Finished Basement Ideas

fnmrobertsMarch 31, 2006

Hello All,

This is a new forum category which had it been available for the past several years, might have assisted me. Nevertheless, I have lurked and commented from time-to-time on the Kitchen Forum and believe these are places to guide and assist others. Thus, with our basement nearing completion, perhaps some of the things we have implememted will give help to those of you about to embark on finishing your basements.

Ours was a bare concrete space. A typical basement, not English or walk-out. Aside from the furnace, water heater and electrical panel, there was only 1 outlet and some pull-chain bare bulbs. We took our time - an important consideration - and decided what we wanted to do with the space. Over the past 5 winters, we have transformed the bare to what you can view by going to "My Page". The bathroom is all that remains - next winter!

DW and I have conspired and agreed on each matter. It all started with my wanting a bar and her expressing need for a second oven. What we have is a contemporary entertainment space which is entirely different from the traditional character in the rest of our home. All of the construction, plumbing, electrical and finishing work have been done by us. We only hired the carpeting installed on the stairs and a friend assisted with the floor because he wanted to help.

Major construction is of 2 x 4's with 2" styrofoam insulation between the studs (this leaves clearance for electrical too). We chose drywall for both the ceiling and walls because that is the look we wanted, though drop ceilings have merit in basements. The finished area is approximately 650 square feet with 100 of that being the kitchen/bar. Flooring is tile because we believe sump pumps fail and water heaters spring leaks - though area rugs are in use too. The one outlet has grown to 12 circuits, 18 cans, 2 sconces, 5 pendants, 6 pucks, 2 strip lights, 24 switches and 21 outlets. Most of the lights are on dimmers enabling us to create the atmosphere.

With each of the posted photos, I have tried to offer some pointers or ideas which we have implemented. I hope some will become useful to another. The most important pointer though is to PLAN - think of everything you want and incorporate it now.


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

How inspiring! It is hard to imagine that this was a cement basement. Congratulations. Any idea what you spent (ballpark) to do the 650 sf? How do you get at the pipes running in the basement if you have to? (We just did a reno upstairs which ran new water pipes and elec all over the basement. I thought our only choice was a (yukky) drop ceiling.

Great job! (love the Harley too!)

    Bookmark   April 2, 2006 at 7:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for your comments. Sounds as though your home may be somewhat older if you are replacing pipes. Ours is just 10. Like I mentioned, hopefully ideas will be fostered and maybe even some which I will wish I had considered. I'll retrofit if necessary.

I have a pile of receipts but haven't totalled them. Best guess would be in the range of $15 grand out-of-pocket and we still need the fireplace insert (another grand) and the surround system. The bathroom is uncharted territory.

About the ceiling. Drywall can be patched without detection. I've done it many times. Additionally, I designed the space with access channels at several locations and the drywall is dropped 1.5" below the floor joists enabling a fish tape to get through. Finally, all my electricity is in conduit but I have installed 2 electrical subpanels for ease of future connections.

Yes, our grandson is the only one in his playgroup with his own ride. It took every spare waking moment for 3 months to build.


    Bookmark   April 2, 2006 at 11:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think it looks great. Well done!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2006 at 12:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Liked your wet bar design. My husband and I are planning to finish our 700 sq ft basement in the next month or so. I really got good wet bar idea from your post.

Nice designs.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2006 at 12:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Glad to know you found useful ideas here - that was the intention. Look forward to seeing your finished space and knowing what features you used. Good Luck. Forrest

    Bookmark   June 19, 2006 at 8:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Very nice job. Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2006 at 10:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Unbelievable that I just looked at a refinished basement! Sure looks like main floors rooms to me. It is so bright and cheery and the double French doors are a very nice touch and an idea I might use! Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2006 at 10:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Like the glass door on the stairway too. Makes the basement space more inviting from upper level. Also, prevents accidents.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2006 at 12:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi, I have two questions. First is based on this statement you made: "I designed the space with access channels at several locations and the drywall is dropped 1.5" below the floor joists enabling a fish tape to get through."

How do you hang drywall below the floor joists? What did you fasten the drywall to if you are 1.5" below the floor joists? Second, I wanted to take a look at the pictures but don't see them on your page. I also don't have access to your webshots album.


    Bookmark   July 25, 2006 at 3:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm surprised that you are unable to access my photos. You should be able to open the albums by clicking on the title picture. Try this address, it is the direct one.
For access, I created a small closet where my electrical entrance is located and the ceiling inside is open. Same with the closets which are behind the Frence Doors. Because water and electrical conduit were already suspended below the joists, I attached 2 x 4's to the joists in order to hang the drywall - thus the 1.5" clearance should anything need to be installed in the future.
If access to the photos is still blocked by your computer check your browser settings or let me know and I'll try to get them to you. Good Luck, Forrest

    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 7:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Forrest, thanks. I just realized that it is my employer that is blocking access to Webshots. I'll have to check out the pictures at home. I also realized after I posted that it was probably 2x4 hung perpendicular to the joists above that allowed you to do that. I'll need to do the same since I too have some water pipes that are hung just below to the joists so will need the 2x4 crossings. Thanks for the reply!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2006 at 11:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well I admit its nothing fancy, but the space is comfortable and we really enjoy it.
Good luck with your basement projects.

recreation area:

shower bath:



    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 11:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Are those fake windows in that first pic? I think you did a great job. Do you have a sub floor under the carpet or is that carpet on concrete?

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 12:57PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Str'l Wood Floor + CrwlSpace vs Concrete Slab
Hello, We were discussing our plans with a builder...
basement flooring - tile or finished concrete
we're planning a reno that will include expanding and...
Replacing Steel Column With Stud Wall?
I am interested in replacing a steel column with a...
Walk-out basement design
Building a house in western Massachusetts -- it will...
How to re-do the stairs for my basement remodel
So I'm undergoing a simple remodel of a small basement....
Sponsored Products
52" Fanimation Benito Oil-Rubbed Bronze Ceiling Fan
Lamps Plus
Trilogy Triangle Bar Height Pub Table Multicolor - TRI44-42
Globe Electric Recessed Lighting 5 in. IC Rated Recessed White General Lighting
$30.99 | Home Depot
Tech Lighting Fluid Nickel 9" Square Ceiling Light
Euro Style Lighting
Iron Dice Industrial Stool - BA1115
$199.99 | Hayneedle
Garage Flooring Accessories: G-Floor Garage Flooring 7.5 ft. x 17 ft. Diamond
$1.93 | Home Depot
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™