For questions generally relating to habitable spaces in a home below ground level, and to foundation types that include a space of this type.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

0
votes
1answer
256 views

Bubble of air out of toilet when flushed

When I flush the toilet in the basement there is a big air bubble that comes up the toilet and it then drains slow; if anything else is running it almost overflows. The basement toilet was working ...
4
votes
1answer
478 views

I want to permanently remove and fill-in below grade windows in multi-family building. What's the risk?

I have a 5 family apartment building in NJ. There are 2 below grade window wells that protrude from the building and into the asphalt driveway. I want to fill these in permanently with concrete ...
1
vote
1answer
271 views

How should I run electrical wire perpendicular to exposed joists in my basement?

I have some questions in regards to running electrical in an exposed, unfinished basement environment. I understand that wire running parallel to floor joists should be at least 1.25" above the bottom ...
6
votes
1answer
206 views

Small geyser coming out of the basement floor

My house is 40 years old. I have had basement flooding issues for years. With heavy rain, water comes out of my floors. I have a sump pump that takes care of it. Despite knowing better, Ive been able ...
4
votes
1answer
276 views

mold on basement walls

I have a basement that I am planning on finishing. There was a mold problem. After washing the basement walls, I soaked them in Concrobium. I then painted the walls with a masonry waterproofing ...
2
votes
0answers
166 views

Don't know where lever is to open top latch on steel cellar door

I recently took over my recently passed Grandmother's house and she has a furnace in the cellar. Of course, the furnace went out, so I need access to the cellar in order to fix it. I moved from out of ...
1
vote
0answers
110 views

how do i plumb this rough-in?

The future bathroom in my basement has been roughed-in by the builder. Spot where the tub / shower goes was covered over by a square plastic tub (a "dap-out", if the spelling I see online is correct). ...
0
votes
0answers
141 views

Can I use floating luxury vinyl tile for an indoor/outdoor basement in Michigan?

We are looking to update our walk out into an indoor / outdoor area particularly for Michigan summers. Several questions have discussed flooring particularly floating luxury vinyl tile (LVT) like ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Should I put a moisture barrier under tile on a basement floor?

I bought porcelain tile for my basement.. Should I put Ditra down in order to prevent any moisture? Is there a cheaper way? I had tile put in the other room and there is white powder that comes up ...
1
vote
0answers
100 views

How can I cheaply replace basement ceiling tiles?

I live in Edmonton, Alberta and must replace the old ceiling tiles. I have been told it could cost more money than I have to replace it. Is there a low cost way to do this? I am having the electrical ...
4
votes
2answers
119 views

Do I leave this insulation up?

I am researching how to finish one room in my basement, and not sure what to do with what I think is vapor barrier or wall wrap insulation. Its only on two of the four walls which I assume is because ...
2
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
142 views

Can I safely nail a wall's top plate to a laminated beam?

I'm finishing my basement in Minnesota, and am in the process of framing it out. An engineered wood beam (2 parallel pieces of what looks to be 13 or 14ply laminate) holds up the main floor. My ...
2
votes
1answer
232 views

How should I build a low profile stud wall in a basement?

I'm considering several options for building out a wall in a basement. Unfortunately, due to the way that the stairs leading to the basement are positioned in my house and the spacing I have to build ...
7
votes
5answers
5k views

How many Tapcons should be used to anchor a baseplate to a concrete floor?

I'm building a non-structural wall in my basement. I'm using Pressure-treated lumber on top of a foam sill gasket to protect from any moisture. How many tapcons should be used per 8-foot length to ...
1
vote
0answers
140 views

How can I determine which pipe is the drain and which is the vent in rough plumbing?

My basement has the below slab drains pre-piped, but just capped off. Coming up through the slab is a 4" cast iron pipe (toilet), (2) 2" pipes sink/vent and then a 10" or 12" square filled with stone ...
1
vote
2answers
519 views

What are the pros and cons of covering a basement ceiling with drywall vs. panel board?

I'm renovating an unheated basement into a shop in a 1900's wood frame house. The plaster has long since come down and I'm looking to cover the joists. The goal is to insulate a bit (the floor ...
2
votes
2answers
307 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? ...
3
votes
2answers
313 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
683 views

how critical are distances between studs?

I'm in the process of finishing my basement (east-central Minnesota, US). So far, I've put up a couple of wood stud walls... non-load bearing, simple partition walls. One one of these walls, the ...
14
votes
3answers
8k views

How much damage can a grow-op do to a house in 3 months?

There is a home for sale about 10% lower than market value in the area in which we're shopping for a home. When we visited, the real estate agent disclosed that renters had used the basement as a ...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

Basement insulation under cantilever [duplicate]

I have a currently unfinished basement in a rather new home. There are a few places that have bay windows, or cantilevers that currently have only a bit of pink insulation thrown in fro the basement. ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

What equipment could I use for digging out a basement after the house is built?

My mother and father built the home I live in many years ago. It only had a half basement. My father had started on the other side, but passed away before finishing it. I have now taken this job on. I ...
2
votes
1answer
797 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
96 views

polystyrene insulation over dryloc basement walls

I am a DIY beginner. If I am installing polystyrene over drylocked basement walls, do I need a vapor barrier? Do I put the studs on top of the polystyrene? So, from exterior to interior it would ...
1
vote
2answers
510 views

How could one insulate sill plate from the outside?

My house has a gap between the Basement wall and Sill Plate (location best shown in this picture). While there are several question and answers here, I have not found any that deals with a fix from ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

What I do about mouse droppings in basement ceiling where I can't reach?

I had a mouse infestation a while ago - they were coming in from dryer and exhaust vents too close to the ground. I trapped the mice and fixed the vent/exhaust situation to prevent more from ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Is there a way I can fill cinderblocks in my basement to stop water from coming in?

Could I drill holes in each block and fill with sprayfoam that would fill the blocks with a water tight seal and then paint the inside with drylock? How about hydroclay?
3
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
177 views

How do I lay joists over a complex-sloped basement floor

I am helping a friend install a bathroom in his basement. The basement floor is partially rock which has been covered in plastic vapour barrier and then covered in a thin layer of concrete. (The ...
1
vote
3answers
114 views

Finishing basement… level floors with SLC or install stud wall first?

Basement floor isn't too far off... wondering if I should get the stud wall done first or level the floor first....
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Minimum number of recessed lights for 29x13 room

I know the "standard rules" say one light every 4 to 6 feet... But what would be the minimum I can get away with using canned lights for a room that is about 29x13. I previously went my way with ...
3
votes
3answers
140 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, ...
0
votes
1answer
129 views

How can I remove a non-load bearing wall in my basement?

I have two small rooms in basement. I want to remove the common wall between the two and covert the resulting big room into a home theater. What is the best way to remove the studs, wiring, etc.?
1
vote
1answer
647 views

Water heater on concrete--should I build a platform? how much heat loss in winter?

I don't know if that title the best way to phrase the question. It's winter(ish) now, and I swear the hot water just doesn't last as long as it does in, say, September. The water heater tank is ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

How do I prevent water from leaking into my basement?

How do I prevent rain water from leaking directly into the basement? As you can see in the diagram below, rain water drains into small concrete cracks (near the bright red line shown below) and finds ...
1
vote
4answers
158 views

standalone pump options for leaky below-grade room

A friend of mine runs a martial arts studio where his concrete-floored office in the back is slightly below grade and floods every time it rains. I assume that a proper solution would presumably ...
2
votes
1answer
118 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. ...
0
votes
1answer
298 views

rigid foam board in basement with exterior guard overkill?

I'm finishing a basement and have 8 foot and half concrete walls that I will be placing a stud wall in front of. I've scoured the net only to find a large number of opinions. My basement wall has an ...
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
90 views

Plumbing connections for basement bathroom

My house is a bit of a strange design. Although the living room appears to be an addition to the home, it was actually built at the same time as the rest of the house. Looking at the front of the ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Low ceiling clearance non load-bearing door opening question

I'm finishing my basement, and am framing in a room. I have 81.5" of ceiling clearance to the ceiling joists, and am in the process of framing in a door for a bedroom. My question is, since this ...
1
vote
0answers
33 views

Repairing concrete block on inner part of basement

I have had water seepage into my basement through concrete block for many years. The exterior part of the block is covered by a deck and patio and is not easy to get to. I've mitigated a lot of the ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Fragile paperback on cellar ceiling batts

Installed in 1968, these insulation batts now fall, or hang. The paperback has become so fragile the insulating weight pulls it apart. What suggestions for a remedy? Replace? Or?
3
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
298 views

Can rigid foam board have an air space between it and rim joist?

I am insulating my rim joists with 2" rigid foam board. Most of the rim joist is bare, and the foam fits along it nicely. Some sill boxes have some small irregularities (vent pipes, plumbing, etc) ...
0
votes
1answer
134 views

which layer of rigid foam should i caulk when insulating rim joist?

I am insulating my rim joists with rigid foam board in a manner similar to that described on the familyhandyman's website. I am considering adding a second layer of foam board to get closer to the ...
1
vote
2answers
217 views

Basement supporting wall header increase

We are finally in the process of finishing our basement after a number of years. I have a load bearing wall that has a header for a doorway, however, we are looking to have a more open hallway. I ...
1
vote
1answer
428 views

Can I enclose my new boiler in a closet?

As part of a new residential boiler installation, two 6-inch ducts venting to the outside will be installed, one near the ceiling and one near the floor. They won't be attached to the boiler itself, ...
0
votes
2answers
200 views

How can I stop a water leak in my basement?

I have an unfinished basement in 40 year old home. Block walls are extremely clean and show no signs of water having come down or through them from ground outside but when it rains for a couple of ...