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Old 04-23-2008, 03:46 PM   #1
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Hello all - first time home owner planning on refinishing our basement. I'm also a first time "poster" on something like this (it took me about 15 minutes to find how to even post a message!!). I guess i'm looking for the best place to start with my project. Any suggestions?

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Old 04-23-2008, 04:26 PM   #2
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A book on remodeling a basement. Based on Amazon reviews I got Roger German's _Remodeling a Basement_ from Taunton's "Build Like a Pro" series. I've found it to be excellent, although some pros will argue with his ideas about vapor barriers. Highly recommended, although no doubt there are other good books out there. Good luck.

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Old 04-23-2008, 04:34 PM   #3
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Thanks man. I did buy a book by Stanley called "complete basements". So now some additional facts. I'm an accountant by trade but am relatively handy around the house. To date i've removed everything from the basement with the exception of the partition walls for the laundry room. I plan on simply reconfiguring this space as I don't really want to mess with new feed and drain lines. All in all we have about 700sq ft plus a little more that is taken up by the pellet stove. My plan is to leave the space open but use it for a small office and living roon. Fortunately i have great ceiling clearance so i've been back and forth on building up the floor (maybe just sleepers) but ultimately i'm not sure. my plan is to use a drop ceiling as i figured that was easier than drywalling. I think the two biggest questions that i have right now is what to do on the walls as far as sealing them and if i should build up the floor
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Old 04-23-2008, 04:44 PM   #4
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Depending on you mechanical ability, you may want to start in the yellow pages and look under "Building Contractor". I don't want this to sound mean but there is a lot more to finishing off a basement than driving a few nails.

If you decide to go ahead with it, make sure you educate yourself. Know what it is that you're about to get into and keep this website in your "favorites".
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Old 04-23-2008, 04:49 PM   #5
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Fortunately i'm the only one of my friends who doesn't work in the construction/electrical/plumbing field so as long as i can afford the materials and beer i should be ok!!
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Old 04-23-2008, 04:54 PM   #6
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The question about sealing walls seems to be a controversial one. Do a search on these forums using terms like "basement" and "vapor" and you'll find lots of previous discussion. I've learned a lot from it. Consensus seems to be that if your foundation has had sealant applied to the outside of it, adding a paint-like sealer inside won't gain you much. And if it hasn't, that those products aren't always that effective against inevitable hydrostatic pressure. (Though a few do swear by certain products.) Beyond that, there's a raging debate about the best kind of vapor barrier, where it should go in relation to the studs and insulation, etc. May be best to ask your local building department what they recommend or require in your area.

Can't speak to the floor issue, sorry --haven't gotten there in my own research yet. Anyway, sounds like fun -- can't wait to get past the planning/figuring/researching stage on my own basement.
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Old 04-23-2008, 05:35 PM   #7
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Hi and welcome to the site.

You could post your specific basement questions in the Remodeling Forum, you'll get more answers there, than in this Introduction Section.
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Old 04-24-2008, 08:09 PM   #8
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Here is some good info. on basements- welcome aboard.

http://www.contractor-books.com/How-To/Basements.htm

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