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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3
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3answers
29 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
49 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?
3
votes
4answers
5k views

What is the best flooring for my basement?

I live in Michigan, where humidity is fairly high. I have a 70 pint dehumidifier that works great. I also have a sump pump and water powered backup sump pump. I am looking to floor my basement ...
1
vote
1answer
37 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
115 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
38 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How do I install carpet tiles in a below grade room?

A few years ago, I saw an advertisement for carpet tiles that had a jagged edge so there would be less movement in the interlock between tiles, and prevented the need for glue. (would like to find ...
1
vote
1answer
38 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, ...
1
vote
0answers
17 views

What are the considerations for crawlspace encapsulation barriers / humidity control?

I live in a house that's half slab, half crawlspace. The crawl is half basement. Typical crawlspace/basement humidity readings are: 80% RH @ 67°F 85% RH @ 68°F 78% RH @ 67°F Where in the ...
1
vote
1answer
66 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

Connecting a sump pump to sewer

I'm attempting to install a new sump pump in my basement after having a few minor flooding incidents and addressing as much of the external causes as possible (gutters, etc). The pump is only used for ...
8
votes
3answers
16k views

Should we install carpet before the baseboard and door casings?

We just had a carpet layer come in for measurements and a quote. We've not put in the baseboard or door casings yet, but the carpet layer has suggested that this will make things easier. Is this true ...
0
votes
0answers
16 views

Which should I do first? replacing furnace or resurfacing concrete floor?

I'm going to get two things done in my basement soon (by hiring professionals), but I'm wondering what the right order of operations is. One task is to replace the gas furnace that sits near the ...
18
votes
1answer
9k views

Humidity Levels

What is a healthy and safe humidity level that I should try to keep my house at?
0
votes
1answer
40 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?
0
votes
2answers
57 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. ...
1
vote
1answer
41 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

How should I insulate my basement?

My basement is CMU blocks and concrete floor. I had water issues, so I waterproofed it with an interior french drain, drainboard at the edge and a sump pump. This wouldn't take care of dampness so I ...
2
votes
3answers
91 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 ...
0
votes
4answers
107 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
0answers
31 views

frame soffit against foundation wall

I'm framing my basement and I have a duct that runs along the foundation wall. There's a little over a 1" gap between the duct and the wall, so I was planning on putting up XPS along the wall and then ...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

Glass deck above basement addition [closed]

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
29 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?
2
votes
4answers
85 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 ...
4
votes
6answers
304 views

Would insulating a basement prevent it from passively cooling the house in the summer?

I have an unfinished basement in Upstate NY in a large old house that helps in keeping the house cool in the summer. Would insulating it limit the cooling effect in summer?
0
votes
2answers
54 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
211 views

Must NM cables around panels in unfinished basements be protected?

I'm thinking about installing a new circuit. The panel is on the wall in an unfinished basement. Three questions: Is the new NM cable going down to and around the panel considered to be "subject to ...
0
votes
1answer
33 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 ...
18
votes
5answers
130k views

What humidity should I set my dehumidifier to?

I just bought a 50 pint dehumidifier for my basement. What humidity level should I aim for? This time of year the outside humidity is very high (over 80%) and we do not have central air. Right now ...
1
vote
1answer
46 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
35 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
199 views

Is it okay to protect NM Cable in an unfinished basement with ENT?

Adding a 20 amp subcircuit (120V) to furnace room to turn it into a workshop. Initially it will have one duplex and 2 fourplex receptacles, the fourplex receptacles will be on cement walls, the duplex ...
2
votes
2answers
77 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
68 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
177 views

Subfloors and stairs

It seems to me that many people put subfloors in their basements (and other floors), but what do they do when it comes to the existing stairs? I'm code says that you can't have more than 3/8" ...
0
votes
3answers
860 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?
1
vote
3answers
154 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
51 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
42 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

Soundproofing existing ducts/vents in basement (drywall is already up)

So long story short I recently converted a basement into an apartment and plan on living down there. I insulated in between the joists and double drywalled everything and that is all ok. The only ...
1
vote
0answers
53 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
45 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Basement subfloor, how exactly should I do it?

I am finishing a basement with my father and want to put in a subfloor. I know if there was ever enough water I would probably have to replace the floor anyways but want to give myself a couple inches ...
0
votes
2answers
48 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
116 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
110 views

How can I meet the height requirements for a door in a basement with a low ceiling?

To meet code we need a minimum 6'6" clearance through all doors. The ceiling height in most of the basement is 6'8", but the clearance through the exterior door is much less than that. On the inside ...
0
votes
1answer
60 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
7k views

What is the best way to fill a hole in a concrete basement floor?

My basement floor has a hole cut where the water line enters the house. This hole is around 2ft square, and digging down a little I hit dirt and small roots. I'd like to seal this hole as I believe it ...