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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4
votes
3answers
4k views

Should I use Tyvek or tar paper on basement walls?

We are going to be redoing our basement which was done in the 60's and very cold. We have been told to apply Tyvek or tar paper to the walls, stud, then vapour barrier and drywall. We plan on using ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
457 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
552 views

Worthwhile to insulate basement ceiling while remodeling?

I have an existing finished basement where I'm in the process of replacing an severely damaged plaster ceiling with drywall. I've got the entire thing open, and as it's an old house (1925) there is ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Vinyl tile installation over a concrete basement floor with moisture

I would like to put some sort of flooring over part of my basement. Something with the look and simple installation of an interlocking garage tile (example) would fit the bill -- this isn't a living ...
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
106 views

How to find where crickets are entering?

We occasionally find crickets in our mostly unfinished basement. We don't often open the windows down there and we haven't noticed any unusual drafts. We don't have any dryer vents there. There are ...
0
votes
3answers
418 views

How do I insulate exterior basement wall?

Working from scratch with a bare wall. What do I do? 3 hardware stores have told me 3 different things. We have very cold winters here. Looking for cheapest and highest R value. contractor next door ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

How can I insulate a basement wall that has 1x1 framing installed on it?

It is freezing in my basement so I decided to re-insulate my daughter's bedroom. I removed the old paneling walls to find that it wasn't insulated! There was a water barrier and a heat shield. My ...
5
votes
1answer
770 views

Can I hang a hammock from basement joists?

My basement is what I assume is a typical setup, built in the 1970s. 2x8 joists run from the outer cinderblock wall to the center beam with an approximate 11 foot span. I'm thinking about hanging a ...
2
votes
0answers
718 views

Are there any risks in removing these steel basement window frames?

I am planning to replacement my basement windows (see this related question) and was planning to remove both the glass and frame. A window vendor advised me not do this claiming that the steel frame ...
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

What type of subflooring should I use for a basement?

My basement has wall-to-wall carpet in the two bedrooms and living area. The carpet was probably from the 70's when the house was built and we decided to remove it. After removing the carpet from ...
4
votes
1answer
986 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
315 views

What should I do to this basement closet so I can put clothes in it?

We bought a house that had a closet along part of the basement wall. it has the water meter in it and on outside wall also. we carpeted the basement along with the closet. the closet has drywall in ...
19
votes
1answer
845 views

What is this bolt in my basement floor?

In my concrete basement floor, there is a rather large bolt and washer. The washer is about 4 inches in diameter, and the bolt has a 1 inch head. What is it? All I can think of is that it's some ...
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 ...
10
votes
5answers
10k views

Safe way to close gaps around copper pipes?

I have baseboard heaters in my main living space. I can't see for sure without taking the covers off (which I haven't done yet) but it appears 2 copper pips come up from the basement (through the ...
3
votes
3answers
613 views

Can I install sub floor over carpeting?

Part of my basement has carpet laid 25 years ago The area is dry: never a water, mold or odor problem. We tested a small area and it was a nightmare to remove the glue from the concrete. We are ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

What actions can I take to reduce moisture on basement floor?

In one corner of my basement, after a few heavy rains, I see a darkening of the concrete floor. To touch, the concrete feels damp-ish. I say damp-ish, because when I pull my hand away, I don't see ...
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I move a non load bearing wood frame wall?

I am remodeling my basement and want to move the location of a non-load bearing wall that is diving a section of my basement. Currently the wall is down to the bare wooden studs. The header was nailed ...
4
votes
1answer
382 views

Best style of window for above grade basement windows?

My basement windows are roughly 2'x3' (h x w) and the exterior sill is 6 inches above grade, and 5 feet above the basement floor. I am not particularly concerned with security beyond frustrating the ...
11
votes
1answer
444 views

What are our options for carpeting the basement of a split-level house?

The basement level of our house (1/2 below grade) is currently just vinyl tile on concrete slab. It's cold during the winter, so we would like to carpet it. We do not get water penetration through ...
1
vote
1answer
931 views

What should I have my dehumidifier set at to dry out my basement?

I have a 1600 sq ft home. The wellmate sprung a leak last Sat and soaked the basement. Im running fans down there and just got a 40 pint dehumidifier per the service guy. What setting should I set it. ...
2
votes
1answer
272 views

Is this hole at the corner of the foundation major issue?

I am in the process of purchasing a home. I found the perfect home but of course, I found water stains in the basement walls (mostly close to the floor). I also noticed a small hole at the corner of ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

How to finish dirt floor in a basement?

The floor of the basement of our house is half a flat area with a concrete floor where the washing machine and so on are, and half a semi-flat, slightly sloping dirt area, with the dirt area being ...
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
671 views

Should I apply rigid insulation between existing basement framing?

I'm replacing wood paneling in my basement with drywall. There are 1x furring strips attached to the cinder block and covered with tar paper, and the wood paneling was attached to those strips. ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

What does blocking refer to in relation to floor joists?

This question was triggered by the following line in a home inspection: Blocking is not installed for I joists above beams in basement. I have found pictures of blocking at ...
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
237 views

How much water is too much water underneath the basement concrete?

We are getting ready to install a new shower in our basement. When we had our house built about 8 yrs ago we asked to have a shower & toilet drains roughed in. I cut off the plastic cover for ...
2
votes
1answer
594 views

How can I clean and paint my basement floor?

The basement in my house I just purchased has remnants of paint on one half of the basement that is separated by a wall. The remaining paint is stuck down really well and I would like to paint over ...
7
votes
1answer
4k views

How should I build a raised subfloor for my basement bathroom?

I've ripped out the bathroom in my basement that was finished by the previous homeowner. I'm now rebuilding, and curious to the most correct way to go about this. The whole basement was finished ...
1
vote
2answers
6k views

How can I improve air flow in my basement?

I have a pretty odd two floor duplex apartment with one of the rooms practically being a basement. I have previously had problems with mold, and in general the air isn't great in the basement. So I ...
4
votes
1answer
919 views

Do I need to install dry wall in my basement?

I have a concrete basement with concrete walls. I'm thinking about just painting the basement and not have to put up dry wall because I want to save money. Is that a good idea or should I really ...