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biggidybankston 04-23-2010 04:16 PM

Blank Canvas in the Basement
First a huge thank you to all of the great folks who take the time to answer the questions of others on this forum. You have all been a tremendous resource to me over the last few months as I've planned this project. THANKS!!!

I got my permits Wednesday, and spent the afternoon moving all of the junk I've been collecting for no good reason into the spare bedroom. I'm ready to commence work. I'll be posting pics as I go, so hopefully the more experienced members here can point out my mistakes, and everyone else can gain some insight that might help on their own projects.

To start off, the "before" pics:

The stairs come down from the living room above. We call this the "laundry room" since it has the closet with washer and dryer. It connects the stairs, the garage, and the bonus room, and provides a couple of closets.

Same room, different angle:

This is the future bonus room. I'll be working hard to try and maintain as much headroom in here as possible.

And again, from the other side:

The little specks you see in the picture were actually invisible until I started taking pictures. They are little reflections from the camera flash bouncing off the microscopic fiberglass particles that were in the air from me moving a couple of pieces of insulation that were laying the the future bathroom floor. No wonder I was coughing up a storm all night!!! Must wear a mask, even if only moving a few pieces!

The next pics are of the future bathroom:

Getting started next week!


biggidybankston 04-23-2010 04:21 PM

Here's a drawing of the overall plan for the basement:

And here's a closer view just showing the finished space:

Its unlikely that any one cares this much, but here's a PDF with dimensions, and better resolution:


Itsdanf 04-23-2010 06:37 PM

Good luck -- looks like this will be interesting tracking your progress on this project. :thumbsup:

What software did you use to draft the floor plans...?

biggidybankston 04-23-2010 06:43 PM


Originally Posted by Itsdanf (Post 432662)
Good luck -- looks like this will be interesting tracking your progress on this project. :thumbsup:

What software did you use to draft the floor plans...?

Plans were drawn in AutoCAD 2000 (I know, I'm about a million versions behind!). Something I had to have in school (engineering major), and its use continues to stick with me. Its not really something for someone just getting into drawing, there are actually much easier programs out there. But I have it, and I'm pretty proficient at it, so it works.


biggidybankston 04-29-2010 10:34 AM

Day one of construction
So I wake up this morning and say "crap, I can't get up!" Working at at desk all day doesn't help you on days that require physical labor. I guess I'm fortunate that the lumber delivery guy was an hour or so half late. If I'd added that time to the day, I would be in really rough shape!

The highlight of the day was when, as I filled out the check for the lumber, the delivery guy walks over to me, looks at my permit board that says "BASEMENT FINISH" in huge letters and asks, "so...are you finishin' a basement or something?" I couldn't resist the opportunity, so I fired back "Nope. Puttin' in a swimming pool!"

I did notice on the invoice a box marked "shipping weight" that showed 1892. I'm guessing that's pretty accurate. Never underestimate on these projects the amount of time spent moving materials around. I was actually fortunate, however to have a father-in-law who sells for a large commercial building materials company, who hooked me up on lumber. Not only did he save me money, but also got it delivered. When the delivery guy drove the pile up the driveway on the little 3-wheeled forklift thingy, I imagined myself still at the home depot counting 2x4's out of a bin, looking around for an apron'd lacky to ask "do you have any more of these overhead?" Took me about an hour and a half to tote everything inside, then I quit for lunch.

I decided to frame the wall in the bathroom first, since I thought it would probably be the toughest. It was. I had the brilliant idea to build it on the floor and then move it inside and set it in place. I thought I was really smart for remembering to break it into sections so that it would fit through the door. What I didn't think about was how to turn in from its side to its bottom and get it in place. I ended up have to tear it apart in the room, and start over. Driving the nails into the top-plate between the main drain, floor above, and duct work turned into a real aggravation. Anyway, here it is done:

After that, I was off to the races. I got about 1/2 way around the bonus room:

Oh look, the pile got smaller!

The hero of the day was my new Ramset nailer. These things are amazing! I had only read of, and been told of them. Never had actually seen one used, but I'm impressed. I couldn't figure out how to get it to fire at first, but after a quick call to tech-support, away I went. If you never seen one of these before, it basically uses a .22 caliber blank to fire a nail straight into concrete. I bought the cheap one (about $22 at HD) but they have fancier ones that are a little more automatic. Mine you have to load the nail, and the charge (called the "load") each time. No more than I'll use it, this is fine for me.

Just so everyone will know how much of a nerd I am, when I flipped over one of the toe-plates I noticed that a 7400 series logic IC must have been missed by the last sweeping of the floor got embedded in the plate. I think I'll just leave it there, so a future homeowner can deduce that the work was done by such a nerd!

My sister-in-law is getting married this weekend, so I'm not to sure how much work I'll get done Sunday. Not sure if I'll have fully recovered by then anyway. We'll see...


gth629j 05-03-2010 09:42 PM

7400 series logic hmm. So what are we looking at here, your standard NAND, NOR, or inverter?

MagicalHome 05-05-2010 11:31 AM

Wow, it's a huge project @__@ You do it by yourself only?????

biggidybankston 10-15-2010 12:24 PM

To put GHT at ease, turns out it was a 7446 - Binary to 7 segment display driver...

Geez! I've been bad about updating status. Actually, I've been bad about getting any work done. There always seems to something else needing my attention.

I have gotten a little done steadily over the last few months. Got the ceiling framed in the bathroom. Also finished framing the perimeter of the bonus room, the built-in shelf thingy, and soffits that make the tray ceiling at one end of the bonus room. Wednesday, I managed a couple of hours to go buy more lumber, and put up about half of the ceiling for the other end of the bonus room. I was unsure about how far I could span the ceiling with 2x4's without having to worry about the sheetrock sagging later, so I'm supporting it midway. This also makes it easy for me to break the framing up into sections I can lift into place by myself.

Anyway, here are the pics:

biggidybankston 10-21-2010 09:41 AM

Finished framing in the ceiling for the bonus room yesterday

No, that's not a skylight in front of the closet. Its just the light mounted to the floor joists above washing out my framing work.

There are going to be a bunch of little tedious frame-around projects to do soon. I'll need frame around the concrete knee wall beside the staircase (should be easy) a ceiling for the bonus room closet (not too bad), the laundry room closet (medium) and the laundry room itself (probably going to be a P.I.T.A.) then lastly fire-blocking (definatly a huge P.I.T.A) I tackled one small frame around yesterday to finish up the bonus room ceiling.

If you can make any sense of the picture, in the wall above and to the left of the bathroom door, several things slip through a small space: A large flexible return air duct, the main drain line for the upstairs bathroom, hot and cold water lines, and the A/C compressor lines. Obviously the return air duct made up the biggest volume. I had already forced it into a downward bend when I built the ceiling in the bathroom. It bends down to come under the top plate of the wall. I was afraid that if I forced it right back up again, I would be restricting the flow of air too much. To further complicate all of this, a ceiling joist needed to pass through here right where the A/C line came under the main drain line. I accommodated all of this with a little triangular shaped drop down in the corner, or at least I think I did. I'm still not sure I'm happy with this, but I'm reasoning that since this is kind of hidden in a corner behind the closet, it's not visually a big part of the overall room. We'll see what it looks like when the drywall goes up.

gma2rjc 10-21-2010 12:46 PM

You're making good progress! I have to finish one half of my basement some day, so it's interesting to see how you are doing things.

Did you seal the rim joists?

biggidybankston 10-21-2010 01:46 PM

Rim joists were sealed by the builder, so already done. I'll also be adding some additional insulation before the whole business is done. Probably overkill though, basements usually stay pretty comfortable year-round in this part of Georgia.

On the subject of insulation, there was an oddity in the basement when I bought the house. Looks like they put some leftover insulation into some of the interior walls, but put none on some of the exterior walls. Weird...

I especially liked this one: insulation in one wall bay, but nowhere else...

Polywanna 10-23-2010 03:42 PM

I'm part way through finishing my own basement and I am interested to see how yours turns out. I hope you don't mind me stealing your ideas.

biggidybankston 10-23-2010 04:41 PM

Go ahead, steal away. I've gleaned a great deal of wisdom from this forum to get me this far, so I'm glad I can give some back.

cocobolo 10-23-2010 09:32 PM

Love that name you picked out. It sounds like it might be a cartoon character or something.

How many square feet is this that you will be finishing in your basement? It looks to be about the same as your garage occupies...around 450 or so?

biggidybankston 10-24-2010 04:40 PM

Thanks! The name is a play on my last name that a friend in high school came up with. It's been with me ever since.

The total area of the remodel is around 650 sq ft.

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