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
1answer
119 views

Can I convert a basement window to a door?

We have a poured concrete basement, serving as the foundation of our home, which was built in 2008 in central Minnesota. The basement has 3 vinyl windows, the sills of which are around 1' above ...
0
votes
0answers
39 views

How do I repair a field stone foundation on 99 year old house? [duplicate]

The foundation on our 99 year old house is made up of field stone and cement. Some patch jobs were done with cementing over the field stone. However that is breaking away and some other places have ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I fix a small slightly damp area in my basement wall?

I am in the process of converting a bedroom in our walkout basement, into an office. Back in 1999, the previous owner had finished the basement. The basement foundation walls are hollow cinder ...
7
votes
3answers
6k views

How can I prepare uneven concrete basement floor for vinyl planks?

I have roughly 600 sq ft of basement that needs new flooring after some unfortunate flooding this past summer. We had carpet over concrete and are now looking to lay vinyl planks down. There is about ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Would adding new basement windows jeopardize the integrity of the foundation?

We are finishing our basement and would like to install 4 new hopper windows onto the front side of the house. My question is what is the largest reasonably sized window that can be cut from the ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What do I level a 2" slope in my concrete basement floor?

I want to finish a 12'x36' part of my basement. The trouble I am having is that it is sloped to a floor drain. I was told that DRIcore and shims would work but the drain is a 2" slope down from the ...
5
votes
1answer
469 views

Is there such a thing as a vacuum sump pump? No standing water above check valve?

Is there such a thing as a vacuum operated sump pump? Most sumps or ejector pumps leave a column of water above the check valve, and leave a few centimeters of water in the sump beside. I have a need ...
3
votes
2answers
691 views

How do I insulate interior basement walls that are not against the exterior walls?

I'm in the process of building an office and family room in my basement and need some help with the walls and insulation. There is a perimeter drain in the slab around the exterior walls that ...
1
vote
1answer
195 views

How should I insulate behind the last floor joist that runs parallel to the foundation wall?

As an aside, I can't for the life of me figure out what to call the last floor joist that runs parallel to the basement foundation. Does it have a name? In my house, there is a little cramped gap an ...
1
vote
1answer
76 views

What type and rating of insulation should be used in a basement bathroom?

I need to replace the insulation on the back and side of the bathtub. The walls face the exterior of the house (poured foundation). What type and rating should I use? I can't tell what the ...
2
votes
2answers
406 views

Should I continue my basement subfloor under the stairs?

As part of finishing my basement I'll need to rebuild these stairs to account for the higher floor level. The back of this stair case is currently open to the lower basement, but that will be getting ...
1
vote
1answer
178 views

Damp proofing/tanking a basement

The plaster on one wall of my basement has blown and come away from the wall. I've stripped it all off which leaves a layer of concrete painted with bitumen. What's the best method for sealing off ...
1
vote
3answers
583 views

How can I add ventilation to my basement office?

I have a finished basement with an office, guest bedroom and bathroom. All about 700 sq ft. I work 12+ hours in the office and really need to get some fresh air circulating by extracting stale air. ...
1
vote
3answers
473 views

Will plaster on basement walls and ceiling provide insulation?

My basement's insides are completely unfinished. It has bare brick walls and bare concrete beams-vaults as the ceiling. I though of coating the walls and the ceiling with 2 inch thick plaster with the ...
1
vote
3answers
4k views

How should I use fiberglass batts to insulate between floor joists over a stone basement?

I have an old home built on a stone foundation. The stone foundation is solid, as well as the floor joists. I run a dehumidifier in the basement full time, to keep the air moisture low. There is ...
4
votes
2answers
378 views

How can I level this concrete floor so I can install laminate?

I did a rough sketch up of what I'm working with in Google Sketchup. I'm laying laminate flooring in my basement living room and have all of the necessary preparations (Plastic layer and padding) My ...
2
votes
1answer
218 views

How should I finish around this hole in my slab?

This hole in my basement has a roughed-in drain pipe for a bathtub (can't really see it, but I've verified it's there): As you can see, it's about 12"x16". As I prepare to finish the basement, I'm ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Should I add batt insulation to concrete basement walls?

We're planning how to finish our basement, and haven't been able to figure out something related to insulation. The home's in Minnesota, and was built in 2008. XPS insulation (installed by the ...
3
votes
1answer
147 views

What to do about subfloor covering sole plates?

My basement already has framing and insulation around the outside walls, along with a few outlets in them. If I were to do 3/4" OSB over 1" XPS for a subfloor the sole plates of those outer walls ...
4
votes
1answer
440 views

What type of paint should I use to paint a block foundation wall?

My house has an old well room that is off of the main foundation of the house. I want to clean this space up to use it for storage and part of this process is to repaint the cement block walls. The ...
1
vote
1answer
140 views

Can I insulate over 1/2 in. styrofoam?

We have a rec room (basement) from the 60's that we are redoing. Currently on the outside walls, they have 1 x 2 studding then 1/2 inch white styrofoam then vapour barrier. WE are wondering if we ...
20
votes
5answers
25k 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, ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Will I trap moisture in the concrete of basement walls and floors if I seal them with epoxy?

I'm thinking about painting my basement's walls with some concrete sealer (before finishing the basement) and floor with epoxy paint. Many people are doing that, but I'm concerned about moisture in ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I prepare this concrete floor for tile?

I'm looking to replace an old carpet in my finished basement with tile. I've removed the carpet and found a surface with some peeling paint, which I've read needs to be removed since the thinset for ...
1
vote
0answers
345 views

How can I stop water from coming up through the floor?

I have a house that is on a high water table, and water is coming up through the floor. The property was excavated around the perimeter a couple of years ago and installed a new Big "O". Drycore was ...
2
votes
1answer
171 views

Why is there a sewer gas smell coming from my door jamb?

I am at the tail end of tiling my basement floor and undercut the existing trim on the bathroom door. I started noticing a sewage smell and pinpointed it as being strongest at this point. This is ...
4
votes
1answer
4k views

Can a washer and dryer be next to a water heater?

I have a GE gas dryer (DSXH47GGWW) that is currently next to an exterior basement wall. I'd like to move it to the opposite wall (shared with the crawl space) right next to the water heater next to ...
3
votes
1answer
302 views

How to insulate sloped top of concrete block foundation?

I am planning to insulate the inside of my basement. I have a concrete block foundation. I am planning on going XPS board route, applied directly to wall with foam/tape on all the seams to make it ...
7
votes
5answers
4k views

Which way should a door between the garage and basement swing?

Looked everywhere for proper answer. We have a 2 car garage attached to the basement. This house is old, built in 1968, we purchased this 2 years ago and were renovating here/there. We just ...
1
vote
1answer
263 views

Is continuous exhaust from basement level closet a good idea?

I have a recurring problem with mold in the closet of a basement level bedroom. After considering various options, I'm currently contemplating installing some sort of a low powered continuous exhaust ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Solutions for a moist basement?

I live close to the water and there is a high water table around my house. Therefore a lot of water vapor passes through the basement walls. I would like to be able to store stuff in my basement and ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

What is a good solution for hiding insulation in an unfinished basement?

First off, let me note that I am a tenant in this house. My landlord lets me do small improvements, but I'm not going to finish the basement with drywall myself. Basically, we have an unfinished ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I fix the cracks in my brick foundation?

I have some cracks in the foundation of the house I am about to buy. The house is 100 years old, there doesn't seem to be water leaks. The cracks don't look to be offset. Attached is the picture ...
1
vote
2answers
458 views

What type of sump pump back up systems are available?

I have just about completed all the work to finish my basement. I know, not a great time to think about this, but when I bought the home there was zero water in it and didn't think the winter would ...
7
votes
3answers
896 views

How can I reclaim heat from an enclosed furnace room?

Our home has two furnaces (oil fired hot air) and an electric water heater in an enclosed room (approx 6'6" x 9'). Three walls of the room divide it from the remainder of a finished basement, the ...
3
votes
4answers
401 views

How could I flatten these warped sleepers layed on uneven concrete to an acceptable level?

The concrete in my basement is, as most concrete is, very uneven. I was building up my subfloor to match an existing floor, so I got about 200 board feet of PT 4x4 and ripped 1/2" off using a table ...
2
votes
1answer
207 views

Can I use 2-1/2“ metal studs to hang 1/2” drywall?

I am in the process of remodeling my basement, & it's ready for studs; the basement is small, so to maximize as much space as possible I was thinking of using 2-1/2" metal studs opposed to the ...
4
votes
4answers
6k views

How do I correctly measure this basement window for a replacement?

I have three of these metal-framed basement windows which I would like to replace but I am unsure of what dimension I should measure and use for the replacements. Initially I measured the outside ...
7
votes
2answers
865 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
374 views

Is this old basement floor concrete, grout, or something else?

What is the likely construction/material of the basement floor shown below? It's not very flat, and the surface appears sandy. It's almost as if some kind of skim-coat was applied to the dirt floor. ...
2
votes
2answers
702 views

Is occasional puddling of water in an unfinished basement a problem that needs to be addressed?

In a early 20th century New England home of wood frame construction and foundation of fieldstone and brick with some CMU, we get some puddling of water in a few areas of the unfinished basement floor ...
2
votes
1answer
328 views

How can I install an interior cat door to the basement and not have it kill me? (from increased radon)

I recently purchased and moved into a new house with an unfinished basement under part of house and crawl space under the rest. We have 2 indoor cats and I would prefer that their litter box be in ...
3
votes
1answer
151 views

How can I tile the raised edges in my basement?

I'm looking to tile a basement floor that was dug out about 6", so there is a roughly 6" tall x 4" wide raised concrete border around the whole room, as they didn't dig out the edges. This border is ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

How do I maintain air quality in a newly finished basement of a 1925 home with no ductwork?

I just bought a house built in 1925 but it has just been professionally renovated, including finishing the basement as living space. The home has a boiler for radiator and baseboard heat. There is no ...
2
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
610 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. ...
4
votes
1answer
987 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 ...
19
votes
9answers
56k views

I have a basement floor with lots of moisture, can I paint or seal it to make it waterproof?

My basement has a slight dampness issue, where if I leave things on the floor they will get wet. There are no leaks and no standing water, the moisture seems to be wicking up through the concrete. I ...
1
vote
1answer
539 views

Basement shower drain backing up when washing machine runs

When running washing machine, water backs up through a nearby shower drain and makes a gurgling noise. How do I solve this problem?
1
vote
2answers
404 views

Need Quick Fix for Leaky Door

Hurricane Sandy is starting to hit us, and we have come to realize our basement door is leaky, and it's starting to soak our basement. I found where the water is coming in, the bottom corner of the ...