Basement finishing on a serious budget

deborahcAugust 10, 2007

Hi everyone,

I've read many of the posts on this forum, and I think we have a plan for finishing our basement for under $1000.00. It is approximately 1300 square feet, and dry- most of it is below-ground. I have a few questions that I was wondering if anyone has feedback on.

1. Ceiling-

It has 9' ceilings which we are planning on spray painting either grey or black (home-theater look). The only question I have is insulating for noise without installing a dropped ceiling. I was considering glueing the rigid insulation in the ceiling and painting it over. My husband wants to staple the regular type of insulation in between the floor joists. The only reason we want to insulate is for controlling noise.

2. Walls-

Has anyone "liquid nailed" the rigid insulation to the walls and then painted it? There is a different kind of this rigid insulation called thermax that I've heard you can paint. Just wondered if anyone had tried this.

Or, has anyone put paneling over the insulation?

We don't want to drywall due to the time and mess it takes to finish it properly. I suppose we will drywall if we have to, but I know it would take my husband the rest of his life to finish it!

3. Electric outlets-

One of the problems with no 2x4 walls is the lack of space for an electrical outlet. I saw a document on the owens-corning site that showed how to install an electric box using their glued-one rigid insulation with drywall on it. But without drywall? I suppose you could frame the outlet with trim.

4. Painting some of the concrete walls. We're going to seal and then paint a few of the concrete walls that don't have any above ground portions.

5. Staining the floor. I've seen some neat concrete stains, so I think we'll stain the floor and then add carpet area rugs.

Any other cost-saving and time-saving ideas would be very welcome.


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Your ideas sound great. I would love to hear feedback on those because I have the same situation in my basement. Walkout with a fireplace and plumbed for a downstairs bathroom.

Husband thought he could do the job but he has quickly lost interest and the materials are just sitting there (he only bought enough to get started)-

Most of the walls in our basement are cement with a little framed and insulated. I was trying to figure out how to do the electricity down the cement walls if we didn't do drywall.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 3:33PM
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Check your Codes before applying any rigid polystyrene insulation without a fire resistant covering. It's often illegal. Unsafe, in any case.

Electric is easy. Use masonry boxes and rigid conduit. Or any of the modular systems that look somewhat more finished.

Insulating the abovegrade portion of the basement wall and at least the first three feet down is certainly worth the expense in terms of comfort and energy savings.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2007 at 10:26AM
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I am also doing my basement on a budget and was thinking of something like fabric to cover the walls. Maybe that would work for you too?

    Bookmark   September 6, 2007 at 4:10PM
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can you provide examples of fabric might be....

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 12:35PM
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Like a movie theater?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 4:37PM
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asking me or telling me!!! I too am curious about this fabric concept!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 1:04PM
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I was thinking of something like this

Here is a link that might be useful: Using fabric as wallpaper

    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 1:38AM
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is that going to stick to a bumpy poured concrete foundation. Painting might work better....?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 11:42AM
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