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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8
votes
3answers
1k views

Do drain pipes (house to sewer) freeze?

My basement drain is backing up a bit recently. Before I call a plumber, or rent an electric sewer snake from Home Depot, can sewer pipes freeze? It is January after all (and my house is in Canada).
0
votes
1answer
68 views

Where did all the water in the basement come from.

I'm looking at an REO property that has been "winterized" and I am a little concerned about the conditions in the basement. There is roughly 3" of water ( ice ) in the basement. The furnace and hot ...
3
votes
3answers
103 views

How to run wire through steel garage floor system

We are building a carriage house, with a 4 car garage and a basement underneath. The basement has steel I-beams and the metal b-decking that the garage floor is poured on top of as a ceiling. What ...
0
votes
3answers
66 views

Basement egress through office

I have a question that is similar, but different, than: Can I have an office in my basement without egress? I want to finish off my basement as such: My question is, by putting the red walls up, ...
1
vote
2answers
48 views

Water in Basement - Help!

We live in flood plain area and we have a high water table. For some reason our home has a basement. We have lived there almost 15 years and our basement has flooded 3 times when it rains a lot. There ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Why are there metal tabs protruding from my poured concrete foundation walls?

What are these metal things sticking out from my basement walls? Can they be removed? If so, how?
3
votes
4answers
162 views

Ramset nails not flush with basement frame wall

I built my first wall in my basement when I started to frame and I bought the Ramset MasterShot 0.22 gun from Home Depot and read up on everything and when I used it to nail my treated 2x4 to the ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

How many coats of spray paint do I need?

I am working on finish my basement. The idea is that the ceiling is going to remain unfinished but spray painted pitch black to hide all the wires and plumbing. Last weekend I did one coat of spray ...
1
vote
0answers
43 views

What kind of soil mix to use for grading the perimeter of house to keep water away from basement?

To help divert water away from my home's foundation, I am trying to improve the grade of the landscape around the perimeter of the house. I suffered a flooded basement (about 1" or so) from ...
3
votes
2answers
442 views

What is the minimum thickness of foam board when insulating a basement

What is the minimum thickness of the foamboard insulation that can be used when insulating a concrete basement wall when it comes to moisture control and temperature control? Obviously thicker is ...
2
votes
2answers
113 views

What type of cleaner should I use to remove a puke stain from concrete?

My cat puked on the basement floor in a couple places, but I can't seem to clean the stain. So far I've tried simply mopping with Pine-Sol®, which didn't work. Then I tried scrubbing/mopping with ...
3
votes
4answers
119 views

Should I use spray foam to insulate a basement?

Home in CT cape w/ uninsulated basement. Its a cold, not drafty house, with new Marvin integrity windows. The basement is very cold, and it seems like the cold basement is making the rest of the house ...
1
vote
1answer
178 views

How to build a wall under duct work

So I'm trying to finish my basement. I have a conundrum as to how to build a wall under a soffit. Here's my situation - I have an HVAC duct that is running really close to the wall - like maybe 1.5" ...
2
votes
2answers
114 views

Do I need to insulate the entire basement or just a few walls?

I have a 1920s house with concrete foundation that had a semi-finished basement. After a recent 3-day rain storm, my basement flooded (about 1") due to hydrostatic pressure. It wasn't just my house -- ...
3
votes
3answers
181 views

How do I drywall a corner with a lally column?

I'm finishing my basement and I've come across this lally column which is supporting a steel beam. I want to frame an external corner for this interior wall at this "corner" but the distance from ...
1
vote
2answers
279 views

Installing permanent support column in the basement

I'm redoing a basement after flooding and just found this little hack. Apparently previous owner removed permanent support post for some reason and then at some point installed this temporary jack ...
1
vote
0answers
33 views

How do you insulate with XPS around interior basement windows?

I'm using 2" XPS to insulate my interior basement walls. How do I work around windows? Do I cut it flush with the concrete opening? Do I spray expanding foam to seal the XPS against the concrete ...
3
votes
3answers
181 views

Re-framing basement walls after flooding. Drain tile with no concrete?

Im getting ready to re-frame basement walls after basement flood (shocking images attached). I'll be doing this for every wall portion that can possibly flood: 1) ridgid XPS foam insulation ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

Water infiltration between basement “bulkhead door” enclosure and concrete foundation?

I've got a fairly common below-grade basement door setup; a doorway thru the poured basement wall into a space enclosed with cemented cinder blocks and a roughly poured floor, containing wooden stairs ...
5
votes
2answers
590 views

Support Beam Splitting

I bought an older house (1917) that had renovations done in 2009. I was in the basement earlier today with the oil delivery man and I noticed some of the support beams splitting. The inspector never ...
1
vote
3answers
83 views

New Basement Floor, house not framed yet

We are building a new house with an exposed basement. I had the floors poured a week ago while still warm in December. We have not framed the house up yet, meaning no deck, walls, roof, or HEAT. My ...
3
votes
3answers
137 views

Semi-finished basement, water-resistant “baseboards”?

I'm planning on applying foam-panel insulation over my basement's concrete wall. I'm told a fire barrier is required over that, either plasterboard or decently-thick plywood. I've been considering ...
2
votes
3answers
95 views

How much drywall should I remove around a moldy area?

The previous owner told me that during the last winter when snow melted, water got in the basement through the drywall and he had to wipe dry the floor. Last year we had one of the worst winters on ...
0
votes
2answers
50 views

Painted sample areas have different sheen than the rest of the wall

I recently finished my basement. Had the drywall textured. Painted three sample areas of different paint colors I was trying to decide on. I decided on one and got the paint from a different paint ...
0
votes
2answers
53 views

Railing placement and removable railing systems

I need a removable railing on my bottom basement steps. There is currently no railing but in order to move furniture or anything large downstairs I'm gonna need a removable railing. It doesn't need ...
0
votes
0answers
48 views

Hole betwee the basement sill box and concrete porch

I recently bought an old house that seems to have been flipped in the past, so many things weren't repaired properly. Had a door replaced with a window, and that opened up holes between where the ...
0
votes
2answers
102 views

How to build a toilet under the sewer level?

I have an old garage that I am recovering. Among other fixes I want to build a toilet. The issue here is that it's under the sewer level. Is it still possible to build it? What do I need?
0
votes
2answers
60 views

do i need a vent for my new home basement plumbing rough-ins

I have a new home with rough-in plumbing in basement and I was wondering if I need a vent down there. I do plan on putting in bathroom
13
votes
3answers
4k views

Why did they hammer nails in half way and bent them over to secure supports?

In my 1950s house they hammered nails in half way and bent them over to secure the supports to the beam. Why was this technique used?
1
vote
2answers
203 views

How to install hydronic radiant heat over concrete slab

I'm trying to figure out the most ideal way to install hydronic radiant heat in my basement over the existing concrete slab. I've looked at several products for heat distribution, like Warmboard, ...
1
vote
2answers
89 views

Handling basement water infiltration behind bulkhead

My house has two different kinds of foundation, The older part is brick-over-fieldstone. The newer part, dug a bit deeper, is poured concrete. When that extension was added, they added a cinder-block ...
2
votes
1answer
112 views

How to attach short bottom plate for door frame to concrete floor?

I'm framing out my basement, which I've done once before in an old house. I use the treated wood (green board?) for the bottom plate, raise up the frames, get everything level, and use cut nails to ...
2
votes
6answers
193 views

How do I remove or cut a sewer pipe at edge of our basement slab?

What's the best way to remove the unused sewer / storm-drain pipe in the attached picture? It's coming up through the edge of our basement slab where it meets the foundation wall? We want to remove ...
1
vote
1answer
101 views

Vapor barrier problems

Update: added some additional details below based on comments. I have a basement bathroom that I am currently working on. I've framed and installed rough plumbing. I have some vapor barrier problems ...
1
vote
2answers
166 views

Old basement crumbling basement walls and asbestos

I want to refinish my basement walls, as they look really bad. I tore down some wood paneling that was starting to warp, and behind that was some styrofoam insulation. Behind styrofoam is 3 mil ...
7
votes
4answers
594 views

Do I have to periodically pour water down my basement floor drain to maintain the p-trap water seal?

There is a sewer smell coming from my basement. There are only a couple entries to the sewer in the basement: A laundry sink that acts as the drain for a water softener (which regenerates every few ...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

Vapour barrier for basement garage ceiling

To make the floor of a bedroom above a garage warmer it is desireable to insulate the garage ceiling. Does a vapour barrier go up in the joists against the floor above since the house would be ...
0
votes
3answers
204 views

replace load bearing post with steel column

So I have a joist that stops short of a stairwell and doesn’t connect to the foundation and I’m going to move the supporting beam back 2 feet (it’s about an 8 ft run between the header and other ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Would you expect a plumber to put up plastic to contain dust for a basement bathroom rough-in?

I've read through other posts on basement bathroom rough-ins, but haven't found anything. Yesterday, a reputable plumber used a jack hammer to break up concrete in a basement bathroom being added to ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

Would tiling a basement floor provide any effective moisture barrier?

I'm about to undertake another basement remodel. With our first, we simply stained the concrete floor. We really liked the look of it. However, it still would bring in moisture at times. This time, ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

Method to fasten pink board to interior foundation wall

So I'll be finishing my basement soon and will be using 1.5" pinkboard attached to my interior foundation walls. What is the best method to fasten this to the wall (construction adhesive, caulk)? ...
0
votes
2answers
59 views

Waterproofing weeping tile inside vs outside

I just bought a new house. The basement is mostly concrete slabs, except for under the porch steps: there is a single row of cinder blocks. It's leaking water from a corner (at eye level) in that ...
0
votes
5answers
132 views

how to build a basement under house

I want to build a basement room under existing concrete deck how do I support deck while digging out beneath? It drops off vertically would dig from that side. soft dirt. How to do this safely. ...
5
votes
4answers
164 views

Prevent dead animals in basement window wells

How can I prevent animals from dying in my basement window wells? The wells are about two feet deep and have a clear plastic covers over them. The covers don't fit tightly and critters seem to ...
0
votes
0answers
41 views

Dehumidifier - proper drain technique/setup?

I have a dehumidifier in my crawlspace draining into the kitchen drain pipe. The hose recently became plugged, and I think it was due to gunk growing and filling the hose from the kitchen drain. Is ...
1
vote
2answers
28 views

Installing Basement Subfloor over 30-year-old Vinyl

I'm going to install a basement subfloor. I have 2 rooms that had vinyl squares glued down - a bathroom and laundry room. Can I lay down rigid XPS insulation and plywood directly over the vinyl and ...
1
vote
0answers
28 views

Temporary Remove Flex Duct

I am about to replace a load bearing wall in unfinished basement. There is flexible duct attached to plenum that I need to temporarily move out in order to put the beams in. Do i just need to cut ...
3
votes
1answer
88 views

basement subfloor - do i need sleepers for this solution

I'm going to install a basement subfloor. I want to follow option 3 from this site: http://homerenovations.about.com/od/additions/a/BasementSubfloor.htm. A nice option because the foam insulation ...
6
votes
1answer
199 views

Should window well for basement window be attached to the house?

When answering this question, code references are great (IIRC) if there are any applicable, but I am asking specific to northern midwestern climates in the United States (up near Canada) and best ...
3
votes
2answers
550 views

How far does a basement egress window well need to stick out above ground?

Is there code on this? I am having an egress window well installed today and was surprised to see the window well sticking out 2 feet above ground (1 foot if you count all the new dirt they mounded up ...