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31

I did a lot of research when finishing our basement. I eventually went with a wall model recommended by building sciences corporation that, from outside in, is: existing exterior wall (concrete, concrete block, etc) foam board insulation (XPS or EPS, I went with EPS) stud wall sheet rock (I went with a paperless product called Densarmor This is a system ...


26

I just recently finished my basement project. I spent a lot of time scouring the web and grilling friends and co-workers about their basements to gather information to try to make an informed decision on this very subject. Here are the options I considered: Carpet tiles directly over concrete PROS cheap CONS cold feet hard, unforgiving floors ...


26

When applied correctly, I prefer waterproofing from the outside. It keeps the water out of the concrete, rather than permeating up to the interior water proof layer. If it's allowed to freeze in the foundation, you could have cracking. In addition to water proofing the foundation, you also want a weeping tile or French drain around the foundation anywhere ...


24

Absolutely it's worth insulating. Concrete is a poor insulator. 8" concrete blocks have an R-value of 1.1 - about the same as 3/4" particleboard. In my neck of the woods the frost line is about 3' down. So, assuming that a house here has a 40x40 foot square footprint and the basement is 8' high: 160 lineal feet x 6" = 80 square feet exposed to air; 160 ...


20

See this question. Google Sketchup seems to be a good option if you don't want to pay big bucks. Also, here's a tutorial for framing layout in Sketchup.


20

That's likely a cleanout for your sewer line. When opened, you can run an snake down the line to remove any blockage without ripping out your entire foundation. Here's what it would look like from the side: And the cap itself can have different styles:


18

I was curious so I just did some googling around and it seems that, if anything, some lenders might require a closet for a room to be included in the bedroom count for the house. I imagine this might be to help ensure consistency in home valuations. Check the first few results here for more info. Code does require a bedroom have an egress window however. ...


15

In the winter it is 30 to 40 percent in cold climates. During the summer, indoor humidity levels should be kept below about 65 percent to minimize the potential for mold growth and below about 50 percent to minimize dust mites. See this article for some more great information on humidity levels: Keep Your Home Healthy


13

30-40% in winter. Otherwise below 60% to keep mold away. Or even below 50% to avoid dust mites. You can also see this question: Humidity Levels.


13

First, handle drainage. If you want to install a sump pump, perimeter drain, or water proof the walls, now is the time to do that. You should also install any plumbing drain lines at this point. Next, framing. Concrete transmits moisture, so use pressure treated, and a styrofoam underlay that would normally go under the sill plate, to keep the walls dry. ...


13

Well this is a pretty big deal because we don't know the cause. First let's go over common reasons we get cracks on new floors. Soil wasn't properly compacted. Soil should be compacted with a rock bed on top. Bad mixing at site. Especially in the summer contractors pump too much water in the mix. The water makes the concrete weaker and it does crack ...


11

You shouldn't have to do anything too special, but here are a few tips from my experience: Use a treated board for the bottom of the wall where it touches the concrete. This will help to prevent rotting from any moisture that may seep up from the concreate. Build the whole wall on the ground just a bit shorter than the lowest joist/beam so you can easily ...


11

A pump can operate continuously to move water between two locations. The wet vac will suck water into the cannister, but you'll need to continuously stop, and dump that water, before it reaches the top of the vacuum. If you're looking at a flooding risk, I'd want the pump.


11

I couldn't find a solid source that says a closet is Required, to make a room a bedroom. It seems to depend more on the agency listing the property, and the mortgage company financing the sale of said property. The only requirement I could find dealing with bedrooms from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), was that an emergency exit is required. ...


11

Cement (and gypsum) compounds don't need to dry to harden. Water is one of the hardening reaction components. This is why when the weather is dry or windy you actually need to add water to the concrete surface to prevent it from over-evaporating. I don't remember the exact numbers but something like after 8 hours the cement compound has passed through the ...


11

The white powdery substance is called efflorescence. It's bascially mineral salts leaching out of the masonry. The efflorescence itself may not be anything more than a cosmetic problem, however the appearance of efflorescence indicates that there's moisture present in the masonry. This is not entirely surprising--you're talking about an old brick wall ...


10

Insulate the pipes. You are likely losing a lot of heat into your basement if they aren't insulated. Unless your basement is finished (and therefore you want the heat there) you want to keep as much heat in those pipes as possible so that it gets into the main part of your house. The heater (and other similar equipment like hot water heater) should heat ...


10

1) The issues around curing concrete too quickly are where the concrete is thin and in direct sunlight (i.e. a sidewalk in the sun). The concrete in your basement has cured enough to be structurally sound. The rule of thumb I have heard is that concrete cures 85% in the first 7 days. 10% over the next 3 weeks and the remaining 5% over the next 20 years. 2) ...


10

You may want to google "concrete leveling" in your area. There are companies that will come out and pump concrete under the floor to raise the level back to where it was. This will likely be a better solution, and may prevent further settling in the future. For your "bonus" question: A cheap bottle jack with a 4x4 should be sufficient to lift the studs ...


10

Is cutting out the flooring where the cabinets will be not an option? You don't mention it, so maybe there's a reason, but that's the method that would get you the best attachment for your cabinets, while still allowing the flooring to float and move as it's designed. You could make these cuts with a circular saw set to just the right depth. For the ...


10

You need an egress window in any bedroom. The purpose is to provide an alternate point of exit from inside a bedroom in the event of an emergency. Having an exterior door located nearby but still outside of the bedroom will not qualify. If the bedroom doorway is blocked, the occupant still cannot exit the room.


9

Like Mike Powell says, I think it's against code to stable wire to the bottom of joists. Regardless of that, there are many reasons not to do that: If you ever want to put up drywall, the wires are in the way It's ugly If you're running parallel to joists, staple the wire to the inside of the joist every couple feet. The wire should be at least an inch ...


9

My grandfather was a carpenter and when he retired he moved most of his tools into his basement. This included a drill press, bandsaw, and a very heavy full size table saw. It is definitely doable. Drill presses and bandsaws don't generally create as much dust as sanders and routers. You can probably remove most of the dust they'd create with a well placed ...


9

I'm basically paraphrasing Mike Holmes on this one: Steel studs are generally intended for commercial use, not residential. My understanding is that they don't have the load carrying capacity of wood, and they're also subject to corrosion. Technically you CAN use them, but he wouldn't. If you're concerned about moisture, I'd think about using PT 2x4's ...


9

We just redid our basement into 4 rooms on an existing 30 year old house. A playroom, bonus room, laundry room and a bathroom. Most likely you will need to pull a permit to do this type of construction and get it inspected. Bmitch's order is definately correct. How much you want to do is up to you as well as material selection. I did most of the ...


9

Pull out the carpets. never put a subfloor over something like old carpet. You may not have any moisture problems now, but any occurrence of water (flood, broken plumbing, spill) getting in that hidden carpet in the future will cause you more grief than you could dream of. This would be a perfect situation to grow mold, mildew, stink and rot the wood ...


9

A metal escutcheon ring might be sufficient for your purpose. I would fill the hole with steel wool to stop the mice, then cover with silicone to prevent a draft. The steel wool might be unnecessary, as I don't think mice will gnaw though silicone. However, if the hole is large, the steel wool would make it easier to fill it with silicone without having it ...


9

You're referencing the wrong code section. Nonmetallic-Sheathed Cable Romex is covered by article 334 Nonmetallic-Sheathed Cable: Types NM, NMC, and NMS. Nonmetallic Extensions Article 382 covers a cable known as FlatWire, or Concealable Nonmetallic Extension (CNE) cable. Notice that this cable has a single insulation layer over the conductors. ...


8

If your basement is really dry as you suggest, carpeting directly on top is fine. To test: Take a 1x1m sheet of plastic (garbage bag would do) and tape it to the floor making sure it's sealed all the way around. Leave it there for 24h at least and see if moisture appears at the bottom. If it's bone dry, you should be OK. We renovated our basement and based ...


8

I had something similar in my basement - a drain in the middle of the floor, and the floor around it sloped toward the drain. We did pretty much what you described and it turned out really well Clean the floor up nice. Used a wire brush to roughen up the surface a bit so the new concrete will adhere well. Poured in regular concrete to almost level it out. ...



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