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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2
votes
1answer
259 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
454 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
2answers
5k views

How to properly close a chimney hole in the basement

I recently removed the old unused wood stove in my basement. I now want to properly condemn the chimney. I found this question which answers what to do with the chimney outside, but I am still unsure ...
2
votes
1answer
118 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
votes
1answer
2k 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
votes
1answer
314 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
841 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
39 views

Installing a sump pump to reduce relative air humidity

I have a damp basement. There are really no big water issues because the house sits on sloped terrain, it's just damp and musty. I've been running a de-humidifier, but that doesn't seem to be taking ...
2
votes
0answers
49 views

What are these 3 thin lines draining into my sump well?

There are 3 thin lines draining constantly into my sump well. The lines are coming through the concrete to the best of my knowledge because i can't trace them on the walls or ceiling. I am having a ...
2
votes
0answers
49 views

How to better seal and/or adjust a metal cellar door / bulkhead?

First of all, I am not exactly sure what the door is called. I have a metal outside door leading to steps into my basement. I have always just called it the basement/cellar door but it seems like ...
2
votes
0answers
46 views

Should I bother to flip basement ceiling insulation that's on backwards?

the rolled faced insulation on the ceiling of my unfinshed unheated basement is on backwards(vapor barrier facing down instead of up towards the 1st floor),1st floor is uncovered hardwood. Insulation ...
2
votes
0answers
100 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
49 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
81 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
3answers
155 views

What should I do about water filling the excavation for a house's foundation?

I live in Duluth, Minnesota. As stated, I am putting a new foundation on my house. When the contractor was excavating, they hit water. They are constantly pumping this water out. I now have 2 new ...
2
votes
1answer
211 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, ...
1
vote
2answers
712 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
948 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
2k 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
3k views

How realistic is lowering a concrete floor?

So first off, I love basements, its almost like a fetish. Ook.. so this guy is selling a basement in his building and its perfect(got good water, electricity, comms, location and cheap!) except for ...
1
vote
3answers
357 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
1answer
1k 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
6k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Can I have two storeys in a 16 foot space?

I'm in the process of closing on a house that has an unusually large crawlspace underneath the structure. The house is built on a relatively steep hillside and the frame of the house extends to the ...
1
vote
2answers
85 views

Will I pass inspection/code if I install walls over carpet in a finished basement for a couple bedrooms?

Will I pass inspection/code if I install walls over carpet in a finished basement for a couple bedrooms?
1
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2answers
175 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?
1
vote
2answers
5k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
665 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?
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
83 views

Can I have an office in my basement without egress?

I'm looking to create an office space in my basement. I live in a townhouse attached to 2 other units. In the basement we currently have smalls windows near the ceiling. From what I've read, it ...
1
vote
4answers
67 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
244 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
1k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
782 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? ...
1
vote
4answers
230 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
5k 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. ...
1
vote
2answers
51 views

what should i use to wire this bathroom?

I'm in the process of finishing my basement. So far, framing's done, HVAC ductwork's done, and I'm now working on the electricals. So I've got a 60amp subpanel bringing in power, and off of this, I ...
1
vote
2answers
58 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?
1
vote
2answers
122 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
2k 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. ...
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
2k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
39 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
163 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
76 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
88 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
173 views

How can I install a tub over this tub box?

In our unfinished basement, we have a roughed-in bath. I can see a water closet exit, a sink exit, and a tub exit. The tub exit is covered by this product: ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

How do I seal a basement cinder block wall behind a shower?

My wife and I have a basement bathroom that I gutted: back in 1980 someone decided to put tile directly on drywall and not properly seal anything, with the obvious moldy result. So I ripped it down to ...
1
vote
2answers
343 views

Can I use a pump to discharge kitchen sink waste water, rather than digging up the concrete?

We are installing a small kitchen in the basement. There is a full bathroom in the other corner of the area, same side as the planned kitchen. I could use some experienced recommendations for the ...
1
vote
6answers
9k views

What can I use to build temporary walls in an unfinished basement?

We have an unfinished basement in central Minnesota. The home was built in 2008, and the builder thought it fit to include XPS insulation covering all of the vertical concrete foundation. So far so ...