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
64 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
375 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
91 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
818 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
56 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
75 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
9k 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
253 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
340 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 ...
1
vote
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
105 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
170 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
59 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
46 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
95 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
47 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
218 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
22 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
34 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
97 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
95 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
126 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
95 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
149 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
319 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
553 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
39k 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
110 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
97 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
60 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
72 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
141 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
257 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
6k 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
53 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
112 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
129 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
82 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
2k 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 ...
32
votes
6answers
47k 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
101 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
1k 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
33k 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
2k 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 ...