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Basement redo

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Adios Pantalones, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    I want to redo the basement into an extended studio space. It doesn't need to be a family room, but it needs to be more than a basement workshop.

    That means- drywall (I can do that), a ceiling (clueless right now), and better lighting. Maybe a wall separating our laundry area from the clay mess.

    Are drop ceilings real easy to do?

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  2. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Yep - drop ceilings are pretty easy. Get the grid laid out (the hardest part of it) and drop in the panels. Make sure you have a razor sharp utility knife, a wire cutter, tin snips and if it is much of an area - buy the adapter for a good drill to turn in the wire anchors to the floor joists. A level and a chalk line will also come in handy.
  3. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Thanks! Now I just have to think about lighting. Fluorescents won't cut it. Maybe an LED option
  4. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    LEDs are expensive. They sell can fixtures with spring clips that will pop into the tiles. Plan out the areas you want work space set-up and run all your drops with bx wire
    Adios Pantalones likes this.
  5. save$

    save$ Minister of Fire

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    An inexpensive laser level will save a huge amount of time laying out the grid for the ceiling. Also check out how to insulate your outside walls before you put up the drywall. You don't want to cause mold brought on by the differences in the temperature of the exterior wall and the interior wall. Different temps will result in condensation. Wet walls may get moldy. There is drywall material specific for damp applications. If you have the height, there is floor insulation that will make a world of difference in the environment. An air exchanger is a better alternative to a dehumidifier. If you run a dehumidifier, you'll have to keep the access doors closed to be effective. Plus the dehumidifier will run up your light pill just like air conditioning does. Make sure any electrical wiring is up to code. Nothing is simple. Below grade living spaces have their own issues.
    vinny11950 likes this.
  6. Eatonpcat

    Eatonpcat Minister of Fire

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    I will second the laser level...
  7. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Thanks all! Some stuff I had covered, and other stuff that I had no clue about
  8. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Agree with Jags on the drop ceiling....not a tough project as its all in the prep. Basically, the grid is the most important part....similar to if you have installed ceramic tiles before and gridding out the location of the tile so you don't have tiny cuts on one one and huge cuts on the oppposing end.

    A few tips.
    - when you hang the wires from the joists, try to get the wires fastened as the cross sections of the T's vs being in the middle of a run. This will allow you to move the panels in and out easier, as if you have have a hanger wire in the middle of a bracket, you won't be able to move that panel to that side as the wire is in the way.
    - I got excited when I got my panels, so I started popping them all in that didn't need cutting, and saved the ones for cuts last. This was a wrong move, as if you complete all the cuts first, you can get them into the smaller spaces and have more room to work with. Once all the cuts one are installed, you can start poppoing the full panels in.

    I'm a putz, and if I can do it I am sure you can in half the time it took me :)
    save$ likes this.
  9. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    I'd add that you have to have a certian height clearance between your grid and the floor joists above to allow panel installation. I think its 3".
    Also, if you have cold water pipes above you may want to insulate them to prevent condensation from forming and then dripping on your new ceiling leaving nasty brown stains or creatting mold.
    save$ and Eatonpcat like this.
  10. save$

    save$ Minister of Fire

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    Some ceiling tiles have an insulating value. Some do better at blocking sounds going up or down. If you are going to be noisy and disturb anything upstairs, then you may want to insulate for that. Always better to get it done first because every redo is very time consuming and costly. There are some new pluming connections that are very easy to install, don't leak, and you won't set your house on fire putting them in.. All you outlets have to be started with a ground fault interrupter at the first outlet or in the circuit breaker. Ck codes because there are distances and ways of securing the lines that you have to follow or it won't pass. Ck to see if you town requires inspections at different phases of the installation. 35 years ago, when I did my downstair fisnishing, we didn't know what a permit was except to build a house. Now you need one if you plan to pass gas.

  11. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    Why are you ruling out fluorescents? Is it due to light quality?
    IMO fluorescents and compact Florescents light quality have improved to the point that some are as good or better than incandescents. I would be looking at pot lights with CFLs & glazed covers.
  12. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Not sure if you'll get that visibility of your artworking unless a lot of pot lights are used.
    How about some square troffers (sp?) with high efficiency ballasts and soft temperature energy conserving bulbs?
  13. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Thought I'd post the update-
    Paneled walls, drop ceiling, sealed floor, new doors, trim, lights, etc.

    Built that bench last night with an MDF top (good for clay)- it was pretty steady, but 475# of clay on the lower shelf and it feels bolted to the floor. Tonight I build a "ware rack", then move in some other equipment that's crammed into other parts of the basement. (That's an extruder on the wall- Pla-Dough Fun Factory for growd ups)

    Thanks for the advice here- I'll post better pics as available

    [​IMG]
    Jack Straw likes this.
  14. Eatonpcat

    Eatonpcat Minister of Fire

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    Looking good!!
    Adios Pantalones likes this.
  15. Jack Straw

    Jack Straw Minister of Fire

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    Wow! That looks great. Did you have to put finish on the louvred doors? That can be a lot of work.
    Adios Pantalones likes this.
  16. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Thanks all. No, I didn't bother with finishing any bare wood. Not sure I will- I live in a log home, so bare wood fits fine- and it's less work
  17. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Looking good AP. That is gonna make for a heck of a studio.
    Adios Pantalones likes this.
  18. vinny11950

    vinny11950 Minister of Fire

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    That looks great, AP.

    How did you build the walls? I mean, did you seal the walls, use a vapor barrier, insulate and then put the panels?

    Also, the floor looks great, what product did you use?

    I only ask because I want to do the same. Thanks.
    Adios Pantalones likes this.
  19. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    The walls already had fiberglass insulation and sheetrock. The sheetrock was completely trashed by my rabbits, so I just slapped on the paneling. I assume there was a barrier in there :) I've been in the house 10 years and not had any issues- relatively dry basement.

    For the floors I bought garage floor sealant- they sell it in an all-in-one package at Home Despot. It's a tad pricey that way, but it was basically zero vapor, and came with everything I needed- etchant, sealer, roller for application (plus color flakes for texture/looks).
    Eatonpcat likes this.
  20. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    Looks good, very functional, low cost, and you finished it up pretty quick (on the DIY scale anyway).
    I like the garage floor sealer as the floor finish. You sure don't loose much head room that way!
  21. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    very nice!
    How are you heating it?
  22. fishingpol

    fishingpol Minister of Fire

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    That looks really good, what a great workspace you got there. Kind of motivates me to throw out some crap to make more room in mine.
  23. kenstogie

    kenstogie Feeling the Heat

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    Nice looking.
  24. Eatonpcat

    Eatonpcat Minister of Fire

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    I was hoping someone else would ask, but I see I am the only dope without a clue;em ... What is the big wheel hand crank under the window??
  25. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    It's a clay extruder. Like a giant pla-dough fun factory.

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