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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7
votes
1answer
224 views

How do I get a cement patch in my basement to dry quickly in humid conditions?

After patching the stone foundation in the basement with with regular drying mortar/cement, how do I get the cement to dry quickly if the basement is damp from humidity?
3
votes
1answer
139 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
396 views

How to deal with inadequate drainage of my walk-up basement?

(Please correct me if any of my terminology is inaccurate!) I have a "den" which is a finished walk-up basement (half-above ground, half below ground). The den floor has vents, and when I look under ...
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
759 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
220 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
78 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
765 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
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
442 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
250 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
430 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
2answers
3k 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
162 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
525 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
151 views

Can I install Delta-FL in only part of a basement?

I've been looking at finishing my basement and am leaning towards using 7/16" OSB over Delta-FL for the subfloor. I was also considering leaving some areas as bare cement (laundry room, utility room, ...
1
vote
1answer
149 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
3k 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
1k 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: ...
1
vote
3answers
527 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
5k 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
350 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
178 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
202 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
316 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
539 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
218 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
8k 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
411 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
871 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
356 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
156 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
432 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
557 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
3k 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
445 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
110 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
443 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
2k 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
892 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
800 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
8k 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 ...