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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23
votes
6answers
44k 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, ...
34
votes
8answers
55k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
8k views

How do I level a basement floor but not the slab underneath?

I'd like to install laminate floor on top of Delta FL in my basement. The basement slab is not level, it slopes (from all directions) towards a floor drain (that, via a pipe, leads to a sump pump) ...
5
votes
3answers
6k views

Can I lay down solid wood planks on top of my basement concrete floor?

I live in Oakville, Ontario and have a detached home with an unfinished basement with concrete floor. I would like to put hardwood flooring in part of the basement. Instead of tongue and groove ...
5
votes
4answers
9k views

How do I install cabinets on a floating hardwood floor?

We just purchased a bunch of cabinets for installation of a bar / kitchenette in the basement. There are 4 wall cabinets and four base cabinets. These are going to be installed on the existing ...
3
votes
2answers
345 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 ...
1
vote
5answers
865 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
11k views

What is the recommended home design software? [duplicate]

I am going to be finishing my basement. I would like to design the new basement myself using design software. What is the recommended home design software?
18
votes
1answer
15k views

Humidity Levels

What is a healthy and safe humidity level that I should try to keep my house at?
20
votes
9answers
97k views

I have a basement floor with lots of moisture, can I paint or seal it to make it waterproof?

My basement has a slight dampness issue, where if I leave things on the floor they will get wet. There are no leaks and no standing water, the moisture seems to be wicking up through the concrete. I ...
9
votes
4answers
7k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the proper way to insulate box sill joists in the basement?

The floor joists of the first floor are sitting directly in breaks in the concrete/cinderblock walls, and there's large gaps all around the edges. I've done some looking around and it appears that ...
4
votes
3answers
224 views

Should I be concerned that the sill plate is not lined up with the foundation?

I am in the process of building a one level home in PA. After the formed concrete walls were poured and the framing began, I noticed that on one side of the house that the sill plate was flush with ...
4
votes
4answers
15k views

How do I correctly measure this basement window for a replacement?

I have three of these metal-framed basement windows which I would like to replace but I am unsure of what dimension I should measure and use for the replacements. Initially I measured the outside ...
4
votes
1answer
860 views

How do I cut grooves in self-leveling concrete to incorporate an existing drain?

This is a follow up question to my previous question about leveling a basement floor without losing the drainage. After the feedback I decided to use self-leveling concrete and cut (or form it in ...
3
votes
4answers
819 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
3answers
1k views

Will plaster on basement walls and ceiling provide insulation?

My basement's insides are completely unfinished. It has bare brick walls and bare concrete beams-vaults as the ceiling. I though of coating the walls and the ceiling with 2 inch thick plaster with the ...
9
votes
2answers
10k views

How can I level my basement floor, which has a 4-inch dip?

I googled today on how to level a basement floor. Most people recommend using SLC (self leveling concrete)... I don't think I can just use that because of the pitch of my floor (and from what I hear, ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

There is water in my basement and the outdoor sump pump failed. What am I doing wrong?

My house has water problems with the basement. Here's what the entrance to my basement looks like. When I get a really heavy rain storm, water manages to rise up and start seeping in under the door. ...
5
votes
2answers
354 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Can I hang a hammock from basement joists?

My basement is what I assume is a typical setup, built in the 1970s. 2x8 joists run from the outer cinderblock wall to the center beam with an approximate 11 foot span. I'm thinking about hanging a ...
3
votes
1answer
219 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
547 views

Is this old basement floor concrete, grout, or something else?

What is the likely construction/material of the basement floor shown below? It's not very flat, and the surface appears sandy. It's almost as if some kind of skim-coat was applied to the dirt floor. ...
3
votes
5answers
6k 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
4answers
494 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
1answer
153 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
660 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
1answer
517 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
144 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
5k 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
1answer
1k 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
1answer
5k views

Can I install sheet vinyl flooring in a basement that gets wet on occasion?

Our basement is usually dry, but every so often we have torrential rainstorms in the spring and we are downhill from our neighbors. We get some water overnight in a small stream that we can mop up. ...
1
vote
2answers
6k views

How do I connect a dryer to a dryer vent?

I just moved my dryer (gas) a couple feet to a better location in the basement. It is actually now closer to the existing dryer vent to the outside of the house. The previous owner has it connected ...