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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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) ...
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
123 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 ...
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 ...
21
votes
6answers
28k views

Should I use steel or wood studs for basement exterior walls?

Related: When should you use metal studs? I'm planning on finishing my basement. (assuming all water issues are resolved) I'll be putting up a water barrier (tar paper) on all exterior walls, ...
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 ...
15
votes
2answers
599 views

Is it better to waterproof a basement from the outside or the inside?

Is it better to waterproof a basement from the outside or the inside? I've heard different things about this. We have a home built in the 40's on a cinder-block foundation. One side of the house is ...
3
votes
6answers
20k 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
5answers
3k 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. ...
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 ...
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
7k views

What is the best way to fill a hole in a concrete basement floor?

My basement floor has a hole cut where the water line enters the house. This hole is around 2ft square, and digging down a little I hit dirt and small roots. I'd like to seal this hole as I believe it ...
18
votes
4answers
110k views

What humidity should I set my dehumidifier to?

I just bought a 50 pint dehumidifier for my basement. What humidity level should I aim for? This time of year the outside humidity is very high (over 80%) and we do not have central air. Right now ...
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
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 ...
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
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 ...
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
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 ...
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
567 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?
4
votes
1answer
4k 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
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 ...
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
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 ...
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. ...
20
votes
9answers
65k views

I have a basement floor with lots of moisture, can I paint or seal it to make it waterproof?

My basement has a slight dampness issue, where if I leave things on the floor they will get wet. There are no leaks and no standing water, the moisture seems to be wicking up through the concrete. I ...
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 ...
5
votes
4answers
656 views

Adding insulation to basement that already has vapor barrier

I have leftover insulation from doing my basement, little bits and pieces. In between the joists on my basement ceiling it is insulated with vapour barrier already from when the house was built. ...
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 ...
5
votes
9answers
14k views

How should I add lighting to a low ceiling basement?

I have a basement ceiling that's around 6'6" high and currently the lights are standard bulb outlets that are attached to the beams so they sit down at eye level in the room. This means when you're ...
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
3k 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?
6
votes
3answers
3k views

How should I insulate my basement?

My basement is CMU blocks and concrete floor. I had water issues, so I waterproofed it with an interior french drain, drainboard at the edge and a sump pump. This wouldn't take care of dampness so 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 ...
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 ...
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, ...
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, ...
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 ...
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. ...
13
votes
5answers
9k views

What is the recommended home design software? [duplicate]

I am going to be finishing my basement. I would like to design the new basement myself using design software. What is the recommended home design software?
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?
1
vote
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
890 views

Should I insulate steam pipes in the basement?

I have a steam-radiator heating system. The furnace is in the (unfinished) basement, and the steam-carrying steel pipes spread out across the basement ceiling before going up into the rest of the ...
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? ...