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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1answer
149 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
0
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2answers
75 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 ...
1
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3answers
966 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 ...
0
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1answer
135 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
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0answers
40 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
863 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
756 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 ...
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2answers
54 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
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2answers
2k 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: ...
3
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6answers
24k 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.
4
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1answer
287 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 ...
1
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0answers
47 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
150 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
299 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
98 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
577 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
11k views

What is the best way to incrementally finish an unfinished basement?

my wife and I are in the process of buying our first house. The house has a 750 square foot unfinished basement (cinderblock walls and concrete floor), and is brand new (rather, it will be brand new ...
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 ...
3
votes
5answers
4k views

How should I encapsulate a basement wall with chipping paint on a porous surface?

I have a basement wall with several layers of chipping paint. I can't say officially, but I'm pretty certain the bottom layer (dark green in the photos) is lead-based, while the upper layers are not. ...
2
votes
2answers
285 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
639 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
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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 ...
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0answers
202 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
257 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
279 views

Will internal waterproofing solve my moisture problems?

We've been working on our water problem for awhile now. Here's the deal: There is black drain tile under the home (all the way around) tied into a sump crock. Water was only coming in one side. A ...
2
votes
1answer
76 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
284 views

How do I clean a root cellar under my porch to make it suitable for food storage?

I have a root cellar under my porch. How should I clean loose stones on the floor and get rid of a musty smell so I can use the space as a safe food storage area. Small field mice entered and some of ...
0
votes
1answer
84 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
50 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
3answers
121 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
847 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, ...
5
votes
9answers
17k views

How should I add lighting to a low ceiling basement?

I have a basement ceiling that's around 6'6" high and currently the lights are standard bulb outlets that are attached to the beams so they sit down at eye level in the room. This means when you're ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

What should I consider when cutting/making window in concrete foundation?

I am thinking about putting in another window for my basement apartment. I would like to know what do I need to consider before trying to find a contractor to do this. I have uploaded a picture of ...
2
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
1
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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 ...
1
vote
1answer
689 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
324 views

When cutting concrete for basement plumbing, how do you handle rough framing?

I'm going to be doing some cutting of the slab in my basement in order to put a bathroom in. There is plumbing under the slab and a pit with a tank in it, but it is probably 30 feet from where I want ...
1
vote
1answer
214 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
2answers
114 views

How do I remedy mold/mildew that has appeared since blocking off ventilation?

I have a Ranch home with a finished rec room in the basement. It is our second year in the house. We had no mold/mildew problems last year. I put new carpet in the family room above basement and I ...
2
votes
3answers
320 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.
2
votes
1answer
95 views

what impact tools are needed for subfloor in the basement?

I would like to know if there are any impact tools that I need to make the subfloor permanent or stable to avoid sound later. I don't want to use DRIcore for this matter.
1
vote
0answers
465 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
310 views

What is this material on my interior foundation walls?

I have a poured concrete foundation. A portion of my basement is unfinished. It looks like a white plaster has been sprayed onto the foundation wall inside my house: I suspect spraying as there are ...
8
votes
1answer
518 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
7k views

How to finish room with protruding concrete ledge/foundation?

I am finishing a basement room and have a concrete ledge which is part of the foundation. It protrudes into the room about 2.5 inches and is about 6 inches high. This ledge is the result of a ...
3
votes
3answers
395 views

How should I remove a raised concrete pad on my basement floor?

I have a raised square of concrete, about 42" by 42" by 6" in my basement. Its probably an "equipment pad" of some sort, not sure what it was originally for, but it is inconveniently placed. Its ...
2
votes
1answer
90 views

Electric floor heat in basement without tile

I'm planning on putting electric floor heat in a daylight basement room which has a concrete pad. However, we don't like tile, so we'd like to use something else--preferably something that looks like ...
1
vote
1answer
463 views

In this plumbing code illustration, what are the meanings of “SH” “WC” “BT” “LAV”, etc?

The image below, taken from this plumbing code page, has an "SH" going to the middle pipe with the trap in it. Does anyone know what the "SH" stands for, or the "BT" and "WC" ones for that matter? ...
1
vote
4answers
212 views

What does wire loops on the wall for?

I bought a house recently, and there are wires in the walls under stucco. But in basement these wires are go out as a loops not far from the ceil. What are they for? Are they for lamps? If yes, then ...