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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7
votes
3answers
2k views

Solutions for a moist basement?

I live close to the water and there is a high water table around my house. Therefore a lot of water vapor passes through the basement walls. I would like to be able to store stuff in my basement and ...
1
vote
2answers
73 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
3k views

How much damage can a grow-op do to a house in 3 months?

There is a home for sale about 10% lower than market value in the area in which we're shopping for a home. When we visited, the real estate agent disclosed that renters had used the basement as a ...
0
votes
2answers
180 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. ...
5
votes
2answers
546 views

What equipment could I use for digging out a basement after the house is built?

My mother and father built the home I live in many years ago. It only had a half basement. My father had started on the other side, but passed away before finishing it. I have now taken this job on. I ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

Should a basement interior drain be installed above or next to footings?

I am DIYing in a perimeter drain in my basement with some hired help. I am doing it because my water problem is not severe; I get very little water and only when it rains a whole lot. I know "very ...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

Basement insulation under cantilever [duplicate]

I have a currently unfinished basement in a rather new home. There are a few places that have bay windows, or cantilevers that currently have only a bit of pink insulation thrown in fro the basement. ...
1
vote
1answer
91 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) ...
6
votes
3answers
7k views

How to finish room with protruding concrete ledge/foundation?

I am finishing a basement room and have a concrete ledge which is part of the foundation. It protrudes into the room about 2.5 inches and is about 6 inches high. This ledge is the result of a ...
2
votes
1answer
60 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
69 views

Can I remove the framed wall on the outside of my basement?

I have a 20 year old house (which is a basic colonial box). The basement has a standard poured concrete exterior wall. Against the concrete exterior wall, they framed a standard wood 2 x 4 wall, ...
2
votes
2answers
139 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
23 views

Tile vs cement polish

We have unfinished basement. Years ago when we gutted, we put down a layer of dry lock on the walls & floors because that's what we thought was protective. We've never had water come in thru floor ...
0
votes
2answers
24 views

polystyrene insulation over dryloc basement walls

I am a DIY beginner. If I am installing polystyrene over drylocked basement walls, do I need a vapor barrier? Do I put the studs on top of the polystyrene? So, from exterior to interior it would ...
2
votes
3answers
641 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
300 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
64 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?
1
vote
1answer
38 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
761 views

Adding insulation to basement that already has vapor barrier

I have leftover insulation from doing my basement, little bits and pieces. In between the joists on my basement ceiling it is insulated with vapour barrier already from when the house was built. ...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

How could one insulate sill plate from the outside?

My house has a gap between the Basement wall and Sill Plate (location best shown in this picture). While there are several question and answers here, I have not found any that deals with a fix from ...
0
votes
2answers
45 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
42 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. ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

What I do about mouse droppings in basement ceiling where I can't reach?

I had a mouse infestation a while ago - they were coming in from dryer and exhaust vents too close to the ground. I trapped the mice and fixed the vent/exhaust situation to prevent more from ...
3
votes
3answers
107 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
74 views

Cost of XPS panels vs. sprayed closed cell foam

I'm starting the process of finishing my nearly full height (7'2") basement and am costing out the insulation. Based on my research of what's best below grade, I'm debating between XPS foam panels ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

How can I remove a non-load bearing wall in my basement?

I have two small rooms in basement. I want to remove the common wall between the two and covert the resulting big room into a home theater. What is the best way to remove the studs, wiring, etc.?
1
vote
2answers
25 views

Finishing basement… level floors with SLC or install stud wall first?

Basement floor isn't too far off... wondering if I should get the stud wall done first or level the floor first....
1
vote
1answer
28 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
46 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
45 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
50 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?
4
votes
3answers
259 views

What happens if XPS is an inch away from basement walls?

I live in Maine and am planning to insulate my basement. It has fairly smooth poured concrete walls. I've read online that spray foam is one option, and 2" of XPS directly against the wall is ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Can I put tile in my basement over Ditra and existing mastic?

My basement has been prone to getting water for many years before I bought the house. We're having the basement walls repaired (excavated outside) & sealed. So this problem should go away. The ...
4
votes
1answer
2k 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
2answers
78 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
73 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
107 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
4answers
46 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
0answers
33 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
64 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
37 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
70 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
15 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
25 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
7k 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
1answer
71 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
74 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
74 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, ...
1
vote
1answer
77 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 ...