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RKBA 04-29-2013 10:47 PM

New Basement Finishing Project Part 1
I'm going to be finishing out my basement into a man cave/entertainment/hobby room. The home is a new build (2012) and the basement does not have any water/moisture problems. The grade angles down on all sides of the house, there's a swale, proper drainage, etc. There is a large egress window that's properly drained. The basement is 1753sq ft and is adjacent to a 2 car garage. The wall dividing the garage and basement has already been framed and the drywall has been installed and finished on the garage side, making it easier to add any wiring in the basement. There's also a stairway leading up to the first floor between the garage and basement. I'ts completed and carpeted. There's an area for a bathroom that's already been plumbed and framed. So that's a description of the area in question. Oh, and geographically, I'm located in central Alabama, so hot and muggy in the summer and mild winters.

Now the plan. I plan on finishing this project in discrete sub-projects. Framing and insulation, Electrical, HVAC, Drywall, Flooring, and Pluming (not necessarily in that order).

My first goal is simply to make the space livable. First on my agenda is framing. I feel comfortable enough doing this as a DIY project. I might add a couple of ceiling mounted outlets (I'm a tinkerer and have a large workbench with plenty of 110V gadgets) and some additional lighting (incandescent vs. the florescent ones currently installed for more ambient lighting when watching TV). However, I'm only comfortable installing the outlets/fixtures and wiring/conduit and leaving the final hookup to a professional.

Now, before I frame anything I'm going to use a concrete sealer on the walls. I estimate the soil outside only goes up about 2/3 the height of the basement walls. Is sealing the bottom 75% of the basement walls adequate for water protection or is it necessary to seal floor to ceiling? I'm a tall guy and I never liked how cramped a lot of finished basements feel once flooring and a ceiling was installed. So, I'm going to acid stain the floor and seal it. Obviously, I can't seal the floor before I stain it, so I think my order of work should be 1) Stain the floor. 2) Seal the walls and floor (may need to use two different types of sealants because I want a high gloss finish on the floor). 3) Frame the walls. Does that sound right?

My wife and I debated a lot about ceilings. She wanted drywall which I didn't like because the need to access stuff between the floor joists. I didn't like drop ceilings or the 'office environment' feel they create but thought it was more sensible but she hated the way they looked. Then we came to an agreement. I was browsing through pictures of finished basements and saw someone who simply painted in between the floor joists and created a loft inspired look. I liked it and so did my wife. And it wouldn't lower the height of the room and I wouldn't need to build any soffits. And it's simple. Currently, there's insulation batting installed in there. Once my walls are framed I'm going to install insulation between the studs. I do not think I will need that insulation between the floor joists any longer. I will contract out the drywalling. I don't think I could do as good of a job as the those guys and I certainly couldn't do it any any desirable time frame in which they could complete it. I will put some molding at the top to cover the bare top edge of the drywall. I mention this because I don't plan on using any vapor barrier and don't see any need since the air behind the wall will be able to circulate with the air in the room. Also, I've been toying with the idea of using a dado blade to cut some shallow kerfs every 24 inches or so in the sole plates and keeping my base moulding about an eighth inch off the floor to further promote behind-the-wall air circulation. Has anyone heard of this concept being employed? Does anyone foresee any problems with this concept? I'll be storing a gun safe down there and humidity levels are very important. So proper air circulation is paramount. I'll be contracting out any HVAC work. All I know is that I need ducts to take out old air and bring in new climate controlled air.
Plumbing is a couple of years down the road. I'm not concerned with it presently. All I really want there is to have a urinal.

I would appreciate any ideas, thoughts, or advice. Thanks!

Amateuralex 04-30-2013 03:45 PM

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Hey there, good luck! Hit us with pictures!

We have a bilevel and for the lower level we removed the drop ceiling, tidied up the subfloor, and had it painted black. Pros with a sprayer. We love it to death. I installed can lights first. Lighting is important.

Amateuralex 05-01-2013 09:31 AM

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Here's some pics of our basement, before and after, to give you an idea:

Gary in WA 05-02-2013 12:02 AM

Be sure to check with your local Fire Marshall or Building Department before leaving a basement ceiling exposed;

Paint is not an approved ceiling; "CEILING HEIGHT. The clear vertical distance from the finished floor to the finished ceiling. "From;


GBrackins 05-02-2013 10:16 AM

what he said ^ may also want to check on requirements for smokes/carbon monoxide detectors.

scottktmrider 07-11-2015 06:09 PM

I would frame and drywall around the duct than you can raise the main ceiling and die it into the sofits, if your walls are running parallel with the joists you will have to block between them to have something to attach the wall to

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