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Basement Finishing Advice Wanted

1803 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  12penny
Just signed up for this site today. Great info here!!! I wish I would have known about this earlier.
Looking for some input from members on this site. I live in a 4 year old house in Eastern PA. Our house has a side walk-out basement with about 1600 SF of unfinished space. There is a rough-in for a toilet and sink. I am interested in building an additional bedroom and finishing the basement with a full bath and some sort of bar/butler's pantry. Additionally, I would like to add a home theater with a HD projector. I view myself as an intermediate level DIY. I was planning on doing the following myself: framing, drop ceiling, Home Theater install, flooring, install bathroom and electrical fixtures, tiling, finish carpentry including cabinets, cutting into floor to rough in shower. The jobs I would sub out would be electrical, plumbing, and drywall. What do you think? Other than a time commitment, are there any obstacles I may run into that I am not seeing because I don't do this on a regular basis? In addition, I feel I may not be saving all that much money by completing this project myself. And I mean myself-I really have no reliable help besides basic labor. Also, Keep in mind I'll probably be paying a premium for my sub work. Thanks for your thoughts in advance.

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Take your time and learn and all will go well. Basement finishing is expensive but must be done right or it will not last. You can do it all yourself and save 50% or the typical costs. I get about $40-60 K to finish a basement. The bath will be another 15K... so you can save quite a bit of money if you have the time. You have a basement that offers some unique challenges in the fact that you need to deal with a below grade and above grade concrete wall. Insulation is treated differently for the two plains. Read up on articles at to get an idea of what you need to be concerned about. Post any questions on what you do not understand. Do not cut corners on insulation and moisture control or you will be tearing it all out next year. Good luck.
Thanks for the response. I don't know if it matters but, the wall that is above grade is not concrete. That wall has already been framed and drywalled-the outside is vinyl siding-So, I guess I only have to worry about moisture on the below grade concrete wall?
Correct. Above grade moisture moves out and is handled by kraft faced insulation, drywall and latex paint. below grade is reverse. You need a shelf over the lower section of the wall now to keep the below grade section spaced from the wall.
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