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Old 01-30-2012, 03:08 PM   #61
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The CELLAR


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I can wait. I just wanted you to know that you aren't talking to yourself.

thanks

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Old 01-30-2012, 10:37 PM   #62
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The CELLAR


With the plumbing closet built and the plumbing out of the way, I built all the remaining walls. I don't have much to say, so I'll get right to the pictures. Some of this was done along with adding the electrical and building the radiant heat system. I'll try to break it up though and just focus on one thing at a time.


Outside walls went in first, as previously shown. I added a circuit to have additional recepticles in the basement to these walls. The plan was to have a 20A circuit for the recepticles in the media room and office, another for the gym and workshop, and yet another for the bathroom (with GFCI) and water heater closet. In this particular wall, I added that vertical studd that covered up the window- but later cut it down and framed around the window.


The finished(ish) frame from the media room. I planned to add built-in bookcases in the media room and in the office.



This is a view from the gym. I am working on the door to the workshop. It took me a while to figure out what I was going to do with that entrance, so I framed it last. I wanted a french door, but those are really expensive and usually made to be exterior doors. I ended up making my own doors by buying a 30" door and an 18" door, and having them close into each other. You can also see here how all the plumbing lines and heating lines travel along the I-beam running the length of the basement. As the walls were being drywalled, I added soffits in this space.


A view from the basement stairs going down. If it looks brighter in this picture, it's because I have just installed the recessed lighting. You can see it in all subsequent pictures.


The mostly-finished frame of the gym. You can see I am adding soffits for the plumbing. I would add 1/2" pine ply before painting.


Here I finally get rid of those awful glass-block windows and replace them with something that actually lets light in. I am told these old glass blocks are worth a lot of money. I tried to save them if possible during this demo. I had a guy from Home Depot measure and price out the cost of having 4 windows replaced. It was almost $3K. I ordered the windows myself. It cost $450. What a scam.


This is a view of the stairs and bathroom through the gym. You can see the red and blue PEX plumbing for the future bathroom. I just realized this picture happened before the last one, obviously, since that is the window you just saw get replaced.



The outside wall in the media room. I am installing all the wiring for the 7.1 ch surround sound system that would go in the ceiling. That silver cap is covering the vent for the old water heater. This was sealed behind the wall.


Well, I need to find all my other pictures, so it may be a few days before my next post. I hope you've enjoyed what I've done so far.....
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Old 01-31-2012, 04:53 AM   #63
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The CELLAR


This will be a nice cellar when finished.

Last edited by jasin; 01-31-2012 at 05:13 AM.
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Old 01-31-2012, 04:56 AM   #64
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That foam board you used is good stuff. That stuff adds lots of rigidity to the walls, its water & mold resistant, and it fits nicely into the cavities between the studs. If you got extra I would definitely double up. Probably do not need to in terms of R value but you still got a lot of free space in the cavities to fit more on top of what you already got. You can never have enough insulation; the more the better.

Last edited by jasin; 01-31-2012 at 05:04 AM.
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Old 01-31-2012, 05:12 AM   #65
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Oh, I forgot to ask. In picture #6 Post #62. What is that beam above the window sitting on? I hope not the window itself!! It should be extending over on both sides and resting on something. Also, why are there no staples on any of your romex near the bottom where it goes into box? And why are there no metal plates on your studs?

Last edited by jasin; 01-31-2012 at 05:39 AM.
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Old 01-31-2012, 05:37 AM   #66
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Staple on wiring right before box:




Protective metal plate:

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Old 01-31-2012, 01:38 PM   #67
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Oh, I forgot to ask. In picture #6 Post #62. What is that beam above the window sitting on? I hope not the window itself!! It should be extending over on both sides and resting on something. Also, why are there no staples on any of your romex near the bottom where it goes into box? And why are there no metal plates on your studs?

The wood beam is NOT sitting on the window- don't worry. It sits on the foundation walls. It's also not structural and sits in front of the wall- it's just hard to tell from the angle of the picture. It helped support one of the joists I had removed (you can see where it was cut off on the right side).

Regarding the stapling and metal plates- these were added prior to the drywall, but just are not captured in these pictures. I added metal plates in front of all the cored studs where the hole was 1.5" or less from the edge (basically, all of them).

Last edited by gbwillner; 01-31-2012 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 01-31-2012, 01:44 PM   #68
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That foam board you used is good stuff. That stuff adds lots of rigidity to the walls, its water & mold resistant, and it fits nicely into the cavities between the studs. If you got extra I would definitely double up. Probably do not need to in terms of R value but you still got a lot of free space in the cavities to fit more on top of what you already got. You can never have enough insulation; the more the better.
Yup- I did exactly that. I added a second layer of insulation inside the studded space, and then sealed them in with the spray foam insulation (the yellow stuff- you can see it well on the last picture). This gave me 2 layers of moisture resistance and R=10.
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Old 01-31-2012, 07:34 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by gbwillner View Post

Regarding the stapling and metal plates- these were added prior to the drywall, but just are not captured in these pictures. I added metal plates in front of all the cored studs where the hole was 1.5" or less from the edge (basically, all of them).
That sounds good. Wish it were in the pictures though.
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Old 01-31-2012, 07:38 PM   #70
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The wood beam is NOT sitting on the window- don't worry. It sits on the foundation walls. It's also not structural and sits in front of the wall- it's just hard to tell from the angle of the picture. It helped support one of the joists I had removed (you can see where it was cut off on the right side).
Its actually a very common mistake, So I had to ask.
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Old 02-03-2012, 04:07 PM   #71
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I hope you post the rest of the project.
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Old 02-03-2012, 07:33 PM   #72
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I hope you post the rest of the project.
Likewise... I have enjoyed this a lot. The old house, all the planning and effort, the attention to detail, and what looks to be an incredible result. Hope to see the rest!
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:35 PM   #73
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I'm ready for more!
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Old 02-06-2012, 01:30 PM   #74
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The CELLAR


Thanks to everyone for being patient.... I'm working on getting some of those pictures out. As I stated before, I had them on a laptop that died. I just purchased a HD drive enclosure kit and will try to salvage the pictures from the HD. I took a lot of photos with my cell phone, and that's where I backed them up before resetting my phone.

As of now, I only have 1-2 drywall pictures available. I don't have any of the painting. Of course, I have all the final work pictures, so you'll definitely get to see that.
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:57 PM   #75
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The Files. I have found them. We can now continue. Now, where were we? Ah, yes...... The darkest chaper in our saga.

Step 14: The Drywall (AKA the big MESS)

Times were tough in our household around this time. It was now late August/September 2011, a full 2 years after the project began. I was getting tired. More interestingly, my wife was 8 months pregnant, and our baby was due in mid October. She really, really did not want the house to be a mess when the baby came. I'm pretty sure she threatened to stay at a hotel until the house was done.
Drywalling is at least a 2-man job, and in her condition, my wife was useless to help me on the project (I keed!). I promised I'd hire a pro to do the drywall. I figured we could do the paint ourselves. My wife said we would hire a pro to paint as well. So we decided to hire a pro to do both drywall and paint.

I though I would use word-of-mouth to find contractors on this project. I also used ServiceMagic.com, since that site was pretty useful when I lived in another city. I would ask for help with a project, and I'd have 5-10 contractors calling me within 5 minutes with a bid. In St. Louis, not so much (although I did find a good A/C guy that way). I got only 1 offer, so I had to rely on dumb stuff like neighbor recommendations. I decided I would get 3 bids. I told the contractors I had SPECIFIC NEEDS:

They were:
1. Contractors are to do all the drywall and mudding
2. Contractors are to do all the priming and paint (2 coats each)
3. Contracts had to do light carpentry (fix some hanging corners- I got lazy in a few spots)
4. Contractors had to Complete the project by the first week in October (the baby was due the 17th, we figured we wanted a 1 week buffer from the end of the project to the baby's due date)

Not so bad right?
First, I scheduled the servicemagic guys. They were 2 guys who had started their own business. They came within a few days of contact. They showed up on time. They made a few measurements. We went over the options. They did some math. They gave me a quote and left. All in the same day. They said they could do the whole job in 2 weeks. They were a new business, but these guys had 40 years experience between them. The contractor all the neighbors recommended could not start the project for another 6 months. He was out. However, he did refer me to his buddy. This guy had apparently done lots of work in the neighborhood as well. After contact, we scheduled a meeting for that Saturday morning. Saturday came and went, the guy never showed. I called him on Monday. He said, "Didn't you get my text- I couldn't make it." I told him I did not get his text. We rescheduled for that Wednesday. He showed up, took some measurements and such. He told me he would call me on Friday with an estimate. Friday came and went. No estimate. Then the following Friday, I called him and left a message that was probably not very nice. The following week he texted me a quote. Ver1y professional. Both numbers were within a few hundred bucks of each other. Interestingly, the first guys charged 2x for paint and the second guy charged 2x for the drywall. I'm pretty sure they were just making things up. I didn't bother with a third contractor because it took me so long to hear back from the second guy that I had no more time- the project had to get started right away. I went with the servicemagic guys. It was a mistake.

We scheduled a start date the third week in September. The morning of, one of the contractors shows up with a crew of 4 guys. I headed off to work, hoping to see tremendous progress when I got home.
I got home and was thoroughly disappointed. Nothing was done. I mean absolutely nothing. I called (let's give him a name- we'll use "Bob") Bob (the owner) and asked him why nothing had been done. He told me he was waiting for a truck to deliver the materials, but the truck broke down on another job. He said not to worry- it would arrive the following morning. It did not. 3 of his lackeys sat at my house with nothing to do until a load of materials was delivered the evening of the second day. I asked them why they had so many truck issues. They told me it wasn't their truck but the supplier's. I wondered what they did with my deposit. I also started to get a queasy feeling about this. But for the moment I was still patient.
The third day 4 guys came to start working. Before I left for work I saw them bringing in sheets of drywall. They were going to start on the ceiling in the media room. Iasked them if they were going to use a lift to put in the drywall. They said "A what?". I got scared. I hoped they knew what they were doing. I left. When I got home that day, a single sheet of drywall was up. I am not exaggerating. I think I have a separate post where I mentioned this in general construction in this forum. A whole day- one sheet.
The 4th day the same 4 guys showed up. I asked them why there was only a single sheet of drywall put up. They said they got called to do another job or something. I don't really remember- it hurts me to think about it. When I got home from work the 4th day, there were exactly 3 pieces of drywall put up, and they were done badly. There was, however, a nice stack of broken drywall outside against my garage, so at least these guys were doing something. I called the owner. I think my message to him was exactly "WTF IS GOING ON!!??" He immediately fired the entire crew and hired a new crew. Friday (the 5th day) they did about 1/2 of the media room. The ceiling was done TERRIBLY. The joists were not level and the celing needed to be floated. I don't understand how these guys thought it was OK to just put up drywall on an uneven surface. ARrrgh.

Finally, an the following Monday, the company brought in a guy who actually knew how to hang drywall. The first thing they did was TEAR DOWN ALL THE DRYWALL put up by the previous crew, who were clueless. It took 2+ weeks after that to do all the drywall. But it was all done by 2 guys who could actually do it. While they worked, I also helped and framed, and finished some carpentry. OK, I'll shut up now and post pictures. I won't post the bad drywall, only the good stuff.


Notice what's on the floor? If you said "a bunch of drywall dust, screws, scrap, and mud; but no tarp or cover for the awesome stained floors" you are correct! This is the media room after all the f*ups.


Before the celing drywall went up, I installed R-30 insullation to keep the 1st floor radiant heat from boiling your brains in the basement.


The bathroom. Greenboard was used anywhere water might be.


The media room. here, I'm casing in the footings with 1/2" pine ply. I couldn't think of another way to cover that up. It would later be painted like the wall. It turned out pretty good, don't worry.


This view shows the soffit I added beside the I-beam that supports the 1st floor. This side houses the electrical and air. You can also see the built-in shelf space. I ahd to do something with these 12" thick walls.


The drywalled gym after mudding.


View from the workshop of the gym. You can see the other soffit here that houses all the plumbing. All the hot water lines (radiant and potable) were insulated with that stuff you use for water heaters. I'm not sure how much it helps.


This is in the office- I added a built-in bookcase here.


The last thing that got done was the stairway. By this point, the baby was home and the wife was furious.


A view of the staircase from they gym.


And then, the drywall was done. And the paint would begin. I asked that guy who actually knew how to drywall, "how long have you been with this company?" He answered, "I just started on this project. They hired me off Craigslist, like all these other guys." So there it was- I hired guys for their 40 years experience, and they just hired random people off Craigslist. At least one knew how to drywall.

See you next time for

Part 15: The painting and the Aftermath

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