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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2answers
152 views

What is the best and least expensive way to update my walkout basement? [closed]

I have a walkout basement that is paneled and has a dropped ceiling with out a ceiling grid. In need of serious updating, but I have already put so much money into this house, I am looking for the ...
3
votes
3answers
116 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
68 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
49 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
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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
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4answers
194 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
165 views

Basement drain without a trap

What do you do if your basement đrain doesn't have a trap? I tried shined a flash light down and the pipe just goes straight down. The house smells and 3 buckets of water have not helped.
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
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0answers
48 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
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2answers
137 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
120 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
204 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" ...
3
votes
3answers
199 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
124 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 -- ...
1
vote
2answers
385 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
34 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
228 views

Foundation drainage: try interior first and then exterior?

My wife and I are closing on a home. During the initial walkthroughs of the basement, it was clear that there was a moisture problem there, but I don't think it was clear to either of us how severe ...
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
619 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
138 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
101 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 ...
3
votes
7answers
49k 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.
0
votes
2answers
56 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
49 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
3answers
235 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
104 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?
4
votes
1answer
157 views

Could these foundation defects cause problems?

Attached are the pictures of newly constructed basement wall. I wonder if these defects are going to be a problem in the future? Outside of the walls have water proofing, but I wonder if these defects ...
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
129 views

How can I remove a non-load bearing wall in my basement?

I have two small rooms in basement. I want to remove the common wall between the two and covert the resulting big room into a home theater. What is the best way to remove the studs, wiring, etc.?
1
vote
3answers
115 views

Finishing basement… level floors with SLC or install stud wall first?

Basement floor isn't too far off... wondering if I should get the stud wall done first or level the floor first....
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?
2
votes
1answer
128 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
672 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
109 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
302 views

Can rigid foam board have an air space between it and rim joist?

I am insulating my rim joists with 2" rigid foam board. Most of the rim joist is bare, and the foam fits along it nicely. Some sill boxes have some small irregularities (vent pipes, plumbing, etc) ...
5
votes
4answers
196 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

Efflorescence Cause

I believe I have some efflorescence in my basement. It is growing in two spots where the floor paint was scratched off when the previous owners moved out. It brushes away easily, and I have never ...
12
votes
4answers
10k 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
3answers
511 views

Mystery pipes in basement - where do they go?

Newbie to the forum here. Will upload photos this evening, but thought I'd start with the question/context: Just bought a fixer upper farmhouse in Portland, OR area. House is at least 1930s, could be ...
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
63 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
60 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
61 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
141 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. ...
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
164 views

Help diagnosing source of basement moisture

Hoping your experience can help figure out where moisture is coming from in my basement. I tried to include a lot of details to help identify issue. I have a house built in 2008 with finished ...
0
votes
1answer
138 views

Keeping water out of basement?

So I'm a recent home owner (2 months now). I live in Massachusetts and given the storm that just rolled through, I found water in my basement. Not a scary amount. I was able to mop most of it up. I ...
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
254 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
3k 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: ...