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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5answers
7k 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
3k 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
3answers
61 views

How to run wire through steel garage floor system

We are building a carriage house, with a 4 car garage and a basement underneath. The basement has steel I-beams and the metal b-decking that the garage floor is poured on top of as a ceiling. What ...
3
votes
1answer
132 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
3k 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
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
594 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
693 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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2answers
5k 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
105 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
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2answers
253 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
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3answers
129 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
4answers
2k 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
2answers
869 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
349 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
273 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
1k 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
574 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
241 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
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2answers
147 views

Can I have a “hollow” basement bathroom floor?

I'm going to jackhammer my basement's concrete floor to install plumbing for a new bathroom. Normally, after the plumbing is done, we should pour concrete to it again. What will happen if I just ...
3
votes
1answer
116 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
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4answers
4k 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
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2answers
1k 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
1answer
548 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
332 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
418 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
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3answers
1k 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
3k 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
546 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
78 views

Re-framing basement walls after flooding. Drain tile with no concrete?

Im getting ready to re-frame basement walls after basement flood (shocking images attached). I'll be doing this for every wall portion that can possibly flood: 1) ridgid XPS foam insulation ...
3
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2answers
1k 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
1answer
244 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
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3answers
4k 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
7k 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
2answers
133 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
4answers
6k 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
311 views

Sump Pump Recommendations [closed]

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
83 views

Basement drain without a trap

What do you do if your basement đrain doesn't have a trap? I tried shined a flash light down and the pipe just goes straight down. The house smells and 3 buckets of water have not helped.
2
votes
2answers
2k 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
245 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
768 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
73 views

What type of cleaner should I use to remove a puke stain from concrete?

My cat puked on the basement floor in a couple places, but I can't seem to clean the stain. So far I've tried simply mopping with Pine-Sol®, which didn't work. Then I tried scrubbing/mopping with ...
2
votes
2answers
103 views

Noisy floating wall anchors

In Colorado basement walls have to be floating. Basically they are suspended from the floor joists, with a vertically movable anchor into the base plate, in case the slab moves due to expansive soil. ...
2
votes
2answers
6k 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
219 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
253 views

Please reassure me about basement french drains

I understand the principles and practice of putting in a basement perimeter drain... but I've got a slightly irrational paranoia about the concept of cutting the basement floor free that way. ...
2
votes
4answers
712 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 ...