Author Topic: Finish a Basement  (Read 22453 times)

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Offline Kat Kid

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Re: Finish a Basement
« Reply #25 on: February 05, 2010, 11:02:27 AM »
Its threads like these that make me glad I'm a renter.

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Offline SleepFighter

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Re: Finish a Basement
« Reply #26 on: February 05, 2010, 11:23:40 AM »
sd i think you would be able to frame it yourself, it's really not diffi's and you could figure it out. then hire a good contractor to drywall, electric, etc.  framing though would be a good projy for you and misses sd.

Yeah, I think this is probably my best bet.  Scared of doing it but worst case scenario I just hire someone to fix my mistakes.

Honestly it's hard to really screw this part up.

So, what do I do?  Just go buy a bunch of boards and start hammering them to the wall or what?

Isn't there a pretty good "how to handyman" website out there?  Gives you step by step instructions on how to do dry wall, framing etc?  I could google it but kind of lazy right now.  I hear its pretty legit though.

Yeah, just google it or buy a book at Home Depot or something.  The worst thing that can happen is that you waste a couple of 2x4's.

Offline pissclams

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Re: Finish a Basement
« Reply #27 on: February 05, 2010, 11:44:06 AM »
sd i think you would be able to frame it yourself, it's really not diffi's and you could figure it out. then hire a good contractor to drywall, electric, etc.  framing though would be a good projy for you and misses sd.

Yeah, I think this is probably my best bet.  Scared of doing it but worst case scenario I just hire someone to fix my mistakes.

Honestly it's hard to really screw this part up.

So, what do I do?  Just go buy a bunch of boards and start hammering them to the wall or what?
measure your space.  sketch your design.  then read a bunch of stuff about framing.  the guidelines you follow in framing are really straightforward, i.e. - how much space off the basement wall you need to be, how much space between 2x4sthen determine how much 2/4's you need and order them.  go rent a nail gun and buy some safety equipment.  it will take a while for you but it is a great way to get into the "home improvement" stuff.


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Online steve dave

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Re: Finish a Basement
« Reply #28 on: February 05, 2010, 11:54:57 AM »
sd i think you would be able to frame it yourself, it's really not diffi's and you could figure it out. then hire a good contractor to drywall, electric, etc.  framing though would be a good projy for you and misses sd.

Yeah, I think this is probably my best bet.  Scared of doing it but worst case scenario I just hire someone to fix my mistakes.

Honestly it's hard to really screw this part up.

So, what do I do?  Just go buy a bunch of boards and start hammering them to the wall or what?
measure your space.  sketch your design.  then read a bunch of stuff about framing.  the guidelines you follow in framing are really straightforward, i.e. - how much space off the basement wall you need to be, how much space between 2x4sthen determine how much 2/4's you need and order them.  go rent a nail gun and buy some safety equipment.  it will take a while for you but it is a great way to get into the "home improvement" stuff.

OK, I'll do this I guess.  Seems hard though. 

Offline ew2x4

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Re: Finish a Basement
« Reply #29 on: February 05, 2010, 11:58:24 AM »
Make sure to get a permit. Plumbing, electrical, and making it a sleeping quarters all require one. Other than that, I'd only put a bathroom in if you have a drain. If you have 2 drains, go ahead and put a shower in. Only put a bedroom in if you have a large enough window. You might actually want to consult an architect or a contractor and have them draw it out for you, unless you want tons of code issues (good luck selling a house with all of that going on).

In terms of finishing it out, framing isn't hard. Drywalling is easy. Mudding the drywall isn't. Get 2'x2' peel and stick carpet squares for flooring if you can't find any really cheap stuff. How high is it to your joists? That will determine what type of ceiling you have. Don't get a ceiling lower than 7'-6". The higher the better.

Some good sources are the family handyman, and believe it or not, youtube. I found out how to build a shower pan on there.

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Re: Finish a Basement
« Reply #30 on: February 05, 2010, 12:06:41 PM »
Make sure to get a permit. Plumbing, electrical, and making it a sleeping quarters all require one. Other than that, I'd only put a bathroom in if you have a drain. If you have 2 drains, go ahead and put a shower in. Only put a bedroom in if you have a large enough window. You might actually want to consult an architect or a contractor and have them draw it out for you, unless you want tons of code issues (good luck selling a house with all of that going on).

In terms of finishing it out, framing isn't hard. Drywalling is easy. Mudding the drywall isn't. Get 2'x2' peel and stick carpet squares for flooring if you can't find any really cheap stuff. How high is it to your joists? That will determine what type of ceiling you have. Don't get a ceiling lower than 7'-6". The higher the better.

Some good sources are the family handyman, and believe it or not, youtube. I found out how to build a shower pan on there.

Big windows.  Will be a comforming bedroom.  They are prolly three feet off the floor.  Very high ceilings except for a steel i-beam that runs across the middle (where the pillar is).  Don't know what to do about this.  The bottom of the i-beam is probably 8 ft.  I think Ihave one large drain and one small in the rough-in for the bathroom.  I assume this was meant for a toilet and sink but not a shower.  There is a full bathroom right at the top of the stairs so having a third shower isn't that important to me. 

Offline pissclams

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Re: Finish a Basement
« Reply #31 on: February 05, 2010, 12:07:36 PM »
Make sure to get a permit. Plumbing, electrical, and making it a sleeping quarters all require one. Other than that, I'd only put a bathroom in if you have a drain. If you have 2 drains, go ahead and put a shower in. Only put a bedroom in if you have a large enough window. You might actually want to consult an architect or a contractor and have them draw it out for you, unless you want tons of code issues (good luck selling a house with all of that going on).

In terms of finishing it out, framing isn't hard. Drywalling is easy. Mudding the drywall isn't. Get 2'x2' peel and stick carpet squares for flooring if you can't find any really cheap stuff. How high is it to your joists? That will determine what type of ceiling you have. Don't get a ceiling lower than 7'-6". The higher the better.

Some good sources are the family handyman, and believe it or not, youtube. I found out how to build a shower pan on there.
thing is if he's gonna  pay someone to mud the drywall he might as well have them cut it and hang it too.


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Offline Cire

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Re: Finish a Basement
« Reply #32 on: February 05, 2010, 12:27:56 PM »
Hire someone

Offline Duncan

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Re: Finish a Basement
« Reply #33 on: February 05, 2010, 12:28:32 PM »
Good website for general construction/renovation costs

Decide whether to do it yourself or hire a contractor

Not free, but Fine Homebuilding have great articles that are geared towards construction professionals for this type of thing

Like ew2x4 said, make sure the window is an egress, otherwise you can't count that space as a bedroom when you list and try to sell. 

Framing isn't hard.  Putting up drywall is a 2 person job.  Finishing the drywall is an art, and will look like crap if this is the first time you are doing it.  Put the drywall up yourself and hire a crew to finish it for you.

Here in Denver, you can take a series of (easy) tests that allow you (as a homeowner) to do your own renovation/construction in your home, without having to hire a licensed contractor (like electrical, plumbing, framing, etc,).  You still need to pull permits though.  A lot of people do renovations without pulling permits.  Its cheaper, less hassle.  Some people know what they are doing, some don't.  The permits (and inspection process) are there to protect the ones that don't.  You can really eff things up if you don't know what you are doing.  So read up.

Also, quick story on not pulling permits.  A while ago, there was a realtor in a suburb NW of Denver that had completely renovated his home without pulling permits.  And then he put it on the market.  Someone at the City put 2 and 2 together, went to see the home, noticed that everything was new on an older home, went back to the City offices, couldn't find any permits for the work.  So the city made him tear out everything, redo and go through permiting and inspections.  Cost him a lot of time and money.  So this realtor, really pissed at this point, used his realtoring position to go around and look at a lot of homes on the market on his area.  The ones that looked like they were recently renovated, he went to the city, checked on the permits (public record) and reported the ones that had done what he had done.  Real dick move.


Offline pissclams

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Re: Finish a Basement
« Reply #34 on: February 05, 2010, 12:31:46 PM »
Good website for general construction/renovation costs

Decide whether to do it yourself or hire a contractor

Not free, but Fine Homebuilding have great articles that are geared towards construction professionals for this type of thing

Like ew2x4 said, make sure the window is an egress, otherwise you can't count that space as a bedroom when you list and try to sell. 

Framing isn't hard.  Putting up drywall is a 2 person job.  Finishing the drywall is an art, and will look like crap if this is the first time you are doing it.  Put the drywall up yourself and hire a crew to finish it for you.

Here in Denver, you can take a series of (easy) tests that allow you (as a homeowner) to do your own renovation/construction in your home, without having to hire a licensed contractor (like electrical, plumbing, framing, etc,).  You still need to pull permits though.  A lot of people do renovations without pulling permits.  Its cheaper, less hassle.  Some people know what they are doing, some don't.  The permits (and inspection process) are there to protect the ones that don't.  You can really shazbot! things up if you don't know what you are doing.  So read up.

Also, quick story on not pulling permits.  A while ago, there was a realtor in a suburb NW of Denver that had completely renovated his home without pulling permits.  And then he put it on the market.  Someone at the City put 2 and 2 together, went to see the home, noticed that everything was new on an older home, went back to the City offices, couldn't find any permits for the work.  So the city made him tear out everything, redo and go through permiting and inspections.  Cost him a lot of time and money.  So this realtor, really pissed at this point, used his realtoring position to go around and look at a lot of homes on the market on his area.  The ones that looked like they were recently renovated, he went to the city, checked on the permits (public record) and reported the ones that had done what he had done. Real dick move.


that was me, u digg?  :cool:


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Online steve dave

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Re: Finish a Basement
« Reply #35 on: February 05, 2010, 12:34:53 PM »
Like ew2x4 said, make sure the window is an egress, otherwise you can't count that space as a bedroom when you list and try to sell. 

Yeah, it's not an egress.  It's an actual window looking out onto the back yard.  This seems to be hard to fathom by some on here.  Like, you look out the windows and there is the yard and the neighbor's house.  I excavate about 2 feet of dirt and it'd be a walkout. 

Offline Dr Rick Daris

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Re: Finish a Basement
« Reply #36 on: February 05, 2010, 12:46:39 PM »
Like ew2x4 said, make sure the window is an egress, otherwise you can't count that space as a bedroom when you list and try to sell. 

Yeah, it's not an egress.  It's an actual window looking out onto the back yard.  This seems to be hard to fathom by some on here.  Like, you look out the windows and there is the yard and the neighbor's house.  I excavate about 2 feet of dirt and it'd be a walkout. 

this stupid window seems to be causing some major headaches. i'd get rid of it.

Offline sys

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Re: Finish a Basement
« Reply #37 on: February 05, 2010, 12:49:27 PM »
leave the beam exposed.
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Offline The Whale

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Re: Finish a Basement
« Reply #38 on: February 05, 2010, 12:51:13 PM »
Just throw a pool table, a pinball machine and maybe a shuffleboard table and call it good.

Online chum1

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Re: Finish a Basement
« Reply #39 on: February 05, 2010, 12:53:42 PM »
What kinds of wallpaper prints have you considered?

Offline Duncan

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Re: Finish a Basement
« Reply #40 on: February 05, 2010, 12:55:02 PM »
No, I understand what you are saying.  I know egress is usually thrown out there just for basement bedrooms.  But every bedroom in your house (regardless of the floor) needs an egress (whether it be a window, door, or whatever).

General specs for an egress opening:

A minimum net clear openable area of 5.7 sq ft
A minimum net clear openable height dimension of 24"(a fireman with his oxygen tank)
A minimum net clear openable width dimension of 20" (a fireman's ladder)
A finished sill height not more than 44" above the finished floor.
If there is a exterior door in the room, that will be your egress opening.

Sounds like they are probably big enough.  Didn't know if they could open though.

Online steve dave

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Re: Finish a Basement
« Reply #41 on: February 05, 2010, 12:57:52 PM »
No, I understand what you are saying.  I know egress is usually thrown out there just for basement bedrooms.  But every bedroom in your house (regardless of the floor) needs an egress (whether it be a window, door, or whatever).

General specs for an egress opening:

A minimum net clear openable area of 5.7 sq ft
A minimum net clear openable height dimension of 24"(a fireman with his oxygen tank)
A minimum net clear openable width dimension of 20" (a fireman's ladder)
A finished sill height not more than 44" above the finished floor.
If there is a exterior door in the room, that will be your egress opening.

Sounds like they are probably big enough.  Didn't know if they could open though.

Oh, ok.  Yeah, they're pretty big.  They open and junk. 

Offline WildcatNkilt

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Re: Finish a Basement
« Reply #42 on: February 05, 2010, 01:04:37 PM »
Seems like you have quite a few obstacles.  

Ask a neighbor for some contractor recommendations.  When you find a contractor, have him give you a consultation.  Weigh your options with bedroom, bathroom, and rest of basement.

This way you get professional advice instead of trying to do it yourself.  Also keeps you from fudging up any contract/permit responsibilities.  

Once you find an option you like, use it to get quotes from other contractors.  Find the best/reasonable price with a contractor who has had positive feedback.


My $.02
« Last Edit: February 05, 2010, 01:14:26 PM by WildcatNkilt »
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Offline Cire

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Re: Finish a Basement
« Reply #43 on: February 05, 2010, 03:09:11 PM »
hire someone.

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Re: Finish a Basement
« Reply #44 on: February 05, 2010, 03:13:02 PM »
I'd say watch HGTV all the time and TLC on Saturday Mornings. boom you're welcome.
I'm like you though I'd be hesitant to do the work myself without some sort of supervision or someone guiding me through it.
I'd check out craigslist and have some people just quote you a price and keep having them do quotes until you find one you like and someone that you think you can count on and won't do a crap job aka make sure they have references.

Offline ArchE_Cat

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Re: Finish a Basement
« Reply #45 on: February 07, 2010, 10:13:35 PM »
Look here http://publicecodes.citation.com/icod/irc/2006f2/index.htm, its the international Residential Code. Read it because it will help greatly. If you have question call the local code office. I can also answer questions.

Offline ednksu

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Re: Finish a Basement
« Reply #46 on: February 07, 2010, 10:28:56 PM »
if you make a bedroom you might have to have an escape window in the basement.  Another reason to check code.
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Offline Trim

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Re: Finish a Basement
« Reply #47 on: February 07, 2010, 10:29:48 PM »
I can't wait to go to an omaha pak and sleep in the room built by goEMAW.com.

Offline Dr Rick Daris

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Re: Finish a Basement
« Reply #48 on: February 07, 2010, 10:31:40 PM »
I can't wait to go to an omaha pak and sleep in the room built by goEMAW.com.

i just want a quick agreement that the window has to go. the way it's being described just sounds absurd. absolutely absurd. get rid of that stupid f8cking thing and then you just go from there.

Offline Trim

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Re: Finish a Basement
« Reply #49 on: February 07, 2010, 10:34:59 PM »
I can't wait to go to an omaha pak and sleep in the room built by goEMAW.com.

i just want a quick agreement that the window has to go. the way it's being described just sounds absurd. absolutely absurd. get rid of that stupid f8cking thing and then you just go from there.

I'm indifferent to the window.  However, I plan to tote an 8-foot pillar with me when I go and set that thing up in the room.  I want an in-room pillar in addition to any pillar(s) in the rest of the basement.  I need that in the room to attach my travel speakers to.