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Old 01-26-2006, 08:41 PM   #16
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Basement Renovation Question


1. You don't need to purchase a gun. Use your screw gun. Those depth gages they sell are crap in my opinion. You will get the feel of it. Just bury the head of the screw but stop before you puncture the paper face.
2. A drywall lifting tool? For ceilings or walls. You might like one if your doing the ceilings. As for the walls lift it yourself. It is easier and quicker.
3. I generally hire a couple young guys to carry rock when its more than a few sheets. 20 somethings can carry enough for a basement in a couple hours with a break even.
Everyone needs help sometimes.

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Old 01-26-2006, 10:19 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KUI****G
Now that I am moving smoothly in setting up the frame. I expect the drywalling stage may come pretty soon. I would like to get some answers from any of you regarding drywall installation questions, please help if you could:

Q1: Do I need to purchase a drywall screwgun?
I knew good tool make a different, but on a limited budget, I want to get away if I could, can I used a regular 18V drill plus a depth control kit from HomeDepot I saw to achieve the same result of an expensive drywall screwgun? Please advice

Q2: Is renting a drywall lifting tool a good idea and approx. how much and where to rent it?
I knew I can look this up myself but want to save some time if you know the answer already, as I am a one man installer so far, do you think it is a good idea to rent those monster turning the wheel and lift type equipment to lift the drywall in place? If yes, approx how much it cost to rent it do you know.

Q3: and other dump question, Do you know any places which could deliver drywalls right down to your basement with a reasonable charge, of course? Or you think I should just pay for a mover to do this.


This drywall stuff is one of the biggest question mark to me so far as I am on my own on this project and try to get away the hassel of getting someone to help if possible.
Kui****g,

1. Like Min said, you don't need a drywall gun, especially if your just doing your own basement. Personally, I prefer using a dimpler (the attachment for your drill - about $5).

2. I can't tell you how much to rent one of those lifts, I've always had an extra hand when I've needed it.

3. Pretty much anyone that delivers drywall gives you what they call "curbside delivery". You'll be lucky to get them to even put it in your garage.

Re: #'s 2 & 3, your best bet is to hire someone with a bit of experience to help you out. Hopefully, I won't get in trouble for posting this (I hope not/should not since I've been around here awhile) - I have a lot of experience in renovations and hanging drywall and could probably help you out. My contact info is in my profile - feel free to call me if you'd like.
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Old 01-26-2006, 10:27 PM   #18
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Basement Renovation Question


One concern I have: Steel studs on the ceiling. It was my understanding that those steel studs were intended for use vertically ONLY, as their strength was in the vertical plane ONLY, but that could be completely wrong too. Anyone heard or know for sure...or have tried it and it worked...didn't work...anything?
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Old 01-27-2006, 08:56 AM   #19
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Thanks for the advice MiniConst and Terry. I will probably call you Terry when I am at the drywall stage, thanks for offering your service.

For Jproffer, I don't really use steel to support the ceiling, you are right, the steel is kind of for vertical walls only. The ceiling drywall still go to the joists of the house mainly, on cases there is soffit, it will go to the steel , but those are normally small area and the steel should be able to substain the weight. for Large drywall ceiling, it goes to wood.

Jproffer do arise me to ask one question though, may be any of you can help, how about vertical walls around the bathroom/laundryroom, can those use steel studs?, I don't know if there are reasons such as water make steel rust, too much weight for the pipes ...etc. making using wood studs more suitable, I would go for wood unless someone tell me steel is ok for that too.

Thanks everyone for being my resource of help.
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Old 01-27-2006, 09:07 AM   #20
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I've never used the steel for anything...wall or ceiling, so take my concerns with a grain of salt because I truly don't know for sure. Just seems to me (me...the guy that's never used them before:D ) that steel would give if layed out like that. On the other hand, even though I've never used them, I have picked one up a time or two and individually they seem very flimsy. Hopefully (I'm assuming since everyone raves about them) they stiffen up when they're all together.

As for bathrooms and laundryroom. Water rusts steel ....water rots wood, so either way eventually deterioration is happening (but I think those steels are galvanized....look like it anyway). I would go ahead and use them in any wall you wanted to.
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Old 01-31-2006, 02:32 PM   #21
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from Prest-On, I saw their description in their website, seems quite neat which solve problem for drywalls ending where there is no stud. Eliminate to cut dryall. Their other products don't know if that useful. Anyone has any experience to share?
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Old 02-01-2006, 08:34 AM   #22
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This message is for those who like me, enjoy doing things himself/herself but quite inexperience, I have learned some tips after renovating the basement for 3 weeks and would like to share with you before I forget:

- use steel plate and wood stud, this is the best way to construct the basement frame: economical, regid, and easy to construct.
- since using steel means you mainly use screws rather than a hammer, therefore, invest on a powerful screw gun is worth it, as it will make your job so much faster.
- concret screws, make sure you get the right length, not too long, I used 2 1/4 which should have been 1 3/4, the longer does not necessary make the fastening more strength, but definitely make you drill 3 times more effort. I think as long as the screw 1" below the concret, it is good enough.
- you need to replace the concrete screw bits quite often, for me, I need to use over 10 bits. It is not worth to use an old bit and trying to use your effort/time to make up for the worn out bit. replace a new one will make you 5 times faster/easier.
- use long philp screw bit and insert directly to the drill for driving screws, do not use extension, it makes a hell lot different as the bit vibrate a bit with extension and the driving self drilling screw just doesn't work well.
- get a telescope type extenable stick, like those cleaning windows, use it to measure the height of the floor to ceiling for setting up cutting studs, save a lot of eye effort and more accurate than looking at the tape measure, best to get the stick can extend up to 8' if not possible, use a 2x4 fix length block at the bottom as base for measurement, like I did.
- get three drills, one corded hammer drill, one cordless 18v drill, one corded or cordless regular drill, so that you don't need to change bits all the time. the hammer drill is for the floor, the 18v drill is for powerdrive screws, the regular drill is for bit to cut through metal before using the hammer drill (so that you don't damage the concret bit and need to replace all the time), also for pilot hole sometimes.
- self drilling screws, it is dead important, don't use non-self drilling ones, I got the first box wrong the first time and waste me a lot of time and get a lot of frustrations.
- If you use steel studs or plates like I do, don't follow the book for building as they are meant for wood, no need to draw those 16" lines, cross on the plate...etc., it is kind of quite different in one sense, you got a lot of flessibility with steel, and making mistakes is no big deal with steel, just unscrew and screw again... this is different from wood, which you have to pull the nails, so mistake is much less forgiven with wood.
- I am getting a metal saw tonight, cutting steel will make your hand very painful after too many cuts, will let you go how it is going.
- when drilling holes on the concrete for the screws, use the drill bit that come with the screws and the depth can be set at the level where the bit with drilling pattern just totally go inside the floor, no more or no less. This is the best depth.
Also, use 18V drill to drive in the screws, do not over power by using a Dewalt drywall screw gun etc., the bit will break and you cannot get a sense how tight the screws easily.

Framing Bathroom:
Always purchase the shower unit first before framing, when framing for the corner of the shower unit, do not put two studs touch each other at corner walls. Do not screwed the base to the frame, do it at the end, but keep dry fitting it to ensure no surprise not fitting... Only wood studs can be used for washroom, steel studs not a good idea and don't know if it will work, frame all four walls of the bathroom with wood.

Cutting heat supply trunk:
It is not as difficult as I originally thought, and the time of doing the pipe connection and cutting an intake hole is not that long, I did three vents pipe from trunk to floor level and 2 return airs connection in approx one day. I find using the manual cutter is very difficult, using the angle grinder is the easiest but also the most scariest because of the fire work. Using a jigsaw is the safest and pretty fast, except it is kind of hard to use it in tight spot... I used combination of angle grinder, jig saw and manual cutter. I would think if without angle grinder, I would not be able to do it or do it very slow...

Even you use wood studs, do not use wood plate, use steel track, it is so much easier.

Purchasing Tools and Materials

Try to purchase used/new tools from online auction. It save you a lot of money, got to do this sooner than later to eliminate wait time. Some materials can also be purchased online, but this is very minimum.

Drain and Supply Water pipes


go back to the drain pipes and supply pipes. I find the drain pipe is not much problem and only challenge is TEE into the existing pipe, you need to cut the length out in exact right length, too short, it couldn't get in, too much, you are in big trouble because you will leave gap... I kind of cut too little and then need to trim more, and trim more... and it was done finally anyway.

for supply pipes... if you are the first timer like me, please use pre-soldered pipe parts + soldering, it just increase your confident that there is no leak, although I used some parts which are not pre-soldered and still not leak... it almost a perfect job except I made a big mistake... I installed the shower unit 90 degree off, that means in-take becomes out-take and vice versa, this is all because I didn't read the manual careful enough, instead I looked at the structure, it has a printed word "UP" and I used it as a guidence, and in fact it is dead wrong, I don't know why they print a big word "UP" there to mislead people,... for that, I need to fix the structure by cutting out some pipes and put in couplers. Teeing into existing lines still the big challenge with similar reason of the drain pipes, you need to cut the right length, I found out soldering is in fact less trouble, although I worried most, I didn't encountered a leak due to wrong soldering yet... Another tip: buy the smallest pipe cutter possible, I made the mistake went for the best looking one, and it is not useful to cut existing pipes due to limited space, I end up require to use rotary tool to do that, so rotary tool is also very useful for tight spot... forget about hand saw, it just too difficult... and ware gloves, I got burn with a hot solder in one of my figure because of rushing into trying the first soldering experience. Also, use a metal plate as sheild for things behind the pipes, don't purchase the expensive HD protecting cloth, somthing like $30 plus tax...Also, buy a $3 long mouth lighter, it is money well spent, rather than using matches or regular lighter... Mark all edges with marker on all connection when you dry fitting, then you know how depth you insert the pipes when you doing the actual fitting. Fitting 90 degree or 45 degree albrow is a real challenge, in fact, I advice don't bother dry fitting them, they are so difficult to fit, and pull out, just fit them and solder them... Make sure you spend the money on the Wrench, it is impossible to push/pull those albrow from the pipes bare hand, I did one with the help of my foot, then I purchased the wench and found out it could have been so much easier...

for threaded joins, make sure you tight it up, it is very trouble to fix later on when everything is all set, and threaded joins are the easiest ones to have leak according to my experience.

will keep you up to date in the future.

Last edited by KUIPORNG; 03-21-2006 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 02-01-2006, 09:09 AM   #23
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Basement Renovation Question


I will keep this message up to date, instead of keep posting new one, so come back to view this particular message time to time, these are the tools I found them very useful so far apart from those regular one like hammer(the more important one list first):
- Books (different types, for framing, dry wall, electrical...etc.) money well invest, you will never waste money on knowledge. You kind of need a book of each type of job, I got one for the basement as a whole, one for plumbing, one for electrical, one for tiling, one for drywalling... but may be you can avoid doing what I did, instead, go to library and search for all books for one subject and borrow all of them, I did that for the plumbing and surprisely, found out each book did got somthing good about somthing, no single book got everything I want... so the library is really good resource for this.
- drywall drill (I got a used Dewalt drywall drill lastnight, it is so powerful, making me change the point of view on the 18v, this one should be used mainly instead, the 18v is now becomes my secondary drill driver and I position this tool to be more important than the 18v drill).
- metal cutter(manual)
- hammer drill
- metal saw (to cut so many steels, you need this if you still want to play badminton like I do.)
- 18v drill
- chop meter saw
- jig saw
- small circular saw
- T-Jak type jak, got one from HD, much cheaper.
- long level ruler
- telescope stick (very useful)
- clamps (different types), remember, cheaper one may serve better.
- regular corded drill
- compact cordless drill driver for screw driving in tight locations.
- circular saw
- angle grinder
- laser level
- rotary tool with right angle attachment, for drilling pilot hole in tight location.
- Right angle drill, I don't have one, but think would be nice if I have one.
- those stylish gloves(not those clumsy total leather one, but those mixed with nylon and leather), not only they stylish, also very useful to handle steel.
- ear sound protection
- eye protection gogle
- right angle big ruler
- t shaped big ruler

Last edited by KUIPORNG; 02-27-2006 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 02-01-2006, 12:10 PM   #24
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I would also like to provide home owner information regarding permit application:

- as homeowner, you can apply permit yourself, if you hire a contractor and he apply the permit on behalf of you, he must process certain registration/license...etc. so apply it yourself is the best.

- apply the permit and your property tax will increase, but not by much, for a 15000 renovation, is approx 160 per year increase. You got peace of mind, I will do it for that money.

- you get the permit approx 10 days(they say), but the time for you to come up with a solid blue print, take whatever long, then you build then they inspect...

- you need to provide drawing on the basement to them only, not the whole house...

Anyhow, I think apply a permit is better than not, because, strictly speaking, it is against the law not to.

Now that I have involved in appling the permit, I would like to give you more update, there is really good and bad, to be fair, the bad part is really time and hassle, for me, it is better because I am close by the city hall and can visit them as often as I can. The good part is they really tells you a lot you don't know, especially if you are not in the building industry. Some of the restrictions are in fact good for your construction, is for your own benefiicial... But again, the time and hassle is the price you need to pay. But the initial consultation is free, as they won't accept your application until they see an acceptable blue print, therefore, even if you really don't want to apply for a permit, you should at least go to the stage where they are ready to accept your application as by then, you got a lot of good advice from them...

I got my permit this morning, approx after 8 business day of submit the application, on it there are two surprise for me : it requires me to use 5" pipe for bathroom exhausted fan and dryer exhaust. I thought 4" is fine originally, may be it is the size of my bathroom or whatever reason, instead of trying to agrue with them, I will probably use their requirement to avoid hassle. I ended up asking the department why 5" instead of 4", they told me 5" for the fan is the code, but I can use 4" for the dryer... I am glad that I asked because at least I can use 4" for the dryer, you do the math 4" is 2/3 of the size of a 5" making everything easier...

another surprise is that return air has to be at the lower wall level, I thought I can simply open a vent from the ceiling metal sheet to save some hassle, looks like this idea doesn't fly anymore.

before you submit your permit, make sure your layout is firm, I tried to move the dryer from one location to another, and the staff said I need a revision application which cost $60, I didn't do it as I think such a small thing the inspector will let it go... but this remind me you should very firm on your layout design before submitting the application to save on revision fee.

you do not need very details such as how you wire electricity on the diagram, but other details such as heat vent location, wall dimension..etc. you need the details...

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Old 02-04-2006, 02:11 AM   #25
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The diary of
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Old 02-07-2006, 11:55 AM   #26
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Our local code requires to bring the heat down to the floor level for basement renovation. Have you people heard of this, and how difficult the job it is to do that. please advice. I suppose is some cutting hole on the heat pipes and connecting with all sort of heat pipes...etc.

This restriction is now seems less scarely to be as after I went back to the basement and check my heat pipes and framwork done around them already, and it seems ok to do the requirement. I also look up the book on how to cut hole ...etc. and it does not seem such a big job...

I got a reply from the government, the person in charge, in fact send me a copy of the part of the law describing this situation. Basically, it requires you to install the heat vent within 6" of the floor level close to the exterior wall.

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Old 02-09-2006, 08:00 AM   #27
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My basement has a three pieces rough in by the builder, I saw a h shape pipes from the floor which extend all the way to the ceiling, I think this is the vent stack and for the bathroom sink to connect to. I would like to know if we can connect the wash machine directly to this h shape pipes for washmachine draining water, is this against the code as this mean the wash machine and the sink sharing the same drain pipe and vent. Another way is to get the vent from the h shape pipe but have the wash machine drain to another adjacent drain pipe which run vertically from the floor to the ceiling which I am not sure what is it for. Any advice is appreciated.

After thinking about it more, I think I will go with the second approach. drain the wash machine to a near by drain and get the vent from the vent stack of the three piece rough in. I think that make sense and comply with the code. Please if you see any problem with that let me know, I am going to do it myself as it seems a easy job. If the inspector say there is somthing wrong with my work, I then will hire a plumber....

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Old 02-09-2006, 02:51 PM   #28
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Talked to the permit examiner, he is a nice gentleman. Learn these from him:

- need to make sure return air vent on outside wall of the furnance room. It is illegal not to do so, I can understand why.
- need to make sure there is sufficient combusion air for the furnance room, therefore, need to open up a window kind of vent on the wall of the furance room for breathing air.
- probably need to cut cermant on bathroom floor if need to install washer, need to confirm with plumber....
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Old 02-13-2006, 01:00 PM   #29
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I got the plumbing idea done with the help of the permit staff, I can use the same drain for the bathroom sink for the washer, sharing the same P-trap, I didn't know I can do that, but this definitely save me a lot of headache. and the pipe connection is as easiest as it could be, on the other hand, got a quote from a toronto.com plumbing company, he said cost about 8k to 10k to do a complete bathroom. Hearing that, I will do it myself, even I am the first timer, I cannot afford to spend that on a bathroom alone. I did tile my kitchen before succesfully, therefore, will continue go for the DIY approach, well, may be until my wife stop me.. she is in US right now and I got the whole freedom of doing everything for 3 more weeks...

After more investigation, I found out sharing the same P-trap for both wash machine and basin is not as good as opening up a tree below the basin but share the same drain. But this is kind of different from what the city examinier suggest, therefore, kind of still confuse in this issue.

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Old 02-13-2006, 01:05 PM   #30
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I discovered a bit yesterday when looking at the ceiling of the basement, I saw metal sheet covering two rows of joists extending out from the return air tank. Although the return air tank already have a vent open on it, I wonder what these metal sheet is for, Would it be the builder so nice that they expect us to surround the furnish when renovating and then we can just open a vent from these metal sheet on the ceiling and cover the existing vent inside the furnish room and the new supply air will draw from outside the mechanic room.

Would this be so nice and easy and thoughtful from the builder, anyone here can answer me....

I think I might go to ask the builder when I have time, but they probably wondering what I am doing as the warantee period still have 4 months to expire....

Anyhow, hope someone can share some knowledge here....

I suppose I can put a piece of small tissue on one of the small opening on the metal sheet see if it attach the tissue to confirm if it is indeed connect to the return air tank. Would this make sense? or there are other way to test...

The tissue method doesn't work well, so instead, I remove the vent from the return air trunk and take a peek inside and does found out there is an opening for from the trunk to the metal sheet, this confirm the metal sheet is indeed connect to the return air trunk, this save me considerable amount of work, how thoughtful the builder is. It is kind of a waste not to renovate the basement when the builder has the mindset you are going to renovate it when building the house.


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