35 votes
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Is it more important for your baseboards to have a consistent reveal (height) or for them to be level?

When putting a narrow item on a wall hang it level. When putting a wide/long item on the wall hang it parallel to the floor or ceiling, whichever is nearer. The eye can see a picture frame askew ...
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33 votes
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Where to start first in finishing my basement

Construction projects of any size always follow a fairly standard recipe: Planning Taking measurements of the space and making a scale drawing of everything to be done: new walls, location of ...
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  • 1,661
22 votes
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Did I Make a Major Framing Mistake?

Oh jeez Honestly you overthought all of this. This isn't a bad framing job but it certainly is odd. Why would you want to get rid of a foot of space everywhere. If you leave it like this you ...
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  • 46.2k
15 votes

What is this pipe coming out of the basement floor?

In a basement, galvanized pipe like that could have been a pipe feeding oil from an underground tank to an oil heater that has long ago been removed and replaced with something else. I had one like ...
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  • 14.4k
15 votes

Did I Make a Major Framing Mistake?

Too much for a comment, so it's going as an answer. There's nothing particularly magical about 16 inch on-center spacing for framing. It's not enshrined as gospel deep down in a building code, for ...
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  • 20.2k
12 votes
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What are these metal tags attached to my poured concrete basement wall?

Yes you can remove them. They are not a complete unit anymore. There was a wire extending from the center of the square disk, you will still see the nib that held the wire. The purpose of the wire was ...
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  • 31.3k
12 votes

What is this pipe coming out of the basement floor?

This could be: water waste gas oil for furnace radon system remnants (unlikely) but the earlier ones used metal pipes other The picture is pretty clear, this pipe was installed when they poured the ...
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  • 46.2k
10 votes

Can I run #14 armored cable behind baseboards?

NEC 300.4(D) covers the type of installation indicated in the question, and it applies to both AC and MC armored cable. So you'll need to use a steel guard at least 1/16" thick to protect the cable. ...
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9 votes

Is it more important for your baseboards to have a consistent reveal (height) or for them to be level?

They don't have to be level, they have to look straight. This can actually get quite complicated when doing tile or vinyl planking (especially those with no underlayment). If you have "rooms&...
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  • 46.2k
9 votes

Where to start first in finishing my basement

Where to start first in finishing my basement Draw out your plans. No, really: Get a few sheets of printer paper and a pen/pencil Draw your basement in its current layout Don't even bother ...
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8 votes
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How many Tapcons should be used to anchor a baseplate to a concrete floor?

I'd use 3 good ones in an 8 foot run; more if they don't feel solid. (Since it's not structural, all you're really trying to do is hold the wall to the floor and resist any after-the-fact warp/twist ...
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8 votes
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Best way to move/extend wall-mounted outlets when finishing basement?

This is so easy, you'll laugh. unfish the cable out of the last segment of conduit pull the conduit off the wall use a conduit bender to put a slight S- curve in the conduit, so it's out from the ...
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8 votes

What is this pipe coming out of the basement floor?

I have galvanized natural gas pipe in my 1950 Metro Detroit house. If it's not oil, it could be gas going to the original furnace location. I can see a bright spot in the floor where something stood ...
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6 votes

Can I have two storeys in a 16 foot space?

You have two issues to contend with. First is that 16 feet is just a bit too tight for two floors. Sure, we usually use 12 inch beams but that's just the structure - you need an actual floor on top ...
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  • 1,100
6 votes

How can I temporarily finish a basement without actually finishing it?

You could pin up several runs of Backdrop Drapes along the walls. They come in many colors and are less than $40 for a 10' wall span. You could cut out around the windows and even hang a temporary ...
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6 votes

What is this pipe coming out of the basement floor?

I would check with the city. The previous owner may have taken out a building permit for that work and the local building inspector may have blueprints of it.
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  • 161
6 votes

Removing a stud (or two) under a ceiling beam

Are these wall studs for your first floor? If so then you need a proper header above the door and double up or triple the 2x6 studs on the outside of the door to support the header. The header should ...
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5 votes

Will new bottom plates in basement allow radon penetration?

If you have radon, it's already likely getting in--concrete is permeable. So adding a small nail hole isn't going to change anything. Also note that tapcons don't actually penetrate all the way ...
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5 votes
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Moisture barriers when finishing a basement?

I would NEVER put up plastic on the outside basement wall. All you will do is trap the moisture in the wall and create an environment perfect for mold. Especially with batt or blown insulation behind ...
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5 votes

What is this pipe coming out of the basement floor?

If it has a 3/4 inch diameter like you say it's most likely a natural gas line. Don't cut it or gas will fill the basement!! best to turn off the gas and then remove the cap and smell for gas.. You ...
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5 votes
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MWBC exists, use for bathroom?

Ed Beal's answer covers the core matter. The handle-tie is mandatory, period. So that's the end of that inquiry. You're right that with handle-ties, one will probably trip the other. However FYI ...
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5 votes

Do walls and ceiling need to have drywall installed for electrical? Partially finished basement

You don't need drywall, but the cables that are considered "exposed to damage" need to be protected. Drywall is one way to do that. The overhead wires are usually not considered to be ...
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  • 136k
5 votes

Where to start first in finishing my basement

The first thing would be a good plan of what you want to do and where it will all go- room layout, etc. You probably are already going on this one. The next step would to get your plumber and ...
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  • 2,236
4 votes

Can I have an office in my basement without egress?

You'll have to contact your local building department to be sure, but it's very likely that they'll require a second means of egress. They might also have localized information, on ways others in your ...
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  • 128k
4 votes

Noisy floating wall anchors

After a lot of time wandering the faster aisle at my local Ace, I ended up finding a rubber grommet that fit snugly around the 6d nails I am using. I then took the grommet and found a fender washer ...
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  • 861
4 votes
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Is it possible or feasible to build basement walls without anchoring?

You could put down a bead of construction adhesive under the sill plate. That will glue it to the tiles. You do need the wall secured somehow because you will not want to be seeing it move around as ...
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  • 61.5k
4 votes

Is it possible or feasible to build basement walls without anchoring?

Or you could buy a ramset that is a powder driven concrete anchor, no drilling is required and would have a minimal effect on the asbestos.
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4 votes

Running wire to ceiling with double joist parallel to wall

After explaining this to the AHJ, he proposed running NM in conduit around the back side of the wall. This took some creative bending (me being a first time conduit bender, at least), but the end ...
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4 votes

Can I run #14 armored cable behind baseboards?

You can retrofit just ground. Really. The biggest misconception is that you must replace all the wires. Nope! NEC has allowed you to retrofit grounds on feeders and larger circuits for awhile, and ...
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4 votes

How many "blocking" pieces do I need for a finished basement wall?

I do mine about every 16 inches.
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