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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2answers
77 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
78 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
124 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
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2answers
540 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
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3answers
200 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.
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2answers
232 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
135 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
272 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 ...
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2answers
3k 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
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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 ...
2
votes
1answer
362 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 ...
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2answers
125 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
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1answer
76 views

Is rigid foam on rim board in basement worth doing if walls aren't insulated?

We bought an older home that we use more as an office. The basement is totally uninsulated including the rim joists. Last winter, it got really cold down there to the point that the floors upstairs ...
2
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2answers
110 views

How can I meet the height requirements for a door in a basement with a low ceiling?

To meet code we need a minimum 6'6" clearance through all doors. The ceiling height in most of the basement is 6'8", but the clearance through the exterior door is much less than that. On the inside ...
2
votes
1answer
177 views

Subfloors and stairs

It seems to me that many people put subfloors in their basements (and other floors), but what do they do when it comes to the existing stairs? I'm code says that you can't have more than 3/8" ...
2
votes
1answer
72 views

How to tell if carpet is destroyed after a flood?

The other day ago a water line going to an exterior faucet exploded in the wall and flooded my finished basement. The water level was around 1"-2" high and we imagine the water was running for ...
2
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3answers
517 views

What Material for Basement Walls?

I have a basement that's pretty big and has wood paneling all around. My wife and I hate the paneling since it's dark and has grooves spaced throughout it as part of the texture. So naturally we're ...
2
votes
1answer
803 views

Seal basement floor before tiling

My basement is prone to getting water in it after big rains. I know that we definitely have a leak in the wall on one side of the basement so we're having a contractor come in and demo the whole ...
2
votes
1answer
90 views

what impact tools are needed for subfloor in the basement?

I would like to know if there are any impact tools that I need to make the subfloor permanent or stable to avoid sound later. I don't want to use DRIcore for this matter.
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2answers
1k views

Should I be concerned with my back flow valve pit filling with water?

I have never had foundation or ground water problems in my basement but I did have a sewar problem and as part of a recent replacment of that, I had a back flow valve installed that looks like this: ...
2
votes
1answer
224 views

Can I use 2-1/2“ metal studs to hang 1/2” drywall?

I am in the process of remodeling my basement, & it's ready for studs; the basement is small, so to maximize as much space as possible I was thinking of using 2-1/2" metal studs opposed to the ...
2
votes
1answer
381 views

How can I install an interior cat door to the basement and not have it kill me? (from increased radon)

I recently purchased and moved into a new house with an unfinished basement under part of house and crawl space under the rest. We have 2 indoor cats and I would prefer that their litter box be in ...
2
votes
1answer
112 views

How to find where crickets are entering?

We occasionally find crickets in our mostly unfinished basement. We don't often open the windows down there and we haven't noticed any unusual drafts. We don't have any dryer vents there. There are ...
2
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1answer
297 views

Is this hole at the corner of the foundation major issue?

I am in the process of purchasing a home. I found the perfect home but of course, I found water stains in the basement walls (mostly close to the floor). I also noticed a small hole at the corner of ...
2
votes
1answer
681 views

How can I clean and paint my basement floor?

The basement in my house I just purchased has remnants of paint on one half of the basement that is separated by a wall. The remaining paint is stuck down really well and I would like to paint over ...
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2answers
39 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
158 views

Can I install Delta-FL in only part of a basement?

I've been looking at finishing my basement and am leaning towards using 7/16" OSB over Delta-FL for the subfloor. I was also considering leaving some areas as bare cement (laundry room, utility room, ...
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0answers
886 views

Are there any risks in removing these steel basement window frames?

I am planning to replacement my basement windows (see this related question) and was planning to remove both the glass and frame. A window vendor advised me not do this claiming that the steel frame ...
2
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3answers
91 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 ...
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vote
2answers
453 views

Need Quick Fix for Leaky Door

Hurricane Sandy is starting to hit us, and we have come to realize our basement door is leaky, and it's starting to soak our basement. I found where the water is coming in, the bottom corner of the ...
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3answers
585 views

Will plaster on basement walls and ceiling provide insulation?

My basement's insides are completely unfinished. It has bare brick walls and bare concrete beams-vaults as the ceiling. I though of coating the walls and the ceiling with 2 inch thick plaster with the ...
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vote
3answers
435 views

What is a reasonably economical way to heat a basement bathroom?

I have a basement bathroom (roughly 8' x 4') that corners two outside walls, and has no heat vent. Months like this it's ice cold. I'd like to heat it up, just not sure how, outside of running a space ...
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1answer
367 views

1“ x 2” Furring Strips for Drywall Ceiling

In my basement, there's currently a tile ceiling that's installed on furring strips attached to the joists. The furring strips are 1"x2", attached to the joists by nails. We're currently replacing the ...
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3answers
5k views

How can I install ceramic tile over vinyl tile?

I'm trying to install ceramic tile in a friend's bathroom, appox. 45 sq ft. The current floor in the bathroom is vinyl squares over the base cement. There is no subfloor or anything like that. The ...
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2answers
3k views

Will I trap moisture in the concrete of basement walls and floors if I seal them with epoxy?

I'm thinking about painting my basement's walls with some concrete sealer (before finishing the basement) and floor with epoxy paint. Many people are doing that, but I'm concerned about moisture in ...
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1answer
577 views

Basement shower drain backing up when washing machine runs

When running washing machine, water backs up through a nearby shower drain and makes a gurgling noise. How do I solve this problem?
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2answers
5k views

How do I connect a dryer to a dryer vent?

I just moved my dryer (gas) a couple feet to a better location in the basement. It is actually now closer to the existing dryer vent to the outside of the house. The previous owner has it connected ...
1
vote
3answers
154 views

Gutted a basement and found a window, what should I do?

I recently gutted my basement in an early 1900s home that was finished in the mid-80s, and discovered a window! This window is directly under my front door, hidden by a deck that I've never really ...
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vote
1answer
394 views

How to repair a basement ceiling's old school interlocking tiles?

I'd like to repair this hole, but I am running into trouble as I've tried rotating the fallen tiles every which way, but nothing seems to work. Don't know if I have to start from or work back to the ...
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1answer
347 views

In this plumbing code illustration, what are the meanings of “SH” “WC” “BT” “LAV”, etc?

The image below, taken from this plumbing code page, has an "SH" going to the middle pipe with the trap in it. Does anyone know what the "SH" stands for, or the "BT" and "WC" ones for that matter? ...
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4answers
207 views

What does wire loops on the wall for?

I bought a house recently, and there are wires in the walls under stucco. But in basement these wires are go out as a loops not far from the ceil. What are they for? Are they for lamps? If yes, then ...
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1answer
4k views

Can I install sheet vinyl flooring in a basement that gets wet on occasion?

Our basement is usually dry, but every so often we have torrential rainstorms in the spring and we are downhill from our neighbors. We get some water overnight in a small stream that we can mop up. ...
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2answers
52 views

Cracks in basement cement that seem to leak more when water is running?

I came home from a 2 day trip and found cracks in my basement cement with water seeping into them. I noticed that when I ran the water it leaked more, any guess what the problem is?
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2answers
99 views

How do I remedy mold/mildew that has appeared since blocking off ventilation?

I have a Ranch home with a finished rec room in the basement. It is our second year in the house. We had no mold/mildew problems last year. I put new carpet in the family room above basement and I ...
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1answer
1k views

What should I have my dehumidifier set at to dry out my basement?

I have a 1600 sq ft home. The wellmate sprung a leak last Sat and soaked the basement. Im running fans down there and just got a 40 pint dehumidifier per the service guy. What setting should I set it. ...
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vote
1answer
1k 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 ...
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2answers
1k views

Is basement smell caused by oil boiler?

Although dry and not moldy, my 130-year-old basement has a distinct basement smell that bothers my wife. I am trying to determine its source. We have steam heat. In the summer, the boiler is only ...
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1answer
37 views

What should I look for in a battery backup sump pump?

I've got a pretty basic 1/3 hp sump pump that does the job quite well. However, i'm concerned about losing power and just the wrong time. Or worse the pump goes bad! What sort of features do you look ...
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1answer
46 views

Do I need to close the windows and doors in the entire house when doing a radon test?

I'm trying to perform a home radon test, the first step in the instructions for the Pro-Lab Radon Gas Detector Kit read that I need to close all the windows and doors for 12 hours before hand. Do I ...
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1answer
86 views

How can I stop this drain pipe from backing up?

In my basement laundry room is (to my knowledge) the only drain pipe in the whole basement, which hooks into the end of the main line as it exits the house and heads to the septic tank. When we moved ...