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Old 10-20-2011, 12:29 AM   #1
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iminaquagmire's basement finish


So for the last month I've been steadily finishing my basement. It's what I guess you would call an english basement. Only about 30" is below grade with the rest of the house being a raised ranch.

When the house was bought in '87 (built in '83) its always been on the list of things to do, but was always just a storage space save for the bedroom that was finished when the house was bought. Unfortunately the previous owner had he same idea of finishing the basement and made some pretty good blunders. More on that further but anyways, here is the bane of my existence right now.

I wish I had taken pictures in the very beginning but as with all my projects, I alas did not. But I did start with stage 1 drywall finish (done poorly) and an oak tongue and groove paneled ceiling in the larger part of the room. There were three 8" recessed cans that never worked and track lighting that was very 1980's. There was half wall of framing for a bar on one wall that I discovered when I removed it was never attached to anything but the drywall. The entrance to the bar was a 4' tall opening under the stairs that you had to be a hobbit to use. Buried in the wall in the bar area was a duct taped wiring splice that explained why the cans never worked above the bar.

I tore all of the drywall off of the lower walls, and most off the interior walls. I also took out the hobbit door wall where the old bar area was.

The biggest interior wall is here. This is where the new bar will be. The half wall was not here. I framed it up and tied it into the existing wall. Romex was rerun for new receptacles.


A couple of the half walls (North and West walls). Again new romex for receptacles.


This picture shows one of the lally columns that supports the steel I-beam that helps open the space. The columns and beam were existing. The left side shows the crawlspace and the short wall in the middle is what was left after removing the hobbit door wall. The insulation is new.


After framing.


After OSB. I used the OSB to tie everything together around the beam. I didn't like the original existing framing and this was easier than tearing it all out and rebuilding it.


Here you can see my dusty lens. Also the new TV wall I framed out over the existing fireplace opening that was never utilized. The TV wall protrudes about 5 inches with drywall. It makes a nice focal point IMO. You can also see some of the new cans I installed. The wires hanging from the ceiling are speaker wires for the new 7.1 surround that will be going in. All the blue wires are Cat6 wires for HDMI runs and IR transmitters so that all the A/V equipment can be behind the new bar and out of sight.


Here is the same wall sheathed in OSB. I wanted a solid wall for the heavy Plasma TV and the ethanol fireplace that will be underneath it. You can also see the arches I framed on either side of the TV wall.


All of the lower walls got Roxul and XPS. I know the order seems off, but the foundation walls aren't traditional basement walls and have never had any moisture. The XPS is in place of the vapor barrier and gives a little extra insulation. The seams and receptacles are taped with foil tape. I've given up on all the other tapes that are supposed to work on XPS.


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Old 10-20-2011, 12:46 AM   #2
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Hanging drywall. Here you can also see the bar top that I've been refinishing.



I hired a taper to come in and tape. He worked by himself and took a little longer, but he did a great job and was a whole lot cheaper than anybody else would have been. And I didn't have the frustration of doing it myself.



Primed and ceiling painted



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Old 10-20-2011, 12:46 AM   #3
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Where it sits today. Its mostly painted. The top parts of the walls and the arches need a second coat.



Barkley is checking it out.


I think he approves.


Tomorrow I'll get the second coat of the lighter color on and the bar walls framed. More pics to come tomorrow hopefully.
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Old 10-20-2011, 02:05 AM   #4
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WOW! What a transformation! Looks real nice, the dog too. I'm jealous, I wish I could get Roxul up here. I hear it's real nice to work with. I hate fiberglass.
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Old 10-20-2011, 11:59 AM   #5
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I agree - it's looking pretty darned good! I love your arches, there . . . nice touch!
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Old 10-23-2011, 05:11 PM   #6
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Well it took longer than anticipated to frame out the bar walls. I'm not really sure why I did it with steel but its another skillset I've acquired at least. I also had to do some repairs to the bar top. The way its built required some extra bracing for the front face so I had to rip some plywood down for that. I also had to make some new supports for the drip rail since there was only one original left. Between the ripping stock, mitering, dadoing, and drilling, it took a good chunk of the day away yesterday.

The bar frame with plywood top. Since its only a half wall, the plywood ties everything together as well as supports the bar top.


Underside of bar showing the plywood reinforcement and the drip rail supports.


Drip rail support. The screw holes are elongated allowing the top to expand and contract freely.


With top on frame.



Playing around with different finishes on the cutoff pieces of the bar top. I wish I could have used the whole top but the space just wasn't there. I think I've decided on the one on the far left. Its much richer looking than the camera shows. You can also see the stone veneer tiles that will wrap the bar.


I also hung the ceiling fan, the pendants above the bar, and installed the can lights in the arches.

Fan and lights


Yesterday I also ordered the flooring and 3 vinyl replacement windows. It was a very expensive and frustrating albeit productive day yesterday.
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Old 10-23-2011, 05:42 PM   #7
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Great looking project---
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Old 10-24-2011, 01:49 PM   #8
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Looks awesome!

Any more pics of the tv wall? I have a project like that on my list.
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Old 10-24-2011, 11:17 PM   #9
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Thanks for the comments everybody. The TV wall is just a regular stud wall that I built out in front of the fireplace wall which was the same half stud wall as all the others. The OSB is 3/4 OSB glued to the studs with PL Premium. Here is kind of an in progress pic.

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Old 11-11-2011, 10:05 AM   #10
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I managed to get injured at work so progress has been slow with my injury restrictions. Also got sidetracked with a plumbing supply replumb. Slowly but surely. Hoping to have everything done by December 3rd for a 40th/70th birthday party for my brother and father.

Bar top in progress. Also got the outside bar wall ready for stone. Durock for the flats and floated some mud over lathe for the curve.


Inside and end of bar. I did the inside with 1/2" MDF instead of drywalling and having issues with people bumping into it all the time, damaging the drywall. The second pic shows my method for hiding the end of the bar. The gap will be filled and painted.



Shelves also got put in and painted as of yesterday. Also hung the pool table lights.




Inside of bar primed


New window. Two more to go. I think I'm going to hire those out though. Just too much for me to do in a short time frame.
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Old 11-11-2011, 12:13 PM   #11
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Lookin' good! I love the bar and also the pendant lights you have over it. Can I ask where they are from? They look like they might be perfect for over the peninsula in the the kitchen I'm renovating.
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Old 11-12-2011, 12:35 AM   #12
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Thank you. That bar has been probably the most work out of anything else in the room but I think it'll be worth it. The pendants above the bar are from Lowes. Actually all of the lighting except the cans is from lowes.
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Old 11-12-2011, 09:38 PM   #13
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Last night I got all the lower walls painted along with the bar. I also did a bunch of tough up of the upper wall color including cutting in the shelves only to see this morning that once dry, the touch ups from a new can are a shade lighter. Now I need to roll that color out all over again. But that'll be another day. The joys of renovating I guess.

My brother and I started the floor today. Its about 5 feet further than in the pic. Still a lot to go. The Platon system is awesome. The floor feels great underfoot.
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Old 11-14-2011, 10:10 PM   #14
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Got most of the floor in yesterday. Then put a big scratch across two of the boards moving an old fridge up the stairs this morning. So the last three feet had to come out but it only took about 30 minutes to fix it. Only the hallway has to be put in now. Thursday the furniture, TV, A/V stuff, new fridge, and area rug all come so I'm hoping to have all the baseboard in and all the paint touch ups done by then. It finally feels like a room and not a project though there is still a lot left to do.











This will hang above the bar. This is a picture of my grandfather (second from right) at a bar in Africa during WWII.
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:46 PM   #15
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Basement looks amazing.

Where in Africa was your grandfather?

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