Ok...I'll Start!

adrienneliqJanuary 27, 2006

We have a somewhat finished basement...well...that's being generous. There is a bar from the previus owners...and some bad sheetrocking in some areas and framing out in others that hasn't been sheet rocked. The concrete is exposed as is the wiring in the ceiling (which happens to be very high to our advantage). There are carpet remnants thrown down...I think you get the picture. We would like to make it more finished but DH is driving me crazy! He doesn't want to frame in the concrete walls and put drywall up because he says he likes to know if water is coming in (we haven't had that problem in the 3 years we've lived here!). Also, he doesn't want to put in a ceiling (I'm even thinking drop ceiling--ANYTHING would be an improvement!) because he thinks the heating of the basement would be affected. I want to put the Flor Carpet tiles in...he wants new remnants! Uggghhh...any suggestions? Thanks!


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Just finished our basement after living here 3 years with no water problems. Sheetrocked and trimed out to match the rest of the house so when you're in the basement it doesn't feel like the BASEMENT. You really have to look at how much time you will be using the basement and how much is it worth to you to make it an enjoyable place to be. With 3 kids, there's no doubt that ours will be used a great amt. of time.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2006 at 1:59PM
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Does your basement open to the outside?

For the walls- could you use fabric?
maybe some type of suspension system- that way DH could look behind for leaks...

We actually stained our basement floor to look like tiles.
Not warm like carpet but definitely better than nothing :)

    Bookmark   January 29, 2006 at 1:52PM
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Where was this forum four months ago when I was in the "trenches" so to speak finishing my basement??? Now that the basement is finished we couldn't be happier with the results. We did the same as NCBUCKEYE and love it. You really don't feel as though you are in a basement. Fireplace, small kitchenette (who wants to run all the way upstairs to pop that popcorn and get a coke?) and we love it. We anticipate it will get more use than anything we could spend our hard-earned money on. Neighbors just bought a boat, and can only use it 4-5 months a year, our basement cost the same and we get 24/7 entertainment space.

Go for it Adrienneliq, and enjoy the process. Its kinda like building a new house, but you already know the neighbors! As for the water issues, we live over a very old subterranean aquafer and some in the 'hood hae had water troubles. We watched it for three years, and when we never had a problem, we went for it. Life is full of coulda, shoulda wouldas, but that's part of living. Have fun.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2006 at 12:10PM
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On another post in this forum concerning drywalling over paneling, i originally may have given bunk advise. I followed that with what might be good advise, you be the judge.Before this basement forum, there were many posts concerning finishing off basements and i've only been reading these forums a short time. My advise is to check in with your local bldg. dept. and get their take on things, as improper installation could lead to future problems as well as problems if you ever go to sell.The more i read about basements, the more im am lead to believe that they are one of the most major concerns of a home involving mold,rot due to moisture issues, proper vapor barriers,etc. It all varies depending on where you live and your area conditions, but to play it safe,drop in on your local powers to be and get their advise.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2006 at 12:13PM
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We also finished our basement and love it. We finished it to look like the rest of the house. We dry walled and plastered the walls and ceiling. We used a vapor barrier between the walls and sound proofed the ceiling so it muffles the noise a bit so the kids can be a little noisier down there without bothering any one upstairs. Used carpet with a thicker pad under but tiled the area that the wet bar is on. We put in a fireplace for added warmth in the winter. I will try to post some pictures later.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2006 at 1:47PM
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Lilymouse, I am looking forward to your pics-- we are going to finish our basement out in a similar fashion. The soundproofing sounds like a good idea especially if a media room is also involved (that surround-sound can carry!) -- We are hoping to have it look just like the rest of the house also-- we saw too many basements while househunting that just looked okay-- fine for the kids to play, but I wouldn't want to hang out there. Did you do it all yourself?

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 5:41PM
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We had a 1800 sq ft basement in Georgia. Daylight 2/3 finished. The only leak we had was when the Polybutylene water line in the front yard gave out (can you say class action lawsuit?) and we replaced with Copper. As the soil was saturated, some water seeped through the waterline hole in the wall during the replacement process.

We used dehumidifiers due to the climate (humidity) and Georgia clay. We noticed a difference in the basement humidity after we completed the step below (even though the walls did not show visible moisture).

In the two rooms that were unfinished, much as you have described your own basement, we ultimately applied a concrete / masonry sealer to brighten the walls up and give them a uniform appearance (we were in our white walls everywhere phase then). The product we used was called Dam Tite and was purchased at Lowe's or Home Depot. It goes on thick and dries permanent. We did not attempt to paint it, but I'm sure the professionals could advise you.

I may repeat the process in my current-under-construction home as I added expanding the basement from 2/3 to full at the last minute and part of that space will be for storage and the other for a wine cellar (more storage). In this case I want the concrete wall for its cool thermal mass.

I don't cotton to drop ceilings. An architect acquaintence left his ceilings open but painted the ductwork in bold colors (blue as I recall). It was a nice touch.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 7:00PM
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Recently finished my basement. I think its well worth it. My teenage son would hang out down there even when it was just concrete floors and walls. Not its a much more inviting space. Be sure to add a heat source if you're in a cold climate. I added a free standing gas stove. I love cozy warm feeling down there.


    Bookmark   March 6, 2006 at 4:26PM
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Samat40: Here are some photos of our basement. These were taken when we weren't quite finished. The wet bar wasn't in. Our basement is completely done now but can't get you the finished photos. I lost my digital for a couple of weeks now and for the life of me can't find it. As soon as I find my camera or buy a new one, I will get updated photos.
I have my photos downloaded on snapfish site.
The first pic is the brick wall at the bottom of the stairs. That is the first thing you see when you go down the basement.
The second pic is how we bricked the metal poles with leftover brick. The tiled area is where the wet bar is and the rest of the basement is carpet.
Third pic is where we put all out stereo components. It was a section of the basement where the water trap/pipes (I think that is what it's called)is located. They are on the floor so my husband had to build the wall on an angle to go around them. So that left us with a little cubby section to put the components in. We painted the back of the wall black and use the darkest glass in the door that we can get and still be able to use the remote controls through it. We built the wood edge shelving so they look like they are floating. There is a light inside also.
The fourth pic is how we divided the rooms with an arched doorway for the pool table room. We were going to put in french doors but decided not to. My husband thought it wouldn't be good if a pool ball went through the glass if someone accidentally over shot a ball.
The fifth pic is the pool table room. My husband doesn't like the low ceiling. He was disappointed that we didn't go with the 10 foot ceilings. Next time we build we are going with the higher ceilings.
The sixth pic is our fireplace. We had to put it in for a source of heat. It's a gas one but does the job. This the most cost efficient way to go for us. Since we have a two story house we would of had to put in another furnace to heat the basement and cut in all the duct work for vents (there was only one vent for heat, which is located above the furnace). We also have a bonus room upstairs and if we only use one furnace trying to heat the basement would of made the upstairs bonus room seem very cold. The fireplace heats up the whole basement.
The seventh pic is a cabinet my husband built to cover our sub pump.
The eighth pic is the stair rails we put in.
The ninth pic is a door and face frame to cover our electrical box.
The tenth pic is a door to my storage room and bathroom. When we built our house we had the builder put the furnace, water heater, central vac and water softener all in one area so we could frame it in a room together. The furnace room (as we call it) also has some storage space inside. We put up shelving in both the furnace room and storage room.
When I find my camera I will get you some up todate pics.Sorry it took so long for me to post these.

Here is a link that might be useful: Our basement

    Bookmark   April 6, 2006 at 8:50AM
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