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
votes
1answer
444 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
292 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
352 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
3answers
945 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
2k 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
461 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
0answers
656 views

Cost of XPS panels vs. sprayed closed cell foam

I'm starting the process of finishing my nearly full height (7'2") basement and am costing out the insulation. Based on my research of what's best below grade, I'm debating between XPS foam panels ...
3
votes
4answers
822 views

Rim Joist Insulation without a Sill Plate

I've seen a few similar questions but the answers don't add up... I would like to use some rigid foam insulation to insulate my rim joists. Here is the problem: everything I have seen shows putting ...
3
votes
1answer
220 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
3k 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
2answers
5k views

Is it okay to staple romex to a floor joist when running it perpendicular behind a finished basement ceiling?

Taking down my ceiling to run some wire to new outlets. The outlets are going in an area with an unfinished ceiling, so I know the romex there will need to be ran through the joists when going ...
2
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
297 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
1answer
36 views

How big of a beam for a load bearing wall

I have a wall in my basement that is load bearing. Right now, they put a door opening in there (and probably overdid the header for it). I would like to remove a 7 foot section and open it up for a ...
2
votes
2answers
578 views

Attaching non-load bearing walls to steel I-beams

I'm preparing to remodel my basement. A steel I-beam runs the length the of the basement with vertical steel columns spaced periodically across the span. The beam is 5" wide and 8" tall. I'm ...
2
votes
3answers
177 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
661 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
4k 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
195 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
4answers
498 views

How do I mount this pullup bar?

I bought this pull up bar that is designed to go into studs that are 16" apart Ultimate Body Press My basement walls are only framed out so I can see all of the studs. I started to mount it and ...
2
votes
2answers
1k 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
3answers
4k 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
7k 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
2k 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
2k views

“Draining” concrete blocks?

We've recently had exterior waterproofing applied our house. In the process, we removed an old cold room that was underneath our porch. They walled up the entrance to the old cold room, and then ...
2
votes
5answers
13k 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
2answers
53 views

Do I need an HVAC vent in this bathroom?

The finished portion of my basement was completed after the original construction. I've found a few questionable practices, including the lack of an HVAC vent in the basement bathroom (shown in green ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

What is the purpose of a window well for a window that is above grade?

Recently my neighbour installed window wells around all of his basement windows, but they all sit with the bottom edge about 2 inches above the ground. Do window wells serve a purpose if your window ...
2
votes
2answers
112 views

Are my basement walls sweating?

Portions of my basement wall are darker and appear to be wet, but to the touch they are just slightly cooler. I took a few pictures to show. The pattern of the darker areas is strange in some places ...
2
votes
1answer
250 views

Should I use traditional 2x4 framing or 1x3 grid framing for a New England basement remodel?

I'm trying to decide which framing method to go with for a particular room while finishing a basement. I live in New England and I already have 2" foam board glued to the concrete using the correct ...
2
votes
1answer
127 views

Are portable electrical outlets permitted in a basement?

I would like to install a portable outlet box near a work area in an unfinished basement. I have seen these installed in commercial buildings and educational laboratory type areas, always dropped from ...
2
votes
1answer
186 views

Can I use 1“ XPS and fiberglass batts instead of 2” XPS insulation in my basement?

I have read multiple sources on the internet suggesting use of 2" XPS foam boards to insulate basement foundation and then building a 2x4 wall in front of it. 2" foam board is very expensive when ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

Do I need a vapor barrier in an exterior basement wall if I use purple drywall?

I purchased some purple drywall (mold and moisture resistant)for installing in a finished basement bedroom. One wall is an exterior wall. Do I need to install a vapor barrier between the drywall and ...
2
votes
2answers
293 views

How can I insulate behind pipes that are close to a foundation wall?

Reading around, it seems like most people suggest to put up XPS insulation when finishing a basement. That's great and all, but how do you put 2" of rigid foam behind pipes that already exist in the ...
2
votes
1answer
192 views

How can I reduce the humidity level in my basement?

I have an unfinished basement in my 1040 square foot ranch house. I just bought an energy star 30 pint dehumidifier to replace an old one that came with the house 1 year ago (I set it on the "driest" ...
2
votes
2answers
552 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
2answers
2k views

Do stairs need to be the same height after landing?

I have set of stairs that leads from the main floor to the basement. A little over half way down there is a landing (typical L-shape). I'm looking to put in an insulated subfloor in my basement, ...
2
votes
3answers
779 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
433 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
214 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
517 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
6k 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
1answer
459 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
134 views

Is a combined AC/Dehumidifer unit more efficient than separate units?

I've just moved into a "basement-ish" apartment; the actual ground level is about at my waist. It's a bit mustier than I'd hoped, and not as cool as I'd like during these closing days of Summer. I'm ...
2
votes
1answer
36 views

Framing a new basement window in cinder block

We recently purchased a home and this window was boarded up on both sides. I removed the plywood to discover that it used to be a old coal chute. I removed all the old fiberglass insulation that was ...
2
votes
1answer
190 views

What size feeder do I need for a basement electrical subpanel?

I would like to know what size and type of feeder wire and feeder breaker do I need for my basement subpanel where I am planning to add six 15 Amp circuits, and three 20 Amp circuits. This will be 2' ...
2
votes
1answer
66 views

Adding sink fixture to waste stack with existing sink fixture

I'm renovating our basement and I have a waste stack with a roughed in sink fixture trap arm. We are putting a wetbar on the other side of this wall probably around 2' to the left of this waste stack ...
2
votes
1answer
351 views

Sump pit filling very quickly from inlet pipes

In October, I bought a large home with a sump pit in the basement. The previous owners had a sump pump but left it shut off (unplugged). I bought the house three months before moving in, so the pump ...
2
votes
2answers
103 views

What should I do about an above grade cinder block basement wall that is wet?

Above grade cinder block basement wall is wet. It's right at the ground level. On same wall the below grade isn't wet. i think it's b/c not much sun on that side of the house as other. what to do? ...
2
votes
1answer
96 views

insulating rim joist

After caulking the four joints that make up a rim joint, can I put the rigid 2" XPS board close to the room (the beginning of the cavity), or does it have to be put right up against the joist. ...