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I found a few mold spots on the wall in the basement (a couple of isolated spots only). Can’t really tell where it’s coming from. Is this normal or something to worry about? Any suggestions on how to fix? The building is from 1900 (small coop). Thanks!


What is necessary to install an air exchanger in a cellar in terms of power, location and external access?

Do they work well? Worth it?

We use our cellar for music – listening and playing and spend a few hours there at a time. We have a carbon monoxide and smoke detector but are looking for ways to improve air circulation.



Our 100+ yr old limestone in Stuy Heights has a packed dirt basement floor. Last year we had a mold outbreak down there, due to the humidity. We’d like to price out pouring a cement floor. Nothing fancy- the basement is used for storage – but something clean and probably with some sort of moisture barrier. Any suggestions or ideas of what this would cost? Probably about 1,000 sq ft.


Hello, I’m having a heck of a time finding code or forum posts that would answer my question. I have a cellar, with one egress, which I want to use as an office, workshop, have band practice, and maybe keep a fridge.

The boiler is behind closed doors down a long hallway, and no part of the cellar is more than thirty feet from the egress point. By the way, this is an eight unit building, in which I live and rent out the seven other apartments. What is the code regarding such a situation?

Thanks in advance!


I’m not sure I can explain this well but I will try – yesterday after the rainstorm we had water in the basement, we’d had a few minor wet spots in this area before but nothing like this – puddles of muddy water. The previous owner finished the basement of our woodframe house, but he really did the bare minimum of work. The wall in the front part of the basement where the water was found was installed about a foot in front of the stonewall. Just air in between, plus the waste pipe runs through this stone wall and there’s another small pipe connected to the stonewall too. There is a small door in the wall to access the pipes. Through this opening we can see that the stone wall appeared wet and muddy and crumbly in parts after the rain. Any recs for who to call? Ideally we’d like to find someone who is experienced in investigating the sources of leaks so we can be sure what we’re dealing with. It is not coming from the coal chute and the cement in the front was replaced 3 yrs ago and pitched away from the house. We do have some dripping under our stoop but nothing like the basement this last time. Any advice appreciated.


We’re house hunting; currently considering a house with a basement that is level with the backyard, at the back. My hope is that we could finish the bsement and use it for living space. The first issue I see is that we’d need to move the mechanicals – anyone know how difficult that is?

Any other issues I should consider? The ceilings are high enough, and there are windows across the back, and a door. I would eventually want to open up sliding glass doors to make it brighter.

Anyone have any ballpark figure for what it would take to finish and build out a cellar? It is a 17×40 house, and there is a cement floor but it is definitely just storage/mechanicals/laundry for now . . .




I want to cover concrete floor in to be finished basement. The slab us very old and not very even but there are no issues with water.
My wifee wants something which looks like wood.
I am thinking to by tileflex tiles with faux wood finish. They will not rot, keep warm and hopefully go over uneven surfaces. They are expensive, but it is comparable to wood floor with underfloor.
Please tell me what you think. Is there alternatives? What was your experiences?


Do I have a basement or a cellar?

I’m trying to figure out what I can legally do with my basement/cellar space for my own family use (i.e. putting in shower/bath). The basement was configured to be accessed directly from inside the ground floor apartment (used to be accessed from the common hallway) by the previous owner (this was all done with construction permit from what I see on the DOB site as part of a bigger renovation). I know this issue has been covered a ton, but I’ve read those posts and am still unsure so I need people to please hear out my situation and see what you think…

From what I’ve gathered, the front window height (or sill height?) in relation to the curb height is the big factor, correct?

Here are the facts (maybe even more than needed), you make the call:

Window in photo is looking out on street.
The concrete sill, a few inches below the bottom of window, is basically at the same height as the concrete slab which makes up our front yard.

However, the concrete slab in front yard is raised about 8-10″ up from the sidewalk so when you come in our front gate you step up (our whole front property is raised up over the sidewalk/curb height). You can see our front gate in photo- it may look like its bottom is level with car on street, but its not. So our property is above sidewalk level.

From bottom of sill down to basement floor is 48″

From bottom of sill up to drywall ceiling is 42″

From sill to bottom of window frame is about 6″

Total height from drywall ceiling to basement floor is 90″ or 7 1/2 feet.

So clearly we appear to be more below ground that above, but….

If the height from floor to sill is 48″, you could say that is the same height as the basement floor to the level of the concrete front yard. But is it all in relation to the sidewalk curb height? If so, then since the sidewalk is a step down from our front yard then that makes out basement floor to sidewalk curb level about 8-10″ lower, since the front yard is raised up. In that case, we would then be more above ground (i.e. the ground at the curb) then below.

Have I lost everyone yet?
Any important info I left out?

Does the backyard height matter at all? Back there, we’re significantly more under ground level.
Also, there is a full height door both in the front under the stoop and in the back of the building, plus interior stairs leading back into the apt (if that matters).

You make the call- basement or cellar? Hmmmm…..


Happy to report that we have resolved and stopped the flow of water into our basement. Now we are left with a damaged wall (lots of spalling) that needs to be fixed and repainted and floors that need to be repainted due to paint coming up from water damage.In addition, we want to re-seal and re-waterproof the coal hatch that is in the back of our house. Does anyone know someone who can handle all of these tasks or is this a job for three separate people?

Thanks for any and all help!