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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3
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3answers
184 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
2k 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
1answer
143 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
147 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
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
1answer
4k views

Renovating interior stone basement walls

We have a 100 year old house, and I would like to finish the basement but leave the stone walls exposed. I believe the stone can look great, but the mortar needs some work, and I am mostly focused on ...
3
votes
4answers
1k 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
394 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 ...
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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 ...
3
votes
1answer
373 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
405 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
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5answers
3k 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
2answers
2k 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
2answers
435 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
190 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
118 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
687 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
550 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
668 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
426 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
207 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
177 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
120 views

Why does the exhaust in my basement bathroom drip condensation in warm weather?

The exhaust in my basement bathroom drips condensation in warm weather, and the drop ceiling tile gets mildewed. I did not use insulated ducting to the outside. Should I wrap insulation around it ...
3
votes
1answer
174 views

Remodel Recessed Lighting in New Basement?

I am finishing my basement and will be installing a drop ceiling. Right now the ceiling is open. I purchased some recessed lighting on clearance at Home Depot for $5.00, normally $20. After doing ...
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
300 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
105 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
239 views

What type of flooring can be used on a concrete slab?

I have a split ranch house in NY and the downstairs hallway and half bath / laundry room currently has vinyl tile on a concrete slab. I would like to cover the vinyl tile with a new floor. What is ...
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 ...
3
votes
3answers
526 views

Basement subfloor, how exactly should I do it?

I am finishing a basement with my father and want to put in a subfloor. I know if there was ever enough water I would probably have to replace the floor anyways but want to give myself a couple inches ...
2
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
251 views

Sump Pump Recommendations

I have an outdoor sump pit in front of my basement door to prevent water coming in during strong rain storms. In the pit is a 5 gallon bucket with a 1/4 hp automatic pump. Here's more information on ...
2
votes
3answers
82 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
406 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
2answers
239 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
170 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
137 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
77 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
695 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
5answers
9k views

How do I paint a basement ceiling and heating pipes?

What is the best way to paint a basement ceiling? Can I paint the copper baseboard heating pipes? Do I have to use special paint?
2
votes
1answer
84 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
59 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
105 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
2answers
204 views

Easy way to seal an old plumbing vent

I plan on buying a house but it has this cleanout and old vent for the plumbing in the basement. Whoever renovated the basement disconnected the vent and just let air flow into the basement. Is ...
2
votes
1answer
102 views

Water leaching up through basement floor

We just bought an older home that had new perimeter drainage system installed and a new sump pump installed that drains outside. The old sump was closed off and now there is signs of water leaching up ...
2
votes
1answer
216 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
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 ...