Partially Finished Basement. Do I need electric on concrete walls?

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Draft – Comments Welcome

Outline

Introduction How Basement Walls Act Vertical Spanning One-Way Walls Horizontally Spanning Two-Way Walls Cantilever Walls Concluding Remarks References

1. Introduction

By a basement wall I mean a wall with living space on one side and outside soil or other backfill on the other, and a superstructure overhead. And, it is made of concrete, reinforced concrete. No doubt there are many concrete basement walls without reinforcement. I own a home with some cracked plain concrete basement walls, and they are cracked, way cracked.

With regard to supporting the superstructure above, concrete basement walls are strong. Unless they are severely out of plumb, they carry the loads from above in compression – and concrete `is doing its thing’ in compression. But when we have a tall concrete (basement wall), with `air’ on one side and soil (pushing) on the other, we are also loading the wall laterally, or transversely,...

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Dear NH,

Hello! My question is concerning a house I am looking at purchasing. The problem is the basement did leak 3 years ago but apparently seems to be good for now. The basement wall where the water was entering was repaired from the inside of the house. Do you feel that this is a temporary fix or a permanent one? Is repairing the basement wall from the inside as effective as repairing from the outside?

There is a cement slab on the outside of the house right where the water was entering. Would I be able to break the concrete up with a jackhammer if need be or not? I can't tell if the wall is permanently fixed since the vendor did not re-insulate the exterior wall and put drywall back up. There is no smell of dampness or moisture in the basement. Thanks.

CB

CB,

It is impossible to say if the repair is permanent, since we can't duplicate the conditions...

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Residents of MA, RI, NH & CT often create more living space in their homes by finishing their basement. With this common practice of finishing basements, the disappointments of foundation leaks can appear from time to time, especially after a snow melt or heavy rain.

With a leaking foundation your first concern is to dry out the basement in order to prevent mold, mildew and dry rot. The next step is to find where the water is coming in from. Put on your investigation hat and grab your x-ray vision glasses to find were the foundation is leaking from. The most common sources where a leaks occur is on outside wall, under a water pipe, sewer pipe, conduit, near or under an electrical panel, near a chimney or near the utility room.

If the water leak started near an outside wall, go outside and look in that area on the exterior of the foundation that is above grade, to see if there are any imperfections or wall cracks. The next step is to run a garden house on the ground...

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I just installed an exterior door at the bottom of a basement bulkhead. I framed out the opening for the door using PT 2X4s since the boards rest (end grain down) on a concrete floor. The pre-hung door sits on a bed of silicone caulk and I nailed it in place to the 2X4s with galvanized finish nails.

I now want to trim out the door to give it a nicer look and so that I can insulate between the jambs and the rough opening. What is the usual advice here? I could use PT for the trim since I will have the same end grain problem with the trim that I had with the framing for the rough opening. Also, the edges of the trim will be touching concrete since the basement where the door is installed is not a finished area. I am not sure if having wood touch concrete on an edge is a problem.

So, I see two potential solutions. One, use PT 1X4s for the trim. I will not have to worry about moisture from the concrete, but the idea of PT trim seems a bit weird. Painting wet PT does not...

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Finishing or remodeling your basement can provide valuable living and work space in an underused area of your home. The condition of your basement and the features and finishes you choose contribute to the depth and expense of a renovation, so discuss with your contractor how your basement can be customized to provide the space and function you need.

 

Average Finished Basement Cost

The cost of finishing a basement usually averages $25 to $50 per square foot but can go as high as $90 per square foot. That cost goes up and down a bit with the various factors that are relevant to cost. Location is one of them. Prices vary from coast to coast and are generally higher in major cities than they are in rural areas.

 

Current Finish

If your basement is currently unfinished, a complete construction and finishing project may cost $8214, based on national averages. While adding all new wiring, drywall, flooring and plumbing may seem...

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Don't let permits and inspections scare you or worry you. I remember this was a big mental hurdle in my mind to getting started. The words alone seem so daunting. Do you have permits for your basement? Did you pass inspection? Crap! What happens if I don't? Jail time? Huge fines?

Chillax. There are no fines and you won't do time. Try changing the vocabulary from" permits" and "inspections" to "announcements" and "reviews". The permit is really just an announcement that you are going to do some work on your house. The inspection is really just a review of your work by a licensed and experienced person who is just checking to make sure everything is safe.

Permits for finishing your basement

If you're finishing your basement yourself you can actually start without one. I built a couple of my walls before I made it official and purchased my "announcement" (permit). I don't even have permits as one of my 8 steps to how to finish a basement.

Now, if you're...

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