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Old 11-12-2011, 10:30 PM   #1
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What To Do First


So I bought this house about a year ago. Finally I have some extra money to start the remodel job on the basement. The basement has five rooms, four when I am done, that each needs a little work done to it. This site is going to be a great help as I get started and finish rooms.

Currently there is a storage room that has the hot water tank in it. Another storage room with the furnace in it. A bathroom that needs a lot of attention, along with a bedroom. The current idea is to combine these two into a master bath/bed. Finally there is the family room. Since most my guest will just see this room, the plan is to start here.

The room is 171.5"x199" big. The stairs to the main floor is in this room. The walls have been dry walled and no windows. The load bearing beam runs through this room, with three different support beams holding up the wall. The floor is concrete, with a drain at the bottom of the stairs.

The three big projects for this room is:

1)Redo the stairs. They are at an akward angle and not long enough. There is gaps between the wall and stairs.

2)Carpet the room. The plan currently is to build a false floor over the concrete, to even everything up especially over the drain.

3)Build a half wall between two of the beams. They are at the bottom of the stairs and to the side of it. Have the idea to put in a 4' high wall up the beams to put up decorations. The opposite side of the stairs would be left open with shelves for movies, etc.

Question is what to do first? I don't want to do one project and have it become a hassle in the other projects. My thought process is to carpet the floor first so everything is level to work with the stairs and half wall. Wife's grandpa thinks we need to do the stairs first.

So in your opinion where do I start? Also any additonal ideas for the room would be great. I plan to take pictures and post soon.

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Old 11-13-2011, 06:10 AM   #2
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Listen to grand pa----

This is the typical order for any remodel---

Plans
Demolition
framing
Mechanical (HVAC--plumping--electrical)
Drywall
Prime and one coat of paint
Floor if a hard floor like tile or wood
Trim and doors
Final paint
floor finishes (carpet--)

Grand pa is right---demo and rework the stairs first---this might mean moving some mechanical ,like electric light switches----

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Old 11-13-2011, 09:18 AM   #3
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What To Do First


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Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
Listen to grand pa----

This is the typical order for any remodel---

Plans
Demolition
framing
Mechanical (HVAC--plumping--electrical)
Drywall
Prime and one coat of paint
Floor if a hard floor like tile or wood
Trim and doors
Final paint
floor finishes (carpet--)

Grand pa is right---demo and rework the stairs first---this might mean moving some mechanical ,like electric light switches----
That is pretty much it.....floors last....no use messing them up while you work

What the above list really means...do the infrastructure first....then make it look pretty.
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Old 11-13-2011, 09:23 AM   #4
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Sounds fair enough. Just in my mind, it sounded right to do the floor first, so everything would be leveled up to do the stairs and the one piece of dry wall. To me it went:

Floor - to level everything up for stairs and dry wall.
Dry wall - since stairs go out to and touch the dry wall.
Stairs
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Old 11-13-2011, 01:22 PM   #5
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Sounds fair enough. Just in my mind, it sounded right to do the floor first, so everything would be leveled up to do the stairs and the one piece of dry wall. To me it went:

Floor - to level everything up for stairs and dry wall.
Dry wall - since stairs go out to and touch the dry wall.
Stairs
The floor becomes part of the framing step---so you are right.

You mentioned carpet in an earlier post and that confused me--
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Old 11-13-2011, 01:29 PM   #6
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So basically frame it up to level it out and wait for carpet till the very last step? Gotcha. Now it all makes sense.
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Old 11-13-2011, 01:34 PM   #7
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The floor becomes part of the framing step---so you are right.

You mentioned carpet in an earlier post and that confused me--
Yea...that does change things a little.

If what I'm doing right now can be used as an example.....

I'm starting to install stairs for the 2-story addition....prior to this, I had to go under the house (crawl space) and install piers with girders on them The foot of the stairs sits on one of those girders and the middle landing on the second girder.

In your case, I would figure out where the floor line is going to be....then make sure you have good support under the bottom of the stairs and then build the floor but don't carpet until all done.

BTW....just how bad is the existing concrete floor? The reason I ask (I'm not an expert in this area)...but it would seem to me that a false floor could lead to moisture and mold problems. No air flow....and you won't know if you water down there until it's too late.

I've seen some flooring guys who could really even out a pretty messed up floor.
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Old 11-13-2011, 01:44 PM   #8
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There is a drain at the bottom of the stairs basically. The entire room basically slopes towards that drain. In my opinion, that drain is too deep. The idea with the drain though is to cut a window out of the false floor that I can pull open if I need to get to that drain. Then when I install the carpet do basically the same thing.

As for the rest of the floor, it is in great shape. Previous owners put down padding and some old carpet remenat so I have left it down. Had to cut a good piece of the padding out of the floor when the sewer backed up once (roots in the lines). Other than that, no cracks or anything like that.
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Old 11-13-2011, 01:50 PM   #9
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So basically frame it up to level it out and wait for carpet till the very last step? Gotcha. Now it all makes sense.
Don't forget about having an egress window in any bedrooms and permits and inspections. Will you be doing this?
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Old 11-13-2011, 06:24 PM   #10
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Well i planned on having the egress window but my wife's grandpa use to be a building inspector. I have two windows in bedroom, two in bathroom. I am pretty sure the windows are too small. He said I didn't need to replace them because they were prexisting condition. Only new construction needs that.

If he is wrong, do all windows need to be that way or just at least one? I have one that I could do really easy but if I do the other one, it causes me to have to change some of my plans.
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Old 11-13-2011, 06:31 PM   #11
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Well i planned on having the egress window but my wife's grandpa use to be a building inspector. I have two windows in bedroom, two in bathroom. I am pretty sure the windows are too small. He said I didn't need to replace them because they were prexisting condition. Only new construction needs that.

If he is wrong, do all windows need to be that way or just at least one? I have one that I could do really easy but if I do the other one, it causes me to have to change some of my plans.
If you have someone sleeping in that bedroom, wouldn't you want an egress window in case of a fire so that person get get out safely? It's a safety issue, not a who's right or who's wrong issue. Wouldn't grandpa want his children or grand children to be safe in case of a fire, or maybe even him if he slept there? It has to be one egress window in the bedroom. You need permits anyway because your doing some new work and redoing the stairs I thought, aren't you?
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Old 11-13-2011, 08:10 PM   #12
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you've got to build up the sub-floor first so you know at what height to build the rest of it, but do the carpeting last after everything else is done.
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Old 11-13-2011, 09:46 PM   #13
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If you have someone sleeping in that bedroom, wouldn't you want an egress window in case of a fire so that person get get out safely? It's a safety issue, not a who's right or who's wrong issue. Wouldn't grandpa want his children or grand children to be safe in case of a fire, or maybe even him if he slept there? It has to be one egress window in the bedroom. You need permits anyway because your doing some new work and redoing the stairs I thought, aren't you?
Yeah I just need to go get the permits first. I haven't even bought anything yet, I still need to get with my local city hall and find the rules/regulations on everything first. I planned to ask them and not care what the in-law said.

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