Showing posts with label Basement Wall Photos. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Basement Wall Photos. Show all posts


Basement Carpet Suggestions

Carpet in Basements: The Issues, Solutions, and Alternatives

Basement floors don't have to be cold and damp but they often are. Unless you can design or retrofit your basement slab to be warm and dry, avoid wall-to-wall carpet as a floor finish.

Posted on Oct 17 by Peter Yost

Designing dry, warm basement floors Dry warm basement floors are designed to manage:

1. Water at ground level - gutters and downspouts connected to splash blocks on soil sloped away from the building; 2. Water at the footing - perimeter pipe drainage at the footing; 3. Water in porous materials - capillary breaks—free-draining gravel and/or nonporous sheet good, like poly—underneath the slab, between the concrete walls and the soil, and between the footing and the foundation walls. 4. Floor surface temperature – subslab rigid insulation warms the basement slab and elevates its temperature.

The basement floor is dry, you think Before you put any finished flooring down on what appears to be a dry floor, it's a smart thing to determine just how dry it really is. Many basement concrete floors don't have a capillary break or vapor barrier installed underneath them and evaporate what can be quite a bit of water off of their surface, water that is wicking from the soil up through the concrete.

There are two simple tests to determine slab moisture transmission

One involves just taping down a sheet of plastic for at least 16 hours and seeing if the underside of the plastic is wet (ASTM D4263).

  1. If it's dry, congratulations, you can put down any finished flooring product you want to.
  2. If it's wet, you might want to consider the next test, the anhydrous calcium chloride test (ASTM F1869), which can tell you the RATE of moisture transmission.
  3. Knowing this rate means that you can check flooring manufacturer recommendations on moisture transmission rates and see what types of flooring can handle what your slab is doing.

Keep in mind that many types of flooring go down with water-soluble adhesives; that can be a real problem if your slab is drying a lot of water through its surface.

Carpet in basements Many, but certainly not all, carpets and carpet cushion are vapor permeable, so if your basement slab is transmitting moisture, it can continue to evaporate up through the pad and carpet. On the other hand, if the carpet or pad is on a cool slab and it is loaded with dirt, pet and human dander, it's just about a perfect place to cultivate dust mites and even mildew.

Bottom line? If your basement slab is un-insulated and/or damp or transmitting moisture (and most are):

1. Avoid installed wall-to-wall carpeting. Choose a hard surface material that meets manufacturer recommendations for what you know to be how much moisture is transmitting up through your basement slab. 2. Maintain gaps for air circulation. Keep absorbent materials up off the basement floor and keep gaps between your slab and all objects, such as furniture. 3. Keep your basement floor clean. Damp mop or vacuum your basement floor on a regular basis, based on use and traffic. If you're using area rugs, launder or clean these on a regular basis and ideally, give them regular exposure to direct sunlight by taking them outside. 4. Manage relative humidity in the basement. Use an Energy Star-labeled dehumidifier to keep the interior relative humidity at or below 60%.

-- Scott's Contracting


Basement Conversion Photos

Ideal Situation

Think functionality for any type of lower-level entertaining space.
Will you serve family dinners in the basement or just a few drinks to friends?
Do you only need a refrigerator to hold beer during the football game or is a full bar more your style?
Whatever you decide, renovate your space accordingly, making sure everything you need (including stemware, snack bowls, and wine) is right at your fingertips.
Brick Basement with Pool Table


 Gathering Spot

Give people a reason to do downstairs. If you don't have much light, turn the space into a home theater.
heaters and game rooms are good reasons to go down into a dark basement.

dark bathroom with short toilet against stone wall

Embrace the Dark Side

Use the lack of natural light in your basement to your advantage by creating a dramatic space with modern wood paneling and stone.
wet bar high counter with light wood

Light Direction

Plan to add several new light fixtures to your renovated basement to combat darkness in the space.
Recessed lighting unobtrusively shines on work areas and pendent lamps provide more direct illumination.
white couch, brown mirror, escape route

Moisture Control

With basement rooms, the most important task is keeping moisture out.
There are multiple ways to keep your basement dry.
Ensure good drainage off your roof and away from your foundation, provide good ventilation of bathrooms and kitchens to the outside, and don't open windows during humid periods.
Another option is to install a subfloor panel system, which creates a moisture barrier.
If you live in a humid climate, dehumidifiers are an effective way to remove excess moisture from the basement.
However, they can draw water through foundation walls. If this starts to be a problem, turn off the dehumidifier.
white basement, 2 purple chairs, ROI
Quick Return
Finishing a basement is a good investment.
A basement project adds new functionality to your home by providing more living space and more efficient storage.

Part 8: 1st Floor Weatherization

Part 9: See the Difference a Little White Paint Makes

Part 10: Interior Framing-Plumbing-Laundry Room

Part 11: Kitchen Framing Tip #36-Benton Rehab Project

Part 12: Water Main Repair- Benton Rehab

Part 13: Benton Rehab Project Drywall Installation and Tip: Number 1172

Scott's Contracting

Basement Remodeling Photos-Basement Design Photos

tv above fireplace
Scotts Contracting is available for the Building of Your Next Basement Project. Use the following links to contact scotty for a free estimate.

Entertainment Center

The space above the fireplace is becoming popular for flat-panel TVs. Before mounting a TV above your mantel, however, make sure the wall temperature doesn't exceed 90 degrees when the fire is lit. The space behind the mounting area should be hollow to accommodate necessary wiring.

basement overall-wood accents

Know Building Codes

Basement rooms must be at least 7X7 feet and have a minimum ceiling height of 84 inches over 50 percent of the floor area. Bathrooms, hallways, and task areas can have ceilings that dip as low as 76 inches in some spots. All bedrooms window need to be at least 20 inches wide and 24 inches high, or 5.7 square feet, and no more than 44 inches off the floor. Having a room that matches these dimensions will ensure that people can walk around comfortably and escape in case of an emergency.

light-colored kitchen
Renovating a basement to include a kitchen allows you to move entertaining downstairs. This walkout makes use of the natural light available, but installing light-tone and glass-front cabinets is a good trick for brightening a windowless basement, too.

Basement Storage

Make an Entrance

Consider your stairway location and how it leads you into the basement space. Ideally the stairs will lead to a family room or a main gathering area. Stair risers should be no more than 8 inches tall, and the treads must be at least 9 inches deep. Although regulations vary from region to region, most require that stairs have guardrails at least 34 inches high and that the guardrails must have intermediate rails or posts or other ornamental fill that will not allow objects 4 inches in diameter or larger to pass.
basement windows

Bring in the Light

Bringing in natural light is one of the biggest challenges when creating a basement room. Window wells are the most common solution where the window-opening height is below ground level. In case of an emergency, you can climb out the window and up the well. Choose window well locations carefully so you can make them as wide and deep as possible. The wider and deeper the well, the greater the amount of sunlight flowing into the basement.
white basement, green beam, basement doors

Have an Escape Route

Check your local building codes to determine if they require egress windows for a basement bedroom. Egress windows must be large enough for a firefighter in full gear to get into a burning house and for occupants to safely escape if the stairway is blocked. If you can't install egress windows, consider adding hinged outside access doors.
basment with beams

Create Zones

Manage the wide-open spaces of the lower level by breaking it up into separate, smaller areas. Create different zones for the different activities you will do there. Many basements have load-bearing beams throughout the basement. Use these beams to define the different areas.
Three Girls watching Big Screen HDTV

Quiet Time

Whether your lower level is a home theater, dance studio, or just a space to relax, noise can travel up and disrupt other household activities. Keep noise where it belongs by soundproofing the area. Choose drywall that is soundproof. This type of drywall is visually indistinguishable from standard drywall, but it's engineered to dampen noise.
wet bar looking out into living space with leather seating

Make It Interesting

Since most unfinished basements are just a box beneath the home, think of adding architectural elements when remodeling, such as the built-in wall niche and angled ceiling shown here.
basement--wall unit, books, ceiling

Finishing Touches

Suspended ceilings are great for adding a finished look. They cover ductwork, electrical components, and bare joints from the floor above. But they can lower the ceiling height by about a foot. If you don't want to lose this height, consider using furring strips to drop the ceiling only enough to hide everything but the ductwork. Then install tongue-and-groove planking or standard drywall to finish the ceiling.

Scotts Contracting is available for the Building of Your Next Basement Project. Use the following links to contact scotty for a free estimate.
basement, red accents, flooring

Sure Footing

Most basement floors start off as a concrete slab, but they don't have to stay that way. If your floor is level and dry, considering covering it with ceramic tile, laminate, or vinyl. All are durable choices that are easy to install over concrete. Solid-wood flooring isn't recommended for basement applications because small fluctuations in moisture levels can cause buckling and splitting, but engineered wood is a suitable alternative.
bed in between white built-ins

Don't Forget Storage

Remodeling your basement means losing some storage space, so make sure you include built-ins wherever possible to accommodate the items you still need to store out of the way. Here, dual built-ins "frame" the bed and have niches in the side to serve as bedside tables.
home improvement, basement, remodeling, floor, ceiling, lighting, windows

Rising Temperatures

Heating a basement can be a challenge. Registers in the ceiling push warm air into the room, but that warm air rises to the ceiling. Subfloor panel systems and in-floor radiant heating are good solutions for cold feet. Subfloor panel systems provide good insulation. Radiant-heat systems provide inexpensive, even warmth throughout a room and eliminate the cold spots and drafts created by forced-air systems.

Scotts Contracting is available for the Building of Your Next Basement Project. Use the following links to contact scotty for a free estimate.

Scott's Contracting

Before and After Fireplace Photos

Sponsor Links: 

Posting Photos
Fireplace ? Before Shot 

Before: Bland and Bulky

This living room was stuck in the 1970s thanks to dusty whites and tired brown tones. The bulky brown-brick fireplace did little to enhance the space, as it was placed asymmetrically on a long stretch of wall.

After: Light and Lively

After: Light and Lively

Painting the brick facade white started the process of bringing this fireplace back to life. A wood surround enhances the look. Classic-lined built-ins integrate the fireplace, bookshelves, and an entertainment unit. The surround, built-ins, and walls were also painted white to brighten the room and layer on the cottage charm.
Fireplace ? Before Shot

Before: Cold and Cavelike

The former fireplace was part of a stacked-stone wall that left the living room feeling cold and cavelike. The homeowners wanted to update the fireplace and living room with modern, minimalist style, but still maintain a connection to the outdoors.
Marble Fireplace

After: Open and Inviting

The homeowners did away with the stacked-stone fireplace and opted for one with a clean, contemporary design that complements the improved, light-filled living room. Sleek marble tiles combine with honey-color bird's-eye maple panels to create a one-of-a-kind fireplace and surround. These warm tones connect the room with nature and keep the focus on woodland views framed by a wall of windows (not shown).
Media Room ? Before Shot

Before: Muddled Media Room

With its poor design, bad acoustics, and lack of storage, this media room was more dysfunctional than family-friendly.
The much-needed makeover consisted of adding a curved ceiling to balance the room and improve acoustics and relocating the fireplace to be the focal point of the room. Custom-built cabinetry flanks the fireplace, keeping media equipment organized and out of sight. Sandstone adorns the surround and blends beautifully with the built-in cabinets. The new fireplace can now be seen from the adjacent dining and living room.

Article continues here:

-- Scott's Contracting

Additional Designs sponsored by Google




Home Foundation Repair-Basic Guide-Stone/Rock Foundation

Home Foundation Repair: The Basics 

Green builders and home preservationists have a common goal: conservation. If you're looking to bring an older home up to modern standards of green building, you'll need to understand the basics of fixing a home's foundation, and what can cause foundation failure.

Old homes were designed with structural logic much different from today's. New homes are designed with strict adherence to the lumber sizing and spans listed in the building code. Old homes were built with common sense, logic and feel. Most homes built between 1880 and 1930 were built on inferior footing. These old footings offer foundation walls little support, which then may support often overspanned joists and girders. Historic home foundations were subject to improper load calculation, inferior footings and substandard mortar. Old framing systems can be vastly over- or under-built. Each is a potential point of failure. It is crucial to understand such risks during a rehabilitation.

Structural failure is a phrase that scares the average Joe. Unfortunately, most structures subject to a century of seasonal expansions, water, humans, animals, deferred maintenance, improper storage and poor footings are destined to have some structural issues that need to be addressed. Combine construction flaws, time and the dreadful soil of central North Carolina, and it's rare that I see an old home that doesn't have some sort of structural problem. Structural issues can all be addressed, however, and most are simple (but laborious) fixes.

The structure of a building is formed by foundation and framing.

The foundation is a structure that transfers loads to earth. It keeps earth and wood apart. The concept is simple: A house is heavy, so a foundation spreads that load over an area suitable for the earth to handle. The average two-story Queen Anne Victorian weighs between 30 and 60 tons, enough for three 20-ton jacks to support the whole thing (theoretically, but don't try it at home).

The framing forms the structure, defines separate rooms and carries the floor, wall and roof loads to the foundation.

I'll discuss the most common foundation and framing techniques, common problems and how each is typically fixed. I'll also discuss basic preservation and sustainability issues related to the structure.

Footings and Foundations

Footing and Foundations are constructed of footings and foundation walls. A footing is the belowground mass, generally made of concrete or brick, that supports the foundation wall. It is sized to transfer the weight of the entire structure to ground. A footing must sit on stable soil and not backfill, which compresses easily. If the soil is not stable, the footing is more likely to fail. Today footings are eight inches wider than the wall or pier they support (e.g., a 12-inch-wide wall requires a 20-inch-wide footing) and deep enough to sit below the frost line, the depth at which groundwater is expected to freeze in a respective climate.

Footing construction varies greatly on old homes. Larger stately homes may well be on large and well built footings, though it would be rare to find the metal reinforcing bar (rebar) required today. Many houses sit on a soldier course, which is nothing more than an extra course of bricks at the bottom of the brick pier or foundation wall. Soldier courses are commonly found above the frost line and are prone to mortar breakdown, especially under pressure of water.

The foundation wall carries loads from the exterior sill beam framing to the footing. Piers support interior girders and are made of a variety of materials — stone, masonry and poured-in-place concrete are all common. Mortar joints offer little resistance to unbalanced lateral forces (such as a backfilled basement wall), so tall, thin, unreinforced masonry curtain walls are prone to failure.

The foundation wall also defines the area underneath the main living space. In the northern United States, basements are common, while in the South, crawl spaces are more typical. A below-grade basement or crawl space is intrinsically unstable and problematic; the pressures of earth and groundwater are predisposed to assault its footing and wall. Based on their porosity, soils hold and shed varying amounts of water. The basement floor can actually be below the water table, most likely in spring when snow is melting both on the roof and ground.

Water causes nearly all problems in foundations. Water against a foundation wall exerts hydrostatic pressure — water trying to get from areas of high pressure (poor draining soil) to areas with less (your basement). Frost heave happens when water freezes in poorly draining soil, then expands and pushes the footing, foundation and house upward. Any footing above the frost line will rise and fall with the freeze thaw cycle. Typical frost lines vary from four feet in Maine to less than a foot in the Southeast, and footings must be at least as deep as the frost line to avoid frost heave. The best solutions for water problems are to grade, divert roof runoff, dampproof or waterproof the foundation.

Grading refers to the slope of earth around the foundation. Code requires a 5 percent slope to 6 feet around the foundation, and many old homes fail this bench mark. Any place where a slope does not meet such grade is subject to water problems. Solutions include swales, which create a low point six to 12 feet from the foundation to capture water, and French drains, a subsurface swale covered with perforated pipe and drainage gravel, allowing surface grading to remain unaltered.

RE: Roof runoff (rainwater) is diverted away from the foundation by either gutters or proper grading. In cold climates gutters cause ice dams which can result in roof leaks and eave damage, which is why some forgo gutters in favor of ground-based drainage often involving plastic water barrier protection covered with decorative gravel or a continuous pitched concrete grade.


Dampproofing keeps most water out of the foundation, but allows water through in a torrential rain. A perforated pipe is set just below the exterior of the footing, sloped to direct water away via gravity or sump pump.A dampproofing approach may or may not include a latex waterproofing paint on the foundation wall, now required by many local ordinances on new construction.

Waterproofing keeps all water from entering the foundation and is necessary if using the basement as finished space. It is much more involved than dampproofing. Waterproofing can be done inside or outside the foundation wall; it's better to stop water before it enters the structure though that does requires a more expensive exterior waterproofing. First, a thick, impermeable dimple sheet is installed to keep water out of the foundation. Next, just below the footing, a perforated pipe is set which captures groundwater and drains it to either daylight or a sump pump. A sump pump is used to remove water accumulated in a sump pit, commonly placed at the low point in a basement, crawl space or exterior.

Bentonite clay is a natural waterproofing material that functions by suspending water in a gelatinous form. Less natural but more common is extruded polystyrene foam board insulation (XPS), which is a cheap and common detail on new foundations, particularly in northern climates. It is nonpermeable (except at its seams), helping resist water infiltration.

It's important to differentiate between problems caused by surface water runoff and a high water table. The first can be fixed rather simply, the latter may be impossible. High water tables enter the structure through the wall and the basement floor. Concrete is porous, and no match for such pressure. Today, vapor barriers of 4- or 6-millimeter-thick polyethylene are installed under slabs and are an excellent tool against such an assault. Old homes won't have such a barrier. A possible fix is to install a vapor barrier and pour a new slab. Still, while it's feasible to waterproof a new footing and all its transition points it's nearly impossible to waterproof an old footing. Footing drains outside should relieve some of the pressure, but not all. If there is evidence of a high water table, it's recommended that you leave the basement unfinished. Finished basements require a 100 percent success rate against water, and the costs to insure such a rate would be too excessive.

Lastly, a wet basement can occasionally be caused by a blocked drain tile, failed sewer or stormwater line. Unfortunately, private lines are not easily explored by anything short of excavation. Plumbers do have pipe camera tools that can avert a major dig, though many are cautious about sending an expensive piece of equipment up a pipe with an unknown blockage.

House Jacking

Fixing the foundation, or rebuilding it entirely, requires the temporary transfer of the house's loads above in order to perform the work. Holding the house consists of temporarily lifting the load-bearing girders or sills on a portion of the house just enough to remove failed members. One-half inch is usually enough. Raising the house consists of lifting the entire house at once. One foot elevation to an entire story is typical. Raising strategies might be considered when a usable basement is desired in tandem with major foundation reconstruction. The house may be raised as much as eight to ten feet to allow for the addition of a new floor below.

The merits of permanently raising a house are an ongoing debate in the preservation community. An argument that the house must be raised to ensure its longevity as a healthy structure makes a stronger case than arguing it must be raised because the owner wants a game room. Generally speaking, lifting the house significantly disrupts the streetscape by creating an unusually tall structure, particularly so if raising more than a few feet. In New Orleans, of course, it's argued that raising houses is necessary now to survive potential future flooding, so the debate continues.

It also is impossible to raise a house without reconstruction of chimneys, since the practice will throw all your hearths off elevation. Floors are raised while chimneys are not. Balloon-framed homes can be more difficult to jack than platform-framed structures. Since a balloon-framed floor may be tacked onto the studs with nothing more than a few nails, jacking up the floor may lift only the floor system, while not lifting the walls. To correct this, jacking may be required from the inside and out, and sometimes a temporary wall between floors is needed to ensure the whole structure rises in tandem.

New Foundation Construction


After the house has been lifted, a new foundation wall can be built. Often a pier and curtain wall will be replaced by a continuous masonry wall made of either brick, CMU block or both. Wood wicks water from masonry, which is why building codes now specify that any wood in contact with masonry now must be pressure-treated. If a new foundation wall is supporting an existing non-treated sill, termite protection should be installed — either pressure-treated wood or a termite flashing made of 20 gauge aluminum. Be sure to install sleeves for utilities. Short PVC stubs suffice for electric, water and HVAC lines.

As with all exterior features, try to match any foundation detailing. If the piers protruded beyond the curtain wall on the exterior, or had some masonry corbelling for example, it would be good to restore that detail. I've found preservation boards to be reasonably flexible so long as the old foundation wasn't extremely distinctive.

Additional Links:

Foundation walls are usually made of poured concrete or stacked concrete block, materials that reinforce the feeling of the basement as a secondary space. To give the basement main-floor style, cover the concrete with your choice of ...
Your basement is basically a box of porous concrete, buried in wet ground, and when that ground gets saturated with water, the resulting hydrostatic pressure pushes the water against the foundation walls. That water will eventually find ...
Rock Foundation Repair and Water Proofing PhotosScotts Contracting Job Site Photos
This page contains various job sites photos of projects .

Scotts Contracting performs the repairs needed in our City's Typical Rock Foundations found on a Large Percent of City Dwellings. Addresses Below to email scotty for a free estimate on your next project.

 Newly added Basement Photos: 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Basement Conversion Photos 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Basement Remodeling Photos-Basement Design Photos

Friday, October 22, 2010

Before and After Fireplace Photos

Scott's Contracting

Connect with Scotts Contracting

FB FB Twitter Google Plus Tumblr LinkedIn Blog Blog Blog Blog Pinterest

Featured Post

Solar Water Pump Information

Solar Water Pump Inverter (hybrid) Hober is professional manufacturer of solar pump inverter (7 years)  Solar Pump Inve...