BASEMENTS

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Why Go Out? 12 Bars You Can Build at Home
After a long day, nothing beats relaxing with a glass of wine or a well-mixed cocktail—which is why many homeowners are taking advantage of unused living space to...
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The Secret to a Warmer, Drier, Faster Finished Basement
This article has been brought to you by Amvic Building System, who provided BobVila. com with a complimentary product...
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The 10 Best Colors for a Brighter Basement
In the ongoing quest for more living and storage space, homeowners often overlook the basement. But this neglected space can be incredibly versatile. With a few s...
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11 Doable Ways to DIY a Basement Ceiling
Choosing your basement ceiling can be tricky! It can be tempting to go bare-bones with the ceilings so you don’t lose any clearance for this often-low ceiling, bu...
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Mission Impossible? Setting Out to Save a Damp, Dingy Furnace Room
As homeowners, we all have our dirty little secrets, whether it be a carpet stain concealed by strategically placed f...
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How To: Remove Black Mold
As a naturally occurring and pervasive substance in our world, mold exists in a variety of different forms—many of wh...
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14 Tips for a Cozy Basement Bedroom
Say goodbye to the basement bedroom blues! You don’t have to settle for a dark and gloomy subterranean chamber. Through creative lighting techniques and the use o...
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Solved! What to Do About a Flooded Basement
Q. Help! I went to the basement to do some laundry but found water on the floor instead! How do I rescue my flooded b...
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So, You Want to... Waterproof Your Basement
Unless your plan is to install a swimming pool in your basement, you probably cringe at the idea of water trickling i...
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10 Shortcuts to a Not-So-Scary Basement
If you have an unfinished basement, you probably don’t want to spend a ton of time down there. The air is musty, the floors are damp, and it feels just a tiny bit...
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Bob Vila Radio: Dealing with a Damp Basement
Though you don't live in the tropics, the most humid days might make you feel like you do. That dampness is not only ...
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The Do’s and Dont’s of Basement Storage
Whether you're packing away seasonal gear, or stockpiling a few extra home essentials, the basement is a natural storage spot. Because the basement is dark, cool,...
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Bob Vila Radio: Your Finished Basement Needs an Egress
Transforming a dark, dank basement into welcoming living space isn't a small job. But once complete, a finished basem...
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Bob Vila Radio: Button Up Your Crawl Space
If you have a crawl space in your home that’s not adequately sealed and insulated, you’re probably wasting money on i...
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Bob Vila Radio: Sump Pumps Need Maintenance, Too
With melting snow and spring rains just around the corner, now is the most important time of year for sump pump maint...
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12 Finishing Touches for Your Unfinished Basement
An unfinished basement, with its concrete floor and exposed joists, may seem dreary and cold. But in reality it is an enormous blank canvas just waiting for your ...
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Convert Your Crawl Space into a Storage Area
For children and perhaps even many adults, the crawl space is shrouded in mystery. Rarely do we think of the dark, di...
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Bob Vila Radio: Prevent Basement Window Leaks
Basement windows are great for letting natural light into subterranean space, but what if they also let in water? The...
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Bob Vila Radio: Safer Basement Stairs Prevent Mishaps
If you're aiming to reduce the risk of accidents in your home, one good place to start is your basement stairs. Here ...
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Bob Vila Radio: Flooded Basement Cleanup Tips
What a huge job it is to clean up a flooded basement! But the job can be a lot less of a headache if you keep some ke...
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What Would Bob Do? Leveling a Concrete Floor
I’d like some advice on how to level a concrete floor. We plan to finish the basement in my house, and there are goin...
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How To: Install a Sump Pump
In an ideal world, there'd be no basement flooding. But in reality, despite our best efforts to address the underlyin...
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Life Underground: 10 Beautiful Basement Makeovers
Is it time to give your basement a new look? Because many underground living spaces suffer from the same problems, such as low ceilings and small windows, you'll ...
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Pro Tips: Basement Waterproofing
A clean, dry basement—there, doesn’t that sound nice? Yet the fact is, many of us live with basements that are damp, ...
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Quick Tips: Laying a Basement Subfloor
Here's how to get a warm, dry basement floor over a concrete slab when converting your basement into living space. La...
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Basement Flooring 101
Surprise! It's all right to install virtually any type of flooring in your basement. Although hardwood should be avoi...
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Bob Vila Radio: Dehumidifiers
Basements are notorious for being damp, just by virtue of being underground. If you have a damp basement, your first ...
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Planning Guide: Basement Remodeling
Do you feel like your home is shrinking? Are the kids growing up and accumulating more stuff? Is your teenager demand...
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Home Renovation: The Cellar and the Attic
When undertaking a renovation project, an examination of the out-of-sight, out-of-mind spaces may be useful. If you'r...
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Basement Remodeling Ideas: Overcoming Obstacles
If you’re looking for extra space to expand your home and haven’t considered the basement, you’re missing out on the ...
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Basement Remodels Add More Living Space
America’s home improvement frontier is going underground with basement remodeling. Basement design has gone way beyon...
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Upgrade to a Basement System
Finishing the basement is a smart way to add space to your home. Using a complete basement system package may be the ...
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Add an Entrance to Your Basement
When building a new home, plan the foundation to include an exterior staircase and entry basement doors. The foundati...
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Basement Storage Ideas
Poured concrete foundations, coupled with Styrofoam insulation forms and improvements in perimeter drainage and water...
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7 Steps to Avoid a Flooded Basement
There are certain signs of spring we all welcome: cheery daffodils, increased daylight, and the chirping of birds returning from their winter vacations. Along wit...
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From Wreck Room to Rec Room: Laying a Subfloor
After 13 years in our house, the basement was finally dry—or as close to dry as it was ever going to get. The walls w...
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From Wreck Room to Rec Room: Drying Out the Basement
One lesson I learned fast when I bought a house is that a homeowner’s number-one enemy is not the mortgage—it's the w...
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Bob Vila Radio: Basement Waterproofing
There’s no such thing as a waterproof basement.  The key is to minimize the water that gets in and get it back out ag...
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Bob Vila Radio: Finishing a Basement
Finishing your basement is a great way to add space and value to your home. If you have enough ceiling height and you...
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What You Need to Know Before Buying a Sump Pump
If you’ve ever wondered, "What is a sump pump?" then you’re lucky, because you probably don’t need one. But for the u...
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How To: Dry a Wet Basement
A basement water problem can be as obvious as there being several inches of floodwater standing at the base of the st...
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Basement: To Finish or Not?
Late in 2010, my husband and I, and our two young children (2 and 9 months old), moved from our teensy New York City ...
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Adding a Basement Bathroom
Adding a basement bathroom adds value to the home, but installing toilets and sinks in a belowgrade environment takes...
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Know the Rules for Finished Basements
Converting your basement is like finding new space, fully equipped with plumbing and heat. Before you begin your remo...
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Preparing the Foundation
Todd LaBarge describes the ReddiForm block system used to create a one-step monolithic pour.
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Pouring the Foundation and Starting the Walls
Bob and Howard discuss the concrete mesh used in the foundation that saved time and materials. Bob reviews the upcoming episode during which first floor walls ar...
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Building with Polystyrene Forms and Concrete
Bob explores innovative construction technologies – Insul-Tarp and ReddiForm polystyrene blocks – as the structure is reinforced and the first-floor walls start t...
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Building a Metal Stud Wall in the Basement
Bob meets carpenter Danny Ruffini to see how a metal stud wall is built in the basement.
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Pumping Concrete to Make a Basement Floor
A slab is poured in the basement and work is underway to add two new dormers to the roof.
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Building a Kitchen Staircase
Furniture maker Todd Allen builds a staircase from scratch, which will run from the basement to the kitchen, using a technique that is a couple of centuries old.
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Replacing and Installing Windows and Costs of Finishing a Basement
An old basement window is replaced, and experts explain the costs of the Owens Corning finishing system.
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Keep Water Out of the Basement
Basement drainage systems are installed to control moisture and humidity and to eliminate rot and mildew.
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Removing Unwanted Junk and Debris
Bob discusses the best ways to discard debris and unwanted items before starting a renovation.
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Touring a Neighborhood in Melrose
Bob meets with a local real estate broker and with homeowner Sarah Monzon, whose basement will be finished to create additional family space.
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Repairing the Chimneys, Installing a Gas Fireplace Insert and Completed Cabinets in the Basement Family Room
The house's two chimneys are repaired, allowing the installation of a gas fireplace insert, and basement family-room cabinets are completed.
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Installing a Basement Half-Bathroom
Bob discusses the installation of a basement half-bathroom, including wiring, plumbing, and radiant heating.
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Touring the Completed Basement Remodel
Bob meets with homeowner Sarah Monzon to recap the project, from the initial preparation to the renovations to the finishing touches.
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Basement Finishing System Installation
Bob takes us through the installation of an Owens Corning Basement Finishing System.
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Restoring the Guest Cottage
Bob checks progress in the basement and attic of the governor's mansion, then visits the guest cottage to see how the restoration is progressing.
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Inspecting the Concrete Slab in the Basement
Carpenter Bob Ryley and contractor Mike Wescott inspect the basement concrete slab, then go over other construction details in the basement.
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Installing Steel Stair Stringers for the Bulkhead
Installer Juan Gonsalves shows Bob how to install steel stair stringers.
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Exterior Shingles and Brick Walkway
Bob talks with contractor Bob Ryley about shingle exposure, brick surrounds for basement windows, and the design of a brick walkway.
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Constructing a Custom-Recessed Bulkhead Door
Contractor Larry Landers builds a trapdoor to enable access to the old bulkhead from outside. Sheet lead flashing and an ice-and-water barrier are used to waterpr...
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Constructing an Insulated Floor
Bob helps carpenter-contractor Bob Ryley build an insulated floor so as to extend living space into the basement.
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Installation of Paneling in the Basement
Refinishing the basement continues with the installation of wood paneling.
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Excavating the Basement
The excavation crew digs out the dense clay material in the basement to clear the way for a cement slab floor.
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Pouring the Basement Slab
The concrete basement floor is poured, leveled, and screeded.
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Bulkhead Entrance and Trim
Bob helps carpentry contractor Bob Ryley install a bulkhead from a kit and put trim (a soffit, fascia, and drip edge) on the front façade.
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Continuing Work on the Bulkhead Entrance
Bob and carpentry contractor Bob Ryley continue working on the bulkhead entrance into the basement.
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Discussing the Basement Renovation
Ron Gan and architect Bill Bauhs talk over the budget and convince Bob to renovate the basement.
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Pella Window Factory Tour
Bob visits the Pella Window Factory in Pella, IO to see how they reproduce the special circle-head window in the basement to create a custom piece.
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Finishing the Basement Family Room
The circle-head window, and its accompanying window seat, are now finished in the family room basement.
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Attic and Basement
The tour of the project house continues up into the attic and down into the basement. Bob and general contractor Ron Gan discuss the necessary repairs and desired...
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Discussing Plans for the Basement
Bob joins architect Mike Morgan and general contractor Ron Gan in the basement of the coach house to discuss options for making the basement space useful and/or m...
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Basement Excavation
Bob takes a quick tour of the demolition work that's ongoing in the basement. He and general contractor Ron Gan discuss the advantages of renovation over rebuildi...
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Garage Entry
Bob helps general contractor Ron Gan and his crew take down a section of brick wall in order to make way for a garage door leading into the basement.
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Garage Construction
The concrete floor has been poured in the basement, and general contractor Ron Gan explains how a ledger board is attached to the masonry wall to support ceiling ...
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Progress Report on the Coach House
Bob tours the completed living room and dining room of the coach house, then heads down into the basement to see the work that's been done on the heating system.
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Basement Demolition
Bob joins demolition Jim Ferguson in the basement of the coach house to review progress.