Questions tagged [basement]

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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38
votes
8answers
110k 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, ...
44
votes
8answers
134k 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 ...
24
votes
2answers
8k views

What's the 1 inch square knob sticking out of the wall?

I noticed there is a square knob sticking out of my basement wall. Does anyone know what this is?
29
votes
9answers
217k 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
35k 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
18k 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/...
7
votes
3answers
17k 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
12k 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 floors,...
2
votes
1answer
213 views

Is my nearby neighbor's foundation excavation a concern for my home?

Hope someone can answer my Question. I live in Milwaukee WI.My neighbor just informed me she will have to have her basement excavated. The side of her house is 14 feet away from the side of my house. ...
13
votes
4answers
160k views

How do you secure wood framing to a concrete basement floor?

I'm using Pressure treated lumber for the bottom plate in a basement finishing project. What should I use to seperate the wood from the concrete? What are ways to secure the bottom plate to the floor?...
3
votes
3answers
7k 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.
3
votes
1answer
763 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
3answers
26k views

Attaching non-load bearing walls to steel I-beams

I'm preparing to remodel my basement. A steel I-beam runs the length the of the basement with vertical steel columns spaced periodically across the span. The beam is 5" wide and 8" tall. I'm ...
3
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
15k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
17k views

Can I use construction adhesive alone to attach pressure-treated wall plate to concrete floor?

Replacing walls in basement due to flooding. Contractor installed sump and drain pipe around the inside of the cinder block wall. I want to put in new wall, concerned that TapCon or other hammer/gun ...
2
votes
2answers
50k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
6k 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

How to build a wall under duct work

So I'm trying to finish my basement. I have a conundrum as to how to build a wall under a soffit. Here's my situation - I have an HVAC duct that is running really close to the wall - like maybe 1.5" ...
0
votes
2answers
60 views

Are water and vertical cracks normal for full height crawl space? [closed]

I am thinking about purchasing a home that is set on top of a crawl space (see image). The crawl space has the full height of a basement, windows and a door leading outside in the back. It has French ...
24
votes
1answer
34k views

Humidity Levels

What is a healthy and safe humidity level that I should try to keep my house at?
19
votes
4answers
139k views

What is the proper way to run wires along/across basement ceiling joists?

I want to add an electrical outlet in my unfinished basement. It makes sense to run the wire along the ceiling because that's where all the other wires are. What is the proper way to install NM ...
14
votes
5answers
18k 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?
30
votes
9answers
586k 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 ...
22
votes
3answers
2k views

Replacing 2-prong outlets in basement - existing wiring has two hot wires, one neutral?

I'm replacing the two-pronged outlets in my basement with 3-pronged grounded outlets in the United States (Illinois). All the wiring is in metal conduit with metal conduit boxes, which are grounded ...
21
votes
1answer
31k views

Are cracks in a newly poured concrete basement floor a problem?

I'm having a new home built and found a large crack in the newly poured concrete basement floor and wanted to see if it's something I should be concerned about. The floor was poured sometime in the ...
9
votes
3answers
83k views

How can I prepare uneven concrete basement floor for vinyl planks?

I have roughly 600 sq ft of basement that needs new flooring after some unfortunate flooding this past summer. We had carpet over concrete and are now looking to lay vinyl planks down. There is about ...
4
votes
1answer
668 views

What are these 3 thin lines draining into my sump well?

There are 3 thin lines draining constantly into my sump well. The lines are coming through the concrete to the best of my knowledge because i can't trace them on the walls or ceiling. I am having a ...
2
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
21k 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, ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Would drilling a small hole through joist / sole plate cause structural problems?

New home owner. I need to wire some ethernet and coax across the basement up into to the first floor wall. The perimeter wall is cinderblock, it is a twin and this is the shared wall. It looks framed. ...
5
votes
1answer
6k 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
1answer
2k 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
6k 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
48k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
115 views

Uses of a damp basement

I have an old brick house (1960s) next to a river, the ground surrounding the house is normally wet. The basement is very humid and just use to store stuff that can't go bad. I will most likely get ...
3
votes
5answers
17k 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
1answer
425 views

Can I have two storeys in a 16 foot space?

I'm in the process of closing on a house that has an unusually large crawlspace underneath the structure. The house is built on a relatively steep hillside and the frame of the house extends to the ...
2
votes
4answers
3k 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
4k views

Basement drain without a trap

What do you do if your basement đrain doesn't have a trap? I tried shined a flash light down and the pipe just goes straight down. The house smells and 3 buckets of water have not helped.
1
vote
3answers
3k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

basement floor crack widening in newly built home - is this a problem?

Our home was new construction and the basement floor was poured around 1.5 years ago. The builder installed control joints in several locations in the basement slab. Several of these joints have ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Floor-to-ceiling bookshelf before or after carpet?

Building a built-in floor-to-ceiling bookshelf in a room in the basement (~7'10" tall). I've read a lot of differing opinions on whether to build the bookshelf first or put the carpet in first. ...
7
votes
2answers
14k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

What is this electrical device in my basement?

Is it something to do with the doorbell? House was built in 1947 if that helps.
6
votes
1answer
40k views

How can I properly vent a basement toilet & shower using an AAV?

When we bought our house the plumbing drains for a basement bathroom were roughed in but they did not install any vent lines for them. We have the first floor plumbing draining into the main stack ...
6
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
30k 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 ...