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
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1answer
3k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it OK to block off an unused root cellar to mitigate moisture problems?

I have a root/cold cellar underneath my front porch. The walls appear to be poured concrete as I can't see any bricks or cinder blocks. The room sweats like crazy so there is an obvious moisture ...
4
votes
1answer
531 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
7k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
129 views

mold on basement walls

I have a basement that I am planning on finishing. There was a mold problem. After washing the basement walls, I soaked them in Concrobium. I then painted the walls with a masonry waterproofing ...
4
votes
5answers
517 views

Why does my basement floor paint come off when it's wet?

I painted my basement floor and now just 3 weeks later my washer leaks and the paint is peeling off. I also put some water down on a spot and when I wiped it up you can scratch the paint off. It is ...
4
votes
1answer
429 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
752 views

How do we repair vapour barrier after a flood?

We recently had a flood in our basement which was completely finished. We have two bedrooms down there which is why I want to make sure it is fixed properly. When the restoration company came in to ...
4
votes
2answers
360 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
862 views

Is there a shower drain pipe in this picture?

I'm certain the 3" pipe on the left is the toilet drain (it is about 12" form the wall and has a rounded cap on it). I'm guessing the shorter 2" capped pipe on the right, up against the wall, is the ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

How can I insulate my basement on a budget?

I have a home built in 1925, a "Chicago Bungalow" style, in Louisville, KY. I have roughed in the basement, trying to take advantage of every square inch. I am planning on using it for short-term ...
3
votes
6answers
36k 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.
3
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6answers
1k views

What is the cheapest way to brighten a basement workshop?

I have a bare concrete block unfinished basement. I have zero moisture problems (it's a 2007 construction with exterior waterproofing applied to the concrete along with a buried perimeter drain). ...
3
votes
3answers
1k 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
3k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
5k views

What is required to move a washer/dryer from one room to another?

How hard is it to move washer/dryer from an upstairs room to the basement? What hookups would we need, etc?
3
votes
4answers
725 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

How should I go about leveling my basement floor?

My house is from the 1920s, with a poured concrete foundation and floor in the basement. The floor dips pretty noticeably downward from the foundation walls towards a drain near one end of the ...
3
votes
1answer
267 views

Why do basement walls need less insulation than crawlspace walls?

I used this DoE calculator: http://web.ornl.gov/sci/roofs+walls/insulation/ins_16.html For Washington, DC, it recommended R25 for crawlspace walls and R11 for basement walls. Why would they be ...
3
votes
3answers
5k views

Sump Pump Vs. Radon mitigation?

I have a full basement in a cold climate (North Dakota). The previous owner had a raw hole broken out of the cement floor that must have served as an emergency sump pump hole. We haven't had water ...
3
votes
3answers
645 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
16k views

What is the best flooring for my basement?

I live in Michigan, where humidity is fairly high. I have a 70 pint dehumidifier that works great. I also have a sump pump and water powered backup sump pump. I am looking to floor my basement ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I prevent water from leaking into my basement?

How do I prevent rain water from leaking directly into the basement? As you can see in the diagram below, rain water drains into small concrete cracks (near the bright red line shown below) and finds ...
3
votes
1answer
219 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
224 views

How can I find out if a vapor barrier is requried for finishing a basement to code?

I'm planning out a basement finishing project, and I'd like to do it correctly. I've done a lot of research but what I can't tell is if I do, or do not, require a vapor barrier. I was hoping from a ...
3
votes
1answer
201 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
5k 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
5answers
6k 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. ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I improve the cold floor in my ground-floor unit?

My home is a ground-floor unit in a condominium. The floor is really quite cold and I'd like to do something about that. I saw in another question the suggestion to use Platon. Would I be able to put ...
3
votes
1answer
117 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I attach the framing of a shorter wall to a higher wall above concrete?

Back again with another framing question that I simply haven't been able to answer. For Reference: Gray - Concrete Pink - XPS Insulation Darker Browns - Existing Wood Light Brown w/ Dashes - new ...
3
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3answers
3k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
547 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. ...
3
votes
1answer
625 views

When waterproofing my basement, should I apply 11 mil plastic in addition to the dimple board?

I'm currently interviewing contractors for exterior basement waterproofing. The difference in price is not significant, but there is one major difference. The contractors will: Trench down below ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

Should I seal, waterproof a concrete basement floor before painting?

What is the best sealer/waterproofer to put on a basement floor that I just want to paint. New construction, no water problems, but washer & drier & water heater are in basement and add to ...
3
votes
1answer
47 views

Is a leveled wood frame for a basement floor a good idea?

Just bought an old house. One half of the basement has a nice headroom. The floor is painted concrete, and is pretty uneven and ultimately slopes towards a floor drain. I'd like a nice floor. Can I ...
3
votes
2answers
139 views

What can I do about my deteriorating basement floor with a large hole that seems to go right through to clay?

We live in 90 year old house with an unfinished basement. I've been working on removing a lot of the crap that the previous owner did, and removing a lot of concrete debris. Then I ran into this ...
3
votes
3answers
92 views

Can I remove the framed wall on the outside of my basement?

I have a 20 year old house (which is a basic colonial box). The basement has a standard poured concrete exterior wall. Against the concrete exterior wall, they framed a standard wood 2 x 4 wall, ...
3
votes
2answers
340 views

Drain clogged by grout

The contractor I hired to tile my basement bathroom dumped a bunch if grout sand down the drain. it is clogged solid now that the plumbers came back to do their water test. we have been trying to get ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Can I put tile in my basement over Ditra and existing mastic?

My basement has been prone to getting water for many years before I bought the house. We're having the basement walls repaired (excavated outside) & sealed. So this problem should go away. The ...
3
votes
1answer
311 views

How can I prevent the water from my neighbor's leaky gutter from entering my basement?

There is some water leakage in my stone basement on my neighbor's side (which is otherwise, very dry for a stone basement). As you can see from picture, the side of our house is loose stone (may be ...
3
votes
1answer
213 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
958 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
1answer
1k 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. ...
3
votes
2answers
514 views

Is there a way to sound proof my basement while I've got part of the ceiling open?

We had a header beam installed in our basement. The floor joists are exposed for 1ft (~30cm) on both sides for the length of the beam. The basement is an apartment, so I'd like to add some ...
3
votes
1answer
234 views

Basement Bath floor

I'm putting Platon drain board on the slab of my basement because I'm concerned with humidity and moisture. Then I top it with laminate. What should I do with the bathroom? Can tile be put on top ...
3
votes
1answer
89 views

How do I dry up a stucco wall that presents efflorescence?

I have determined the source of the water and I would like to believe that I stopped that with a temporary fix (a large tarp that will cover my patio which used to collect water at the base of the ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Can you lay ceramic/porcelain tile over existing mastic without grinding the floor?

We had a basement flood, and consequently had to rip out the vinyl floor tiles in our basement. The tiles were not asbestos (we had them tested). But after the tiles came up we discovered that they ...
3
votes
2answers
658 views

Must NM cables around panels in unfinished basements be protected?

I'm thinking about installing a new circuit. The panel is on the wall in an unfinished basement. Three questions: Is the new NM cable going down to and around the panel considered to be "subject to ...