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

2
votes
2answers
45 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
2answers
72 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?
1
vote
1answer
46 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
323 views

Can you lay ceramic/porcelain tile over existing mastic without grinding the floor?

We had a basement flood, and consequently had to rip out the vinyl floor tiles in our basement. The tiles were not asbestos (we had them tested). But after the tiles came up we discovered that they ...
1
vote
1answer
220 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
74 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
1answer
32 views

How do I dry up a stucco wall that presents efflorescence?

I have determined the source of the water and I would like to believe that I stopped that with a temporary fix (a large tarp that will cover my patio which used to collect water at the base of the ...
1
vote
4answers
39 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
29 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. ...
3
votes
3answers
67 views

Why does my basement floor paint come off when it's wet?

I painted my basement floor and now just 3 weeks later my washer leaks and the paint is peeling off. I also put some water down on a spot and when I wiped it up you can scratch the paint off. It is ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

HVAC ducts ready for finished basement?

I'm starting to finish my basement. Before I do so, I want to be sure the ductwork is sufficient to keep it warm during Colorado winters. The basement was finished when we moved in, but gross, so we ...
0
votes
1answer
51 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
32 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
34 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

Cutting back a carpet edge.

I have a tile entrance at my walk in basement door that I want to make larger. If I cut back the carpet a couple feet will I have to restretch the carpet?
1
vote
0answers
11 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
18 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
3answers
6k views

Renovating interior stone basement walls

We have a 100 year old house, and I would like to finish the basement but leave the stone walls exposed. I believe the stone can look great, but the mortar needs some work, and I am mostly focused on ...
1
vote
1answer
45 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
111 views

Suggestions on finishing a concrete vault

I have a newer home that the builder put a concrete vault in. It is basically the porch that was dug out fully to make a room under it with a steel security door. The concrete porch is the ceiling. ...
0
votes
1answer
43 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
55 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
56 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
40 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
1answer
33 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
72 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
65 views

Are uninsulated steam pipes behind walls and touching beams a fire hazard?

We are getting our unfinished basement done. We have replaced and rerouted (to make more space) our steam pipes (house built in 1937) with new pipes (Black and I believe 4 inches in diameter). These ...
2
votes
2answers
153 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, ...
0
votes
0answers
123 views

Replacing Load-Bearing 2x4 wall with beam and posts - Basement

I would like replace a 64" section of a load bearing wall with a beam and 2 support posts. The current wall is 2x4 pressure treated sill plate on top of poured concrete, 5 2x4 vertical supports and ...
2
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
22
votes
6answers
34k views

Should I use steel or wood studs for basement exterior walls?

Related: When should you use metal studs? I'm planning on finishing my basement. (assuming all water issues are resolved) I'll be putting up a water barrier (tar paper) on all exterior walls, ...
2
votes
3answers
79 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
62 views

Where do I need to drain the footing drain when I waterproof a basement from outside

I am planning to waterproof a basement. (please see the attached picture). I would like to know if the component labeled collector on my attached picture is needed. Since my lot is virtually flat I am ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

How to make a basement warmer? [closed]

I'm looking for some cheap way to renovate my basement and make it warmer and quiter,any ideas?
0
votes
4answers
53 views

Do I really need a redundant sump pump? [closed]

So I'm getting my dirt basement encapsulated, and the contractor is installing an interior perimeter drain and sump pit/pump. They offer either a single good quality pump, a redundant system with just ...
2
votes
1answer
67 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
241 views

Why do basement walls need less insulation than crawlspace walls?

I used this DoE calculator: http://web.ornl.gov/sci/roofs+walls/insulation/ins_16.html For Washington, DC, it recommended R25 for crawlspace walls and R11 for basement walls. Why would they be ...
8
votes
4answers
5k views

Does XPS+OSB subfloor need to be anchored?

Mike Holmes is a big fan of OSB/plywood over 1" XPS for basement floors, though his book leaves something to be desired in terms of details. His book says: ...on top of the foam, you want to have ...
1
vote
0answers
40 views

What can I do about a basement window well that is filling with water?

My house was built in the 1950s and I have a basement window well that was filling up with water after a hard rain. I have covers however the water would come up. After much reading online that there ...
2
votes
1answer
81 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
82 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
58 views

Should I add an air return in my basement and seal old vents?

My question is basically a variation of two prior questions: "How do I close and seal an old external vent" and "Should I add an air return in a finished basement." My house has a bottom level that ...
2
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
30
votes
6answers
41k views

Should I use a subfloor for a finished basement's floor?

We are refinishing our basement and have not yet decided what to do for the floors. Part of the basement will be tile, and we are all set. However, the rec room side is going to be carpet. The ...
1
vote
1answer
76 views

Rapid changes in humidity levels in basement suite?

I live in the basement suite of a house in Vancouver. I've noticed something strange when running my dehumidifier in my bedroom: when I turn it on, the humidity is at 80%(!); after running for 30 ...
4
votes
5answers
309 views

How can I insulate my basement on a budget?

I have a home built in 1925, a "Chicago Bungalow" style, in Louisville, KY. I have roughed in the basement, trying to take advantage of every square inch. I am planning on using it for short-term ...
6
votes
1answer
27k views

How do I calculate the size of electric baseboard heater needed?

I'm working on finishing our basement which does not have any duct work to tie into for heating, so we're planning on using electric baseboard heaters. How do I calculate the needed size of heater ...
2
votes
2answers
219 views

Do I need a vapor barrier in an exterior basement wall if I use purple drywall?

I purchased some purple drywall (mold and moisture resistant)for installing in a finished basement bedroom. One wall is an exterior wall. Do I need to install a vapor barrier between the drywall and ...
15
votes
2answers
664 views

Is it better to waterproof a basement from the outside or the inside?

Is it better to waterproof a basement from the outside or the inside? I've heard different things about this. We have a home built in the 40's on a cinder-block foundation. One side of the house is ...
4
votes
3answers
109 views

What is the proper order in framing the basement walls?

I am thinking of finishing my basement and am wondering what is the proper order of things for framing the walls. Do I put up perimeter walls first with electrical, insulation and vapor barrier, and ...