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Old 05-23-2013, 11:57 AM   #1
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2013+ - Basement Remodel


Hi All,

My girlfriend and I are in the process of demo'ing our basement in our 1980 single family rancher style home in Maryland (just east of DC).

Our basement (about 1200sqft) was covered in 2 layers of sheetrock (previous owner decided it was best to cover up mold instead of fixing it), no insulation except in one interior wall, no vapor barrier.

We plan on ripping down all non-load bearing walls, framing, drywall, etc.

This is our first home and my second remodel in this house, so please bare with us...below is our current plan for the basement.

In the second post, there will be before and after pictures of 5/23/2013.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please let me know. I get notifications when someone replies so I will answer your questions as soon as possible.

Regards,
Geran

Quote:
Current plan:
-Closed cell spray foam all exterior walls (regular batt insulation for interior walls)
-Enlarge existing bathroom by 2-3'
-Install Engineered Wood Flooring in all rooms except bathroom and home theater (original plan was laminate until I read on here that it wasn't a great idea)
-Create home theater room adjacent to family/living room
-Create home office behind family/living room
-Decrease size of laundry room & frame in HVAC unit
-Replace duct work in basement
-Replace all electrical and rewire electrical panel
-Replace all copper plumbing lines with either CPVC or PEX

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Last edited by Geran Brown; 05-27-2013 at 09:54 PM.
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Old 05-23-2013, 11:59 AM   #2
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Last edited by Geran Brown; 05-23-2013 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 05-23-2013, 12:00 PM   #3
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Old 05-23-2013, 12:00 PM   #4
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We are waiting for the WM Bagster's to be delivered to put all the debris in there.









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Old 05-23-2013, 04:11 PM   #5
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Great pics, hugely promising space down there, that will rock when you're done.
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Old 05-23-2013, 04:33 PM   #6
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I do have one question...what's the best way to remove the framing (and do I just cut the 2x4s or clip the electrical wiring and pull it back through the holes) without having electrical wires hanging everywhere? I have a dog that I wouldn't want playing with them.
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:37 PM   #7
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Kill power, snip wires, demo walls....
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:03 AM   #8
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Just curious why you want to remove all the copper lines? I'd love to have copper instead of the poly-b (before PEX).
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdnNick View Post
Just curious why you want to remove all the copper lines? I'd love to have copper instead of the poly-b (before PEX).
My current reasoning for replacing all the copper plumbing lines is because it is all original from when the house was built in 1980 and it is started to shows it's age along with the fact that when it was ran through the house it was done poorly and half ass.

I see this as the chance to update it and do it right and replacing copper with copper is expensive compared to PEX or CPVC.
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Old 05-27-2013, 10:11 PM   #10
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May 27, 2013

Made some progress on removing the old framing in the basement...took down 4 walls with only two left. The reason those are still up is because I need to remove two hanging lights and the plumbing is in one as well. Pictures will be posted tomorrow once the girlfriend uploads them. While working I thought about a few things...

1. Why is laminate flooring not good for a below-grade daylight basement?
2. Is it best practice to always do a Calcium Chloride test before deciding on/laying flooring? Or would it just be possible to not do the test and just install a vapor barrier (like this)?
3. What's the best way to see if the floor is level?
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geran Brown View Post
May 27, 2013

Made some progress on removing the old framing in the basement...took down 4 walls with only two left. The reason those are still up is because I need to remove two hanging lights and the plumbing is in one as well. Pictures will be posted tomorrow once the girlfriend uploads them. While working I thought about a few things...

1. Why is laminate flooring not good for a below-grade daylight basement?
Technically it's just fine. Actual hardwood and most engineered wood aren't for below-grade. For laminate, you gotta have the correct underlayment. And if the area ever floods or takes significant water, it will probably ruin the laminate.

Quote:
2. Is it best practice to always do a Calcium Chloride test before deciding on/laying flooring? Or would it just be possible to not do the test and just install a vapor barrier (like this)?
Never heard about this one.

Quote:
3. What's the best way to see if the floor is level?
Get a long level and crawl around on the floor and check a bazillion spots.
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Old 05-28-2013, 11:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amateuralex View Post
Technically it's just fine. Actual hardwood and most engineered wood aren't for below-grade. For laminate, you gotta have the correct underlayment. And if the area ever floods or takes significant water, it will probably ruin the laminate.
Interesting, on here many people say never to put laminate in the basement and to either use tile or engineered hardwood. I can understand this if you have severe moisture issues but so far I've done many precautions to "manage" the water within the foundation walls (interior drainage system). Haven't seen any water since but it is still fairly humid down there after a good rain (currently no insulation or walls). I think once I put up insulation than I shouldn't have an issue with the humidity in the basement going above 60%.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amateuralex View Post
Never heard about this one.
Thanks, maybe someone else will be able to help with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amateuralex View Post
Get a long level and crawl around on the floor and check a bazillion spots.
All right, sounds tedious but also the most reliable way.

Progress as of 5/27/2013


mayAfter1, on Flickr

mayAfter2, on Flickr

mayAfter3, on Flickr
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Old 05-28-2013, 11:39 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geran Brown View Post
Interesting, on here many people say never to put laminate in the basement and to either use tile or engineered hardwood. I can understand this if you have severe moisture issues but so far I've done many precautions to "manage" the water within the foundation walls (interior drainage system). Haven't seen any water since but it is still fairly humid down there after a good rain (currently no insulation or walls). I think once I put up insulation than I shouldn't have an issue with the humidity in the basement going above 60%.
I just double-checked myself by looking around online and all of the laminate flooring I can find says 'suitable for below or above grade on cement, etc'.

Laminate is very unpopular on this forum, maybe that has something to do with it.

Also it probably does take more dmg when soaked than engineered wood.

Or also, possible likely, as an amateur I am missing an important consideration.

Quote:
All right, sounds tedious but also the most reliable way.
Yup, I did it myself. Tedious, not too bad.
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Old 06-04-2013, 05:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amateuralex View Post
I just double-checked myself by looking around online and all of the laminate flooring I can find says 'suitable for below or above grade on cement, etc'.

Laminate is very unpopular on this forum, maybe that has something to do with it.

Also it probably does take more dmg when soaked than engineered wood.

Or also, possible likely, as an amateur I am missing an important consideration.
Thanks Lex. I guess the place I was looking at purchasing my flooring from doesn't really list if it is suitable for below or above grade on cement so it looks like I'm sticking with engineered wood flooring for now.

I've been doing a lot of reading on Building Science's website about basements with some good success. Unfortunately during my reading I saw that my plan for insulating my basement wasn't the best method or most cost effective (which is HUGE to me).

Based on my reading it seems like the two options below are the best for basements (my basement has an interior water management system installed and I don't see any moisture leaks but it is really humid with no walls up):
Quote:
High-R Foundation 08: 2" XPS, Roxul ComfortBatt and .5" paperless drywall w/ VR paint
High-R Foundation 10: 2.5" gap between the foundation wall & studs, 6" open cell spray foam (would 2" closed cell spray be equivalent?), .5" paperless drywall w/ VR paint
Just curious if these are the two best ways?
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:43 PM   #15
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As of today, I haven't done much as I am trying to finalize my design for the basement (see links below).

Any recommendations?

Basement Option 1
Basement Option 2
Basement Updates

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