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
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2answers
9k views

Is it okay to staple romex to a floor joist when running it perpendicular behind a finished basement ceiling?

Taking down my ceiling to run some wire to new outlets. The outlets are going in an area with an unfinished ceiling, so I know the romex there will need to be ran through the joists when going ...
2
votes
2answers
210 views

How big of a beam for a load bearing wall

I have a wall in my basement that is load bearing. Right now, they put a door opening in there (and probably overdid the header for it). I would like to remove a 7 foot section and open it up for a ...
2
votes
4answers
7k views

How can I prepare this concrete floor for tile?

I'm looking to replace an old carpet in my finished basement with tile. I've removed the carpet and found a surface with some peeling paint, which I've read needs to be removed since the thinset for ...
2
votes
1answer
318 views

Sump Pump Recommendations [closed]

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 ...
2
votes
3answers
144 views

Noisy floating wall anchors

In Colorado basement walls have to be floating. Basically they are suspended from the floor joists, with a vertically movable anchor into the base plate, in case the slab moves due to expansive soil. ...
2
votes
1answer
142 views

Basement drain without a trap

What do you do if your basement đrain doesn't have a trap? I tried shined a flash light down and the pipe just goes straight down. The house smells and 3 buckets of water have not helped.
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Attaching non-load bearing walls to steel I-beams

I'm preparing to remodel my basement. A steel I-beam runs the length the of the basement with vertical steel columns spaced periodically across the span. The beam is 5" wide and 8" tall. I'm ...
2
votes
3answers
266 views

Will removing the insulation from an unfinished basement cause it to be a lot colder?

We live in upstate NY and the house has an unfinished basement. It's waterproofed with cinder block walls and a concrete floor. There is no framing, no drywall. However someone put up this hanging ...
2
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2answers
806 views

Should I continue my basement subfloor under the stairs?

As part of finishing my basement I'll need to rebuild these stairs to account for the higher floor level. The back of this stair case is currently open to the lower basement, but that will be getting ...
2
votes
2answers
7k views

Is a raised floor viable and safe in a basement bathroom?

A contractor wants to build a raised floor for my bathroom basement that he is building for me instead of breaking the concrete. The plumbing would be underneath the floor. Is this a viable and safe ...
2
votes
1answer
220 views

Why is there a sewer gas smell coming from my door jamb?

I am at the tail end of tiling my basement floor and undercut the existing trim on the bathroom door. I started noticing a sewage smell and pinpointed it as being strongest at this point. This is ...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

How to frame a wall around existing exterior door

Framing a basement. I have a an exterior door that is set in the poured foundation. I'm building my wall that runs parallel to foundation that has the existing door and is ~2-4" from the foundation. ...
2
votes
2answers
28 views

What kinds of contractors deal with basement/foundation flooding/leaks?

Winter is coming to an end. All the snow/ice in my back lawn is thawing. A massive vertical crack has opened in my basement wall (the foundation) and water is hemmoraging in. I tried parging it with ...
2
votes
2answers
272 views

Please reassure me about basement french drains

I understand the principles and practice of putting in a basement perimeter drain... but I've got a slightly irrational paranoia about the concept of cutting the basement floor free that way. ...
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 ...
2
votes
4answers
814 views

How do I mount this pullup bar?

I bought this pull up bar that is designed to go into studs that are 16" apart Ultimate Body Press My basement walls are only framed out so I can see all of the studs. I started to mount it and ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

How should I insulate this basement wall?

I've been doing a lot of reading. I live in Maryland, not particularly cold. We have an 8 foot ceiling in the basement which is poured concrete built in 1973. Only about a foot is above grade. I've ...
2
votes
5answers
9k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
5k views

How can I fix a small slightly damp area in my basement wall?

I am in the process of converting a bedroom in our walkout basement, into an office. Back in 1999, the previous owner had finished the basement. The basement foundation walls are hollow cinder ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Is occasional puddling of water in an unfinished basement a problem that needs to be addressed?

In a early 20th century New England home of wood frame construction and foundation of fieldstone and brick with some CMU, we get some puddling of water in a few areas of the unfinished basement floor ...
2
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
15k 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?
2
votes
1answer
43 views

Is it ok to use a plunger on a basement toilet connected to a pump?

Our basement is below grade of the sewer line, so we have a pump to send waste to the sewer. The pump has a closed well in the floor of the mechanical room. The toilet in the basement is flushing ...
2
votes
1answer
33 views

Fanning outside air into basement apartment

I am refinishing my basement into a 1BR apartment and I happen to have an easy access to intake outside fresh air and fan it into the apartment. I was planning to have one of those standing AC units ...
2
votes
1answer
74 views

Can I get bathroom permit in old house (1950s) which doesn't quite meet modern codes?

I want to add bathroom in my basement. The house was build in 1950s so its old. The basement ceiling hight is not great, max 7 ft (unfinished area). I have had couple of contractors and plumbers come ...
2
votes
6answers
198 views

How do I remove or cut a sewer pipe at edge of our basement slab?

What's the best way to remove the unused sewer / storm-drain pipe in the attached picture? It's coming up through the edge of our basement slab where it meets the foundation wall? We want to remove ...
2
votes
2answers
618 views

Do I need an HVAC vent in this bathroom?

The finished portion of my basement was completed after the original construction. I've found a few questionable practices, including the lack of an HVAC vent in the basement bathroom (shown in green ...
2
votes
1answer
347 views

What is the purpose of a window well for a window that is above grade?

Recently my neighbour installed window wells around all of his basement windows, but they all sit with the bottom edge about 2 inches above the ground. Do window wells serve a purpose if your window ...
2
votes
2answers
368 views

Are my basement walls sweating?

Portions of my basement wall are darker and appear to be wet, but to the touch they are just slightly cooler. I took a few pictures to show. The pattern of the darker areas is strange in some places ...
2
votes
1answer
236 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
801 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
218 views

Are portable electrical outlets permitted in a basement?

I would like to install a portable outlet box near a work area in an unfinished basement. I have seen these installed in commercial buildings and educational laboratory type areas, always dropped from ...
2
votes
1answer
345 views

Can I use 1“ XPS and fiberglass batts instead of 2” XPS insulation in my basement?

I have read multiple sources on the internet suggesting use of 2" XPS foam boards to insulate basement foundation and then building a 2x4 wall in front of it. 2" foam board is very expensive when ...
2
votes
2answers
477 views

How can I insulate behind pipes that are close to a foundation wall?

Reading around, it seems like most people suggest to put up XPS insulation when finishing a basement. That's great and all, but how do you put 2" of rigid foam behind pipes that already exist in the ...
2
votes
1answer
241 views

How can I reduce the humidity level in my basement?

I have an unfinished basement in my 1040 square foot ranch house. I just bought an energy star 30 pint dehumidifier to replace an old one that came with the house 1 year ago (I set it on the "driest" ...
2
votes
2answers
893 views

How do I install fire blocking while finishing a basement?

In Colorado, the building code asks for a fire block when finishing a basement. I know this goes against the out walls (foundation). I've seen 2x4 and OSB used: which is better? And how does the OSB ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

Do stairs need to be the same height after landing?

I have set of stairs that leads from the main floor to the basement. A little over half way down there is a landing (typical L-shape). I'm looking to put in an insulated subfloor in my basement, ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Do I need an egress window in a basement room not used as a bedroom?

Do I need an egress window in a basement family room when the basement has two viable exits? There are garage doors on one end and an exterior person door leading to exterior stairs on the other.
2
votes
2answers
675 views

Easy way to seal an old plumbing vent

I plan on buying a house but it has this cleanout and old vent for the plumbing in the basement. Whoever renovated the basement disconnected the vent and just let air flow into the basement. Is ...
2
votes
1answer
281 views

Water leaching up through basement floor

We just bought an older home that had new perimeter drainage system installed and a new sump pump installed that drains outside. The old sump was closed off and now there is signs of water leaching up ...
2
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
673 views

How should I finish around this hole in my slab?

This hole in my basement has a roughed-in drain pipe for a bathtub (can't really see it, but I've verified it's there): As you can see, it's about 12"x16". As I prepare to finish the basement, I'm ...
2
votes
2answers
8k views

Should I add batt insulation to concrete basement walls?

We're planning how to finish our basement, and haven't been able to figure out something related to insulation. The home's in Minnesota, and was built in 2008. XPS insulation (installed by the ...
2
votes
1answer
526 views

What should I do to this basement closet so I can put clothes in it?

We bought a house that had a closet along part of the basement wall. it has the water meter in it and on outside wall also. we carpeted the basement along with the closet. the closet has drywall in ...
2
votes
2answers
136 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
91 views

Pros and cons of painting cinder block in basement?

I have owned my house for 5 years. The outside wall of the laundry room in the basement is unfinished cinderblock. The cinderblock wall looks a bit unsightly, with dabs of paint, and the rough ...
2
votes
2answers
114 views

Do I need to insulate the entire basement or just a few walls?

I have a 1920s house with concrete foundation that had a semi-finished basement. After a recent 3-day rain storm, my basement flooded (about 1") due to hydrostatic pressure. It wasn't just my house -- ...
2
votes
3answers
95 views

How much drywall should I remove around a moldy area?

The previous owner told me that during the last winter when snow melted, water got in the basement through the drywall and he had to wipe dry the floor. Last year we had one of the worst winters on ...
2
votes
1answer
112 views

How to attach short bottom plate for door frame to concrete floor?

I'm framing out my basement, which I've done once before in an old house. I use the treated wood (green board?) for the bottom plate, raise up the frames, get everything level, and use cut nails to ...
2
votes
2answers
91 views

Making sense of an existing sump system

I just bought my first house, but I can't seem to understand how the sump worked. I'd like to make sure it's hooked up and ready to go should the basement ever flood. When I first walked in, the ...