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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0answers
34 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
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0answers
64 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
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0answers
34 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
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1answer
53 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
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2answers
46 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? ...
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3answers
109 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
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1answer
200 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, ...
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2answers
622 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 ...
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3answers
880 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 ...
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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 ...
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4answers
2k 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 ...
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3answers
208 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
90 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?
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2answers
4k 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 ...
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1answer
650 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?
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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 ...
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4answers
56 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 ...
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3answers
216 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
647 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? ...
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4answers
216 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 ...
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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. ...
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2answers
54 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?
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2answers
117 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 ...
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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. ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
29 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 ...
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1answer
102 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 ...
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1answer
67 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 ...
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1answer
62 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 ...
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1answer
285 views

How can I stop this drain pipe from backing up?

In my basement laundry room is (to my knowledge) the only drain pipe in the whole basement, which hooks into the end of the main line as it exits the house and heads to the septic tank. When we moved ...
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1answer
144 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: ...
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2answers
999 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 ...
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2answers
307 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 ...
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6answers
8k 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 ...
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1answer
1k views

How can I stop this water from entering my basement?

I have water issues in my basement - as you can see, it comes in via some cracks between my basement floor and the concrete pads that the washer/dryer sit on. I am working on fixing the problem ...
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3answers
7k 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
281 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
41 views

Michigan - electrical code question

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 ...
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1answer
60 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 ...
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1answer
51 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 ...
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3answers
102 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 ...
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1answer
47 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 ...
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1answer
34 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?
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2answers
93 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 ...
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1answer
123 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, ...
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2answers
126 views

How can I stop my basement from filling with water?

I have my house in a sloped area ,it has problems of water seeping inside the basement area which gets filled up to 1 to 2 feet height what may be the solution for this .... i have tried all water ...