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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3answers
4k views

How should I use fiberglass batts to insulate between floor joists over a stone basement?

I have an old home built on a stone foundation. The stone foundation is solid, as well as the floor joists. I run a dehumidifier in the basement full time, to keep the air moisture low. There is ...
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1answer
206 views

How should I insulate behind the last floor joist that runs parallel to the foundation wall?

As an aside, I can't for the life of me figure out what to call the last floor joist that runs parallel to the basement foundation. Does it have a name? In my house, there is a little cramped gap an ...
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1answer
92 views

How to maintain temp for always cold office in finished Basement

I work out of my home in an office in our finished basement. The room is always cold whether it's the middle of winter or the middle of summer. I often run a cheap space heater (especially) in the ...
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5answers
148 views

Can i leave existing drywall alone when adding two small walls to a finished basement?

I am building two small walls in a finished basement to create a enclosed landing at the bottom of the stairs. The new walls will meet at 90 degrees, both will be coming off studs in the existing ...
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1answer
47 views

Quantitative measurement for sound dampening methods

I'm planning to finish off my basement. Which type of basement ceiling insulation is most effective at reducing sound transfer between levels, blown in cellulose or rock wool batts and how much more ...
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1answer
156 views

How do I seal a vapor barrier on my basement walls if I have none from the floor above?

I am redoing my basement and was wondering how to seal the wall vapor barrier if there is no existing vapor barrier from the floor above. Or is it better off not using vapor barrier ? I am from ...
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3answers
1k views

Can the blanket Insulation in my basement be left in place when refinishing?

I'm thinking about finishing my basement. It currently has the blanket insulation that the builder installed when we built the house last year. I'm unfamiliar with this product. Is it meant to be used ...
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1answer
503 views

Basement bathroom rough-in with backwater valve question

I ended up contacted the plumbing company that did my basement rough-in. This is what they said: Drain and vent for basement sink Toilet rough-in Backwater Valve Tub Drain So I guess my new ...
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1answer
236 views

How do I clean a root cellar under my porch to make it suitable for food storage?

I have a root cellar under my porch. How should I clean loose stones on the floor and get rid of a musty smell so I can use the space as a safe food storage area. Small field mice entered and some of ...
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1answer
80 views

What type and rating of insulation should be used in a basement bathroom?

I need to replace the insulation on the back and side of the bathtub. The walls face the exterior of the house (poured foundation). What type and rating should I use? I can't tell what the ...
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3answers
862 views

How can I add ventilation to my basement office?

I have a finished basement with an office, guest bedroom and bathroom. All about 700 sq ft. I work 12+ hours in the office and really need to get some fresh air circulating by extracting stale air. ...
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1answer
151 views

Can I insulate over 1/2 in. styrofoam?

We have a rec room (basement) from the 60's that we are redoing. Currently on the outside walls, they have 1 x 2 studding then 1/2 inch white styrofoam then vapour barrier. WE are wondering if we ...
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2answers
560 views

What type of sump pump back up systems are available?

I have just about completed all the work to finish my basement. I know, not a great time to think about this, but when I bought the home there was zero water in it and didn't think the winter would ...
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1answer
288 views

Is continuous exhaust from basement level closet a good idea?

I have a recurring problem with mold in the closet of a basement level bedroom. After considering various options, I'm currently contemplating installing some sort of a low powered continuous exhaust ...
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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 ...
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1answer
190 views

Damp proofing/tanking a basement

The plaster on one wall of my basement has blown and come away from the wall. I've stripped it all off which leaves a layer of concrete painted with bitumen. What's the best method for sealing off ...
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1answer
971 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) ...
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1answer
399 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 ...
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1answer
22 views

Vapor and moisture barrier for “above ground” basement

I'm finishing the basement of my home in New Jersey, and I'm a bit confused about the general guidance for basement moisture and vapor barriers. My "basement" is built from concrete block. However, ...
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2answers
37 views

Damp smell in basement

I have a gap between outside wall and pavement. Could this be the reason for damp smell in the cellar? If I poured bitumin down said gap, would this help prevent the dampness?
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0answers
39 views

Lowering the basement, water table 2 metre deep

My house is constructed on the side of a slope where the top of the slope is built the road. I'd like to dig out the basement which is not high enough to stand in mostly, and is just clay. As part ...
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0answers
47 views

How can I insulate a combo basement/crawspace?

I live in Louisville, Kentucky, so we have relatively cold winters (nighttime lows consistently below freezing) and relatively hot, humid summers (daytime highs consistently in the muggy 90s). My ...
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1answer
65 views

Is there a recommended distance between fasteners on sole plates?

We've just started installing pressure treated 2x4s as sole plates in our 5 year old basement. We drove 3 nails into each 8' plate, one at each end (around 3 or 4 inches in) and one somewhere at the ...
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1answer
100 views

Should I install insulation between the rim joist and the top of foam insulation?

I am in the beginning phases of finishing my basement, newer house with poured cement foundation and engineered I-beam floor joists. No moisture issues in the basement. Rim joist currently has a batt ...
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0answers
37 views

Basement subfloor using p.t. sleepers and plywood?

I am a contractor in the Boston area. I need to install a subfloor over a concrete basement floor. I am thinking of using p.t. sleepers and 3/4" plywood. Is this an efficient and cost effective method ...
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0answers
143 views

Do I use a wooden frame for a basement hopper window?

I am replacing a basement hopper window. The previous owners replaced an old hopper window with a too-small piece of storm window and piece of plywood: I want to replace this with a correctly-fit ...
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0answers
298 views

What kind of subfloor do most people use these days?

I've been reading tons on how to do a subfloor for my basement and I don't seem to be getting any closer to an answer. So far it looks like there are 4 ways to do this: (I'm stealing a good part of ...
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3answers
379 views

Question about my sewer stack situation

I just purchased my first home with limited knowledge on many things. At one point my house was outside city limits (using a well and septic) and has since been annexed into the city and brought onto ...
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0answers
126 views

Click vinyl on basement floor with drain

I have a basement with a grade leading to a drain in the floor. The previous owner added a wall over the drain and put self-levelling cement on one side of the wall, over top of existing linoleum ...
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0answers
136 views

Washer tripping gfi outlet

I've been living in my house for almost two years and my washer and dryer have been working fine. I have a maytag Neptune washer and dryer, just the other day I took a packet of tide washing machine ...
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0answers
352 views

How can I stop water from coming up through the floor?

I have a house that is on a high water table, and water is coming up through the floor. The property was excavated around the perimeter a couple of years ago and installed a new Big "O". Drycore was ...
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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 ...
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2answers
58 views

Do I need to install a sump pump?

The crawlspace under our house has a tendency to get a bit muddy when the rains are heavy and then dry up a few days later. When the rains are especially hard water will collect in a pit in the ...
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3answers
446 views

How do I insulate exterior basement wall?

Working from scratch with a bare wall. What do I do? 3 hardware stores have told me 3 different things. We have very cold winters here. Looking for cheapest and highest R value. contractor next door ...
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2answers
49 views

Minimizing wall thickness for basement drywall?

I'm trying to optimize acoustics of my future home theater by maximizing dimensions to minimize standing wave problems. I would like to minimize the thickness of a finished wall consisting of drywall ...
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1answer
31 views

Glass deck above basement addition [on hold]

We're planning to expand our basement underneath our deck and would ideally like to cover this section of the deck in glass as in this photo. (Posted: Wear skirts at your own risk!) Our architect ...
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1answer
28 views

Removing Steel Basement Windows

My basement has the original steel (I think) framed windows in place from 1962, when it was built. I've removed windows in block before, at my previous house, but this one does not seem as clear. As ...
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1answer
39 views

Holes in basement floor

We have a couple holes in our basement floor that I assume drain to the sewer, but they're not covered. A guy installing our water heater recommended covering them so we don't get sewer gas or ...
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2answers
55 views

How to project basement level of humidity before building?

Assume I am considering buying a lot and building a house in it. Is it possible and how would I project what the humidity level will be in its basement? Say the basement is built using concrete ...
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1answer
70 views

Should I remove, or work around dividing basement walls?

The basement of my house is bare concrete floor with bare concrete block walls. I'm in Canada and would like to (and should) insulate these walls, at least the above-grade portion, which is about ...
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1answer
20 views

Sewer drain cap replacement options

I have sewer cap that has lost its threads. I am wondering what options I have to replace/fix that does not involving tearing up the cement floor. Are compression fittings a good option?
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1answer
24 views

Can I support a fiberglass tub with a layer of 1" thick foam board between a concrete subfloor and mortar base?

I'm trying to maximize the headroom in my basement shower. I originally planned on placing the tub on top of the subfloor and sleepers that make up the rest of the floor, but then I realized I can add ...
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1answer
58 views

How do I frame this oddly spaced rough in

It's been a long time since I posted about this stupid rough in (dang kids), but I'm attempting to get back on it. The spacing for these pipes are driving me crazy. For a quick reference, the ...
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2answers
40 views

Basement Subfloor for Moisture Problems

I have a slight moisture problem in the basement. During really torrential rainstorms of 5+ inches of rain, sometimes water seeps up though the concrete floor in the basement. I'm looking at ...
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3answers
91 views

Can I break up the floor of a raised floor basement bathroom without damaging the plumbing?

I have an interesting remodel project. I have an existing basement bathroom - which has a raised concrete floor. The toilet sits on the slab. I am remodeling this to create a bigger bathroom for ...
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1answer
47 views

basement bathroom flooring options in old 1929 house

I have an old house built in 1929 in Minneapolis, Mn. I need to replace water damaged rotted basement bathroom floor(toilet and shower leak another story). Current floor is 2" by 4" sleepers set on ...
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1answer
67 views

How can I put a drain hose through a basement wall or window?

I am putting a dehumidifier in our basement, but need to drain it to the outside.
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1answer
81 views

Wood Working in Basement with Furnace

I'm thinking about setting up a woodworking workshop for hobby projects in my basement. However, my basement is small and my woodworking would take place close to my furnace / hot water heater. Is ...
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2answers
39 views

How to test for mold in basement?

The air quality in my basement is unpleasant. I don't know if I have mold. How to test for it? How is the smell of mold? I know that we had a water problem in the basement, the walls were cracked so ...
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3answers
730 views

How do you install a solar light tube through an outside wall into the basement?

In renovating a basement, is it possible to install a solar-light-tube through the wall to the outside and still gather light?