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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1
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2answers
7k views

How can I improve air flow in my basement?

I have a pretty odd two floor duplex apartment with one of the rooms practically being a basement. I have previously had problems with mold, and in general the air isn't great in the basement. So I ...
3
votes
2answers
439 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
995 views

Do I need to install dry wall in my basement?

I have a concrete basement with concrete walls. I'm thinking about just painting the basement and not have to put up dry wall because I want to save money. Is that a good idea or should I really ...
3
votes
6answers
810 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). ...
9
votes
2answers
8k views

How can I level my basement floor, which has a 4-inch dip?

I googled today on how to level a basement floor. Most people recommend using SLC (self leveling concrete)... I don't think I can just use that because of the pitch of my floor (and from what I hear, ...
11
votes
3answers
19k views

What is the proper way to run wires along/across basement ceiling joists?

I want to add an electrical outlet in my unfinished basement. It makes sense to run the wire along the ceiling because that's where all the other wires are. What is the proper way to install NM ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

Does a bedroom have to have a closet?

I'm finishing my basement (actually its the second basement I've finished). And I've built what I think is a bedroom in the basement. I had the ELECTRICAL inspector in here the other day and as he's ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the proper way to insulate box sill joists in the basement?

The floor joists of the first floor are sitting directly in breaks in the concrete/cinderblock walls, and there's large gaps all around the edges. I've done some looking around and it appears that ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

What should I do about ceiling tiles that potentially contain asbestos?

A family member is considering purchasing a house, built in the Midwestern United States in 1958. In the basement, there are nine inch ceiling tiles on the ceiling. The home inspection mentioned that ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Should I add insulation to basement ceiling?

Currently doing a reno on our basement. After roughing everything out, I have insulated the outside walls with R13 (2x4). The house has never had insulation in the basement. Should I insulate the ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Will running a dehumidifier near new concrete cause it to cure poorly?

I have a new house with high humidity in the basement. Will running a dehumidifier constantly cause the new concrete to cure poorly?
7
votes
3answers
15k views

Should we install carpet before the baseboard and door casings?

We just had a carpet layer come in for measurements and a quote. We've not put in the baseboard or door casings yet, but the carpet layer has suggested that this will make things easier. Is this true ...
7
votes
1answer
197 views

Is it normal for the concrete covering my interior perimeter drain to be damp?

I inherited an interior perimeter drain with a sump-pump as part of a basement waterproofing system when I purchased my new home two years ago. Since then I have noticed that along the seam of the ...
1
vote
1answer
943 views

How should I add flooring in my “crawl” space?

Our house has a basement where part of it is finished but one section is closed off by a door and just has a dirt floor. The space is about 25'x25' and about 12' tall (not really a "crawl" space) ...
4
votes
1answer
745 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 ...
1
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

What thickness of closed cell spray foam should I use on my basement walls?

I'm finishing my basement in southeastern Wisconsin. This is a poured full basement below grade. We are ready to insulate the walls and are going to use closed cell spray foam. I've had two ...
4
votes
1answer
606 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
3k views

Can I install tiles directly over a concrete floor in my basement?

We are redoing our basement. In some areas (bathroom and laundry room) I plan on putting tile down. The basement is dry and level. Can I attach the tile directly to the basement floor?
5
votes
3answers
476 views

Should I install external basement insulation that does not extend above ground?

Question : Is there a way to calculate energy savings for external, 2inch insulation on basement walls that does not extend above the soil surface, leaving the top couple feet of foundation wall ...
6
votes
2answers
7k views

Do I need an egress bedroom window if I have a walk-out exterior door?

I have a basement with three hopper windows and a walk-out door. There's also a staircase that connects the basement with the upper (main) floor of the house. If I build a bedroom, do I need an ...
6
votes
3answers
5k views

How do I level a basement floor but not the slab underneath?

I'd like to install laminate floor on top of Delta FL in my basement. The basement slab is not level, it slopes (from all directions) towards a floor drain (that, via a pipe, leads to a sump pump) ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Does 100 yr old concrete floor need replacing?

Our house was built in 1905 and the concrete floor is uneven and gets a lot of moisture at times. We replaced the gutters which helped a little. We'd like to finish the basement, maybe use stained ...
4
votes
1answer
840 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
451 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

Can I lay down solid wood planks on top of my basement concrete floor?

I live in Oakville, Ontario and have a detached home with an unfinished basement with concrete floor. I would like to put hardwood flooring in part of the basement. Instead of tongue and groove ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I remove a musty smell from the basement?

We're currently setting up a basement to be used as an apartment, and are trying to see how we could get rid of a musty smell that seems to exist in that area. While we're thinking it might be due to ...
4
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
395 views

Do I need to do more prep work on this cement floor before putting in new tile?

In my basement i have a poured concrete floor, and we're re-doing the bathroom down there. It used to have Vinyl flooring, and we ripped it all up. The top vinyl part came up easily, but it left a bit ...
1
vote
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. ...
4
votes
3answers
445 views

Kind of contractor to hire to install new basement window, where there was none before?

A family member is interested in getting their basement finished, and one of the things they'd like to do is have an additional bedroom in the basement. The bedroom should have a window. However, ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

Using fire rated drywall/sheetrock in a partially finished basement

Background: We have a full basement and I have recently completed about half of it as a hang out spot for my teenage boys and their friends. The other side I use as a workshop and a place to store ...
7
votes
3answers
613 views

Would running a band saw or cnc machine in my basement be safe?

I'd like to get a band saw and drill press but I don't have room in my garage so I'd like to put it in my basement. The problem is I don't have any ventilation to remove sawdust so would having it in ...
5
votes
3answers
856 views

Running electric cables in basement shop

I am setting up a workshop in the unfinished area of my basement. I need to run a couple of electrical outlets and would like to run them along the block walls through grey PVC. Will this be a ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

How can I clean a very dirty concrete basement floor?

My basement floor has been made amazingly gross (thank you, cats) and I'd like to get it really clean. Is there an option other than scrubbing on hands and knees? Are there cleaning solutions that ...
7
votes
2answers
408 views

Basement Insulation

I am currently insulating my basement. I left the studs far enough away from the concrete wall so I can put r20 in without it compressing. My main question is there is enough space between the studs ...
2
votes
5answers
10k 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?
3
votes
1answer
211 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 ...
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 ...
3
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
20k views

How do I calculate the size of electric baseboard heater needed?

I'm working on finishing our basement which does not have any duct work to tie into for heating, so we're planning on using electric baseboard heaters. How do I calculate the needed size of heater ...
1
vote
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 ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

How should I go about leveling my basement floor?

My house is from the 1920s, with a poured concrete foundation and floor in the basement. The floor dips pretty noticeably downward from the foundation walls towards a drain near one end of the ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Can I run a dehumidifier pump to a washer stand pipe?

I have a very humid basement, in which I run a dehumidifier often. To allow for a more constant run, I purchased a dehumidifier pump. It says to run the pump out through a window or to a sink. I ...
4
votes
4answers
5k views

How do I install cabinets on a floating hardwood floor?

We just purchased a bunch of cabinets for installation of a bar / kitchenette in the basement. There are 4 wall cabinets and four base cabinets. These are going to be installed on the existing ...
7
votes
6answers
6k views

Is insulating an unfinished basement worth it? If so, how should I go about it?

I have an unfinished, well waterproofed basement with cinderblock walls and a concrete floor. All but the top 6 inches / 15 cm or so is underground. Would it be worth insulating the walls down there? ...
2
votes
1answer
261 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

There is water in my basement and the outdoor sump pump failed. What am I doing wrong?

My house has water problems with the basement. Here's what the entrance to my basement looks like. When I get a really heavy rain storm, water manages to rise up and start seeping in under the door. ...