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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

1
vote
1answer
122 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
106 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" ...
0
votes
1answer
121 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
votes
0answers
34 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
31 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
73 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
votes
0answers
180 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
117 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
74 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
72 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
121 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
39 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
720 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
636 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
53 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
130 views

How can I meet the height requirements for a door in a basement with a low ceiling?

To meet code we need a minimum 6'6" clearance through all doors. The ceiling height in most of the basement is 6'8", but the clearance through the exterior door is much less than that. On the inside ...
1
vote
1answer
187 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
1answer
137 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
267 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
173 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
votes
1answer
43 views

Cutting back a carpet edge.

I have a tile entrance at my walk in basement door that I want to make larger. If I cut back the carpet a couple feet will I have to restretch the carpet?
1
vote
0answers
45 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
137 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
251 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
59 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
85 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
2k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
237 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
256 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
575 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
63 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
195 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
246 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
81 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
117 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
48 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
2answers
486 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
761 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, ...
2
votes
1answer
226 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?
2
votes
1answer
74 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
596 views

How to repair a basement ceiling's old school interlocking tiles?

I'd like to repair this hole, but I am running into trouble as I've tried rotating the fallen tiles every which way, but nothing seems to work. Don't know if I have to start from or work back to the ...
1
vote
3answers
813 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
204 views

How do I seal a vapor barrier on my basement walls if I have none from the floor above?

I am redoing my basement and was wondering how to seal the wall vapor barrier if there is no existing vapor barrier from the floor above. Or is it better off not using vapor barrier ? I am from ...
1
vote
3answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
285 views

Do I need an egress window in a basement room not used as a bedroom?

Do I need an egress window in a basement family room when the basement has two viable exits? There are garage doors on one end and an exterior person door leading to exterior stairs on the other.
1
vote
0answers
418 views

What kind of subfloor do most people use these days?

I've been reading tons on how to do a subfloor for my basement and I don't seem to be getting any closer to an answer. So far it looks like there are 4 ways to do this: (I'm stealing a good part of ...
8
votes
1answer
493 views

Mortar (or something) falling out of basement brick wall

In my basement, there is a powdery, bright white substance between some of the bricks. It looks like it was something applied on top of the mortar joint. I scraped a couple places where it was falling ...
4
votes
1answer
268 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 ...