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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2answers
5k views

Is there a more attractive alternative to a drop ceiling that allows easy access to the space above it?

Are there any ways of installing a basement ceiling that is seamless and does not look like a drop ceiling, but which can still be somehow disassembled? Alternatively, are there more subtle forms of ...
4
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
14k 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
21k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
503 views

What is the proper order in framing the basement walls?

I am thinking of finishing my basement and am wondering what is the proper order of things for framing the walls. Do I put up perimeter walls first with electrical, insulation and vapor barrier, and ...
4
votes
2answers
899 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How do I cut grooves in self-leveling concrete to incorporate an existing drain?

This is a follow up question to my previous question about leveling a basement floor without losing the drainage. After the feedback I decided to use self-leveling concrete and cut (or form it in ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the best way to drywall a basement staircase?

We're going to be finishing our basement and one issue I have is how we will drywall the staircase. Unfortunately the stairs are right against the concrete wall. Should I simply put furring strips ...
4
votes
2answers
10k 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
2answers
202 views

Basement shower tiled floor not sealed by builder what now

So I have recently had a tenant move out and have found water damage around the basement shower floor. Looks like black mold so I started ripping it out. Now I am at the point where I have found ...
4
votes
3answers
655 views

Should I be concerned that the sill plate is not lined up with the foundation?

I am in the process of building a one level home in PA. After the formed concrete walls were poured and the framing began, I noticed that on one side of the house that the sill plate was flush with ...
4
votes
1answer
471 views

I want to permanently remove and fill-in below grade windows in multi-family building. What's the risk?

I have a 5 family apartment building in NJ. There are 2 below grade window wells that protrude from the building and into the asphalt driveway. I want to fill these in permanently with concrete ...
4
votes
3answers
766 views

What happens if XPS is an inch away from basement walls?

I live in Maine and am planning to insulate my basement. It has fairly smooth poured concrete walls. I've read online that spray foam is one option, and 2" of XPS directly against the wall is ...
4
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
4k 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
567 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
606 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
2answers
270 views

What's the right way to insulate and frame around this pipe?

I have been studying the latest engineering on how to insulate and frame basements after tearing out a partially finished basement that had wood and insulation in direct contact with the concrete. ...
4
votes
1answer
154 views

Could these foundation defects cause problems?

Attached are the pictures of newly constructed basement wall. I wonder if these defects are going to be a problem in the future? Outside of the walls have water proofing, but I wonder if these defects ...
4
votes
1answer
275 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
2answers
119 views

Do I leave this insulation up?

I am researching how to finish one room in my basement, and not sure what to do with what I think is vapor barrier or wall wrap insulation. Its only on two of the four walls which I assume is because ...
4
votes
5answers
1k 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
615 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
976 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
432 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
937 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
4k 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
7answers
47k 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
votes
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
4answers
159 views

Ramset nails not flush with basement frame wall

I built my first wall in my basement when I started to frame and I bought the Ramset MasterShot 0.22 gun from Home Depot and read up on everything and when I used it to nail my treated 2x4 to the ...
3
votes
3answers
4k 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
6k 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
117 views

Should I use spray foam to insulate a basement?

Home in CT cape w/ uninsulated basement. Its a cold, not drafty house, with new Marvin integrity windows. The basement is very cold, and it seems like the cold basement is making the rest of the house ...
3
votes
3answers
178 views

How do I drywall a corner with a lally column?

I'm finishing my basement and I've come across this lally column which is supporting a steel beam. I want to frame an external corner for this interior wall at this "corner" but the distance from ...
3
votes
5answers
213 views

What are the options for moisture-proofing foundation from the interior

I'm trying to prevent moisture from turning into mold and growing on concrete exterior walls and getting into the fiberglass insulation. I see polystyrene, foil, chemical-based concrete sealing, and ...
3
votes
4answers
890 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
205 views

Saddle valve problem

My humidifier is supplied from a saddle valve. I don't think that there is much flow to the humidifier. What is the best way to rectify this problem
3
votes
1answer
280 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
6k 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
2answers
826 views

Can I cut a hole in the brick to install a through the wall air conditioner in a basement?

I am looking to install a through the wall air conditioner in the basement. I don't want to block the one window. There is already a window in the brick. I don't know if there is any kind of ...
3
votes
3answers
1k 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
3answers
137 views

Allowing basement floor to breathe

I'm working on remodeling a basement and the plan for now is to install a subfloor (XPS rigid insulation and plywood on top of that). For the actual floor, I was thinking of using vinyl planks that ...
3
votes
3answers
137 views

Semi-finished basement, water-resistant “baseboards”?

I'm planning on applying foam-panel insulation over my basement's concrete wall. I'm told a fire barrier is required over that, either plasterboard or decently-thick plywood. I've been considering ...
3
votes
2answers
547 views

How far does a basement egress window well need to stick out above ground?

Is there code on this? I am having an egress window well installed today and was surprised to see the window well sticking out 2 feet above ground (1 foot if you count all the new dirt they mounded up ...
3
votes
4answers
26k 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
2answers
7k 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
91 views

What is this this square hole in bathroom rough in used for?

I have a plumbing rough in that is located below grade in my basement. The system consists of a 2" sewer pipe and a toilet rough in connected to an ejecter tank. In the middle there is what appears to ...
3
votes
2answers
423 views

What is the minimum thickness of foam board when insulating a basement

What is the minimum thickness of the foamboard insulation that can be used when insulating a concrete basement wall when it comes to moisture control and temperature control? Obviously thicker is ...