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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0
votes
1answer
87 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
250 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?
3
votes
3answers
241 views

What type of flooring can be used on a concrete slab?

I have a split ranch house in NY and the downstairs hallway and half bath / laundry room currently has vinyl tile on a concrete slab. I would like to cover the vinyl tile with a new floor. What is ...
0
votes
1answer
43 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
24 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
51 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
982 views

Should I be concerned with my back flow valve pit filling with water?

I have never had foundation or ground water problems in my basement but I did have a sewar problem and as part of a recent replacment of that, I had a back flow valve installed that looks like this: ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

How to maintain temp for always cold office in finished Basement

I work out of my home in an office in our finished basement. The room is always cold whether it's the middle of winter or the middle of summer. I often run a cheap space heater (especially) in the ...
3
votes
1answer
107 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
237 views

How much water is too much water underneath the basement concrete?

We are getting ready to install a new shower in our basement. When we had our house built about 8 yrs ago we asked to have a shower & toilet drains roughed in. I cut off the plastic cover for ...
4
votes
2answers
111 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 ...
3
votes
6answers
15k views

Can a wet vac be effectively used as a pump?

Can a wet vac effectively be used as a pump to move water? I figure if a basement floods, that this can serve as double duty.
1
vote
1answer
41 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
20 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
1answer
105 views

How can I reduce or eliminate flaking from a limestone basement?

I have a 1902 house that was built on a limestone foundation. In the basement, the limestone blocks flake a bit which gets to be somewhat annoying having to sweep/vacuum it up from time to time. Are ...
1
vote
0answers
21 views

Basement subfloor using p.t. sleepers and plywood?

I am a contractor in the Boston area. I need to install a subfloor over a concrete basement floor. I am thinking of using p.t. sleepers and 3/4" plywood. Is this an efficient and cost effective method ...
3
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
533 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

Do I need to get an engineer for badly poured conctrete basement floor?

I am having a new home built on Cape Cod. The day they poured the concrete floor a storm was predicted and it rained and snowed that night. The floors are a mess, pitted, uneven etc. The builder ...
1
vote
5answers
96 views

Can i leave existing drywall alone when adding two small walls to a finished basement?

I am building two small walls in a finished basement to create a enclosed landing at the bottom of the stairs. The new walls will meet at 90 degrees, both will be coming off studs in the existing ...
1
vote
1answer
36 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: ...
2
votes
2answers
137 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
8k views

What is the best way to incrementally finish an unfinished basement?

my wife and I are in the process of buying our first house. The house has a 750 square foot unfinished basement (cinderblock walls and concrete floor), and is brand new (rather, it will be brand new ...
1
vote
2answers
134 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
3k views

How should I encapsulate a basement wall with chipping paint on a porous surface?

I have a basement wall with several layers of chipping paint. I can't say officially, but I'm pretty certain the bottom layer (dark green in the photos) is lead-based, while the upper layers are not. ...
2
votes
2answers
59 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 ...
29
votes
6answers
33k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
2k 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
2answers
67 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
26 views

How to project basement level of humidity before building?

Assume I am considering buying a lot and building a house in it. Is it possible and how would I project what the humidity level will be in its basement? Say the basement is built using concrete ...
1
vote
0answers
69 views

Do I use a wooden frame for a basement hopper window?

I am replacing a basement hopper window. The previous owners replaced an old hopper window with a too-small piece of storm window and piece of plywood: I want to replace this with a correctly-fit ...
1
vote
2answers
84 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
567 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
203 views

Will internal waterproofing solve my moisture problems?

We've been working on our water problem for awhile now. Here's the deal: There is black drain tile under the home (all the way around) tied into a sump crock. Water was only coming in one side. A ...
2
votes
1answer
60 views

How to tell if carpet is destroyed after a flood?

The other day ago a water line going to an exterior faucet exploded in the wall and flooded my finished basement. The water level was around 1"-2" high and we imagine the water was running for ...
1
vote
1answer
203 views

How do I clean a root cellar under my porch to make it suitable for food storage?

I have a root cellar under my porch. How should I clean loose stones on the floor and get rid of a musty smell so I can use the space as a safe food storage area. Small field mice entered and some of ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

Should I remove, or work around dividing basement walls?

The basement of my house is bare concrete floor with bare concrete block walls. I'm in Canada and would like to (and should) insulate these walls, at least the above-grade portion, which is about ...
0
votes
2answers
31 views

How to test for mold in basement?

The air quality in my basement is unpleasant. I don't know if I have mold. How to test for it? How is the smell of mold? I know that we had a water problem in the basement, the walls were cracked so ...
2
votes
3answers
84 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
votes
2answers
146 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, ...
5
votes
9answers
12k views

How should I add lighting to a low ceiling basement?

I have a basement ceiling that's around 6'6" high and currently the lights are standard bulb outlets that are attached to the beams so they sit down at eye level in the room. This means when you're ...
6
votes
2answers
998 views

What should I consider when cutting/making window in concrete foundation?

I am thinking about putting in another window for my basement apartment. I would like to know what do I need to consider before trying to find a contractor to do this. I have uploaded a picture of ...
2
votes
2answers
243 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
663 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
135 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
233 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
265 views

When cutting concrete for basement plumbing, how do you handle rough framing?

I'm going to be doing some cutting of the slab in my basement in order to put a bathroom in. There is plumbing under the slab and a pit with a tank in it, but it is probably 30 feet from where I want ...
1
vote
1answer
114 views

How do I seal a vapor barrier on my basement walls if I have none from the floor above?

I am redoing my basement and was wondering how to seal the wall vapor barrier if there is no existing vapor barrier from the floor above. Or is it better off not using vapor barrier ? I am from ...
1
vote
2answers
85 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
105 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.