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Basement Articles


Many homes include basements, and these articles focus on everything basement related ranging from Installing Spray Foam Insulation to Building Basement Storage Shelves.

Performing a Professional Home Energy Audit
Ethan | May 21, 2013
Performing a Professional Home Energy Audit

Recently a friend was having a professional home energy audit performed, and I asked to tag along. I was curious to learn what tools and techniques a professional uses to analyze the efficiency of a home. I also wanted to learn what actions an auditor would recommend. The audit was performed by James from Energy Services Group, a local business specializing in residential energy conservation since 1981. If you live in central Maryland, Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE) is probably your energy provider. The state of Maryland requires... 

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How to Install Schluter DITRA Tile Underlayment
Ethan | March 18, 2013
How to Install Schluter DITRA Tile Underlayment

Tile Subfloor, Thickness, Deflection Installing Electric Radiant Heat Pouring Self Leveling Mortar Leveling (Flattening) the Subfloor Installing Cement Board (CBU) Installing Schluter DITRA Marking Guidelines for Tile How to Lay Tile How to Grout Tile JointsEven a perfectly level subfloor won’t guarantee a beautiful, long-lasting tile floor. Stresses between the concrete or wood subfloor can still cause tiles to crack and delaminate and for grout joints to crumble. For example, wood expands and contracts with seasonal changes.... 

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How to Level a Subfloor Before Laying Tile
Ethan | March 14, 2013
How to Level a Subfloor Before Laying Tile

Tile Subfloor, Thickness, Deflection Installing Electric Radiant Heat Pouring Self Leveling Mortar Leveling (Flattening) the Subfloor Installing Cement Board (CBU) Installing Schluter DITRA Marking Guidelines for Tile How to Lay Tile How to Grout Tile JointsBefore laying tile or installing a tile underlayment like Schluter DITRA, it’s important to check the subfloor to ensure a flat, even surface. At its worst, a very uneven floor will result in broken or loose tiles and cracked grout joints. Slightly uneven floors can cause... 

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How to Install or Replace an Exterior Door
Ethan | March 5, 2013
How to Install or Replace an Exterior Door

It’s time for another Pro-Follow update! If you’ve been following along, you know that Joe Bianco is in the process of remodeling Fred and Kim’s basement. Last time we left off, Joe brought in Dave and his mold sniffing dog, Sam, to detect any mold in the basement. It was a fascinating process, and I hope to bring you more with Dave and Sam in the near future. Since then, drywall has been hung in the basement, doors installed and most of the painting has been completed. I’m not focusing on these aspects of the remodel... 

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How to Detect Mold in Your House with Mold Sniffing Dogs
Ethan | February 20, 2013
How to Detect Mold in Your House with Mold Sniffing Dogs

Welcome back to our latest Pro-Follow update! If you’re a regular reader, you know that Fred and Kim have hired Joe Bianco to finish their basement, and one aspect of this remodel includes permanently fixing a leak created when the deck was installed. The contractor who built the deck didn’t properly flash (waterproof) it. Fred and Kim eventually discovered wet insulation, discolored wood and a dank smell around one of the windows in the basement. Needless to say, they are concerned about mold, and Fred and Kim want to be... 

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How to Install Spray Foam Insulation Video
Ethan | November 6, 2012
How to Install Spray Foam Insulation Video

Editors Note: We produced this video a few years ago, and although we didn’t realize it at the time, this spray foam installation represents our very first Pro-Follow. If you enjoy seeing and learning from professional contractors, become an email or RSS subscriber and never miss a Pro-Follow update. We love sharing unique experiences with our readers, and I’m excited to bring you today’s article! Fred and I had the pleasure of filming Hottle Energy Solutions as they insulated Fred’s basement with spray foam. We... 

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How to Install a Basement Egress Window
Ethan | October 17, 2012
How to Install a Basement Egress Window

Today’s Pro-Follow is part of a series shadowing professional contractor Joe Bianco and his crews as they remodel an unfinished basement. A necessary part of this remodel is bringing the basement (and even other areas of the house) up to current code, and that includes installing an emergency egress window. For this project, the guys are expanding an existing window and installing a window well. If you enjoy learning and interacting with pro contractors and tradesmen, become an email or RSS subscriber. You can also like our Facebook... 

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How to Replace a Load Bearing Door Header
Ethan | March 26, 2012
How to Replace a Load Bearing Door Header

Contractors can’t always foresee every possible scenario when they bid a job, and they often have to assume that previous tradesmen have done their work appropriately. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, and even simple jobs became much more involved. Professional contractor and carpenter Steve Wartman and his crew began the process of replacing a patio door when they uncovered a poorly built header. Steve couldn’t in good conscience continue with the project until they replaced the header, and here’s how... 

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How to Build Inexpensive Basement Storage Shelves
Ethan | August 23, 2011
How to Build Inexpensive Basement Storage Shelves

A few years after Jocie and I moved into our home, the unfinished side of the basement looked like a we still hadn’t completely unpacked. Boxes and bin and bags were piled across the floor. There was a small aisle leading to the washer / dryer, but forget making it over to the small pantry we used for dry storage. Thinking back, our basement was probably a fire hazard. If you’ve ever felt like your home could be featured on the TV show Hoarders, you know that good storage is vitally important for every home. With the right... 

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