It Begins

1 11 2010

I am embarking on a great crusade.  Men before me have conquered such tasks, while others have themselves been conquered.  What I am about to commence will be by far the biggest project I have done yet.  It will take many months, much planning, lots of help, and hopefully not too many headaches.  This is the moment we have all been waiting for.  We are about to start the long journey of finishing off our basement.

To give you an idea of what I’m up against, my very first step is sitting in our garage and required two trips to Menards for a rather big load.

48 8'x4' sheets of foam board insulation to cover the roughly 193 feet of exterior perimeter walls

The quick explanation of the plan is as follows:

  • Foam board insulation on the exterior walls
  • frame the basement throughout
  • add fiberglass insulation
  • run electrical throughout (hopefully this is something I can learn to do myself, or find someone who knows that works for beer or food)
  • run any necessary plumbing
  • drywall, tape, mud
  • Flooring (some tile perhaps, carpeting, etc)
  • etc
  • etc
  • etc

As you can see, it’s really that simple.

Now, we have put a lot of thought into this, and we have made multiple potential floor plans.  We have about 1800 square feet of total space in our basement.  It is plumbed for a bathroom already and it has two egress windows.  Our general theme is for about a 730 sq ft living/media room, a work room, a bedroom, a bathroom, and some closet/storage space.  So far, we have come up with three designs.

Basement Plan 1 (click the link to view the plan)

Plan 1 gives us a long living room with room for our ping pong table and had our TV positioned for a wide viewing angle.  The 12×14 bump-out section would be walled off for the work room.  The area with the furnace and waterheater would be designated for storage as well.  The bathroom is plumbed already, so we have no choice as to where it will go, and we are left with either having a really big bathroom, or walling it in to come up with sort of a closet/hallway.  I want to put a bar somewhere in the basement, and this design has it in the back left corner as you are looking at the tv.  The drawing also includes a treadmill a recumbent bike, and a foosball table.

Basement Plan 2

Plan 2 is basically the same as Plan 1, just that the TV is now at the end of the living room, giving a narrower yet deeper viewing area.  The drawback of this is that the egress window is on the south wall, so the window would be directly behind the TV.  We certainly could put in some sort of room darkening shades to cut down on the light affecting our TV enjoyment.  Everything else is pretty much the same in this plan.

Basement Plan 3

Plan 3 is a little bit different.  We have moved the media room into the bump out, which drastically changes the shape of our living room.  This plan makes the living room about 30 sq ft bigger than the other two plans.  We have moved the work room to the back right side of the basement, and again left the bedroom and other rooms the same.  This layout would give us roughly a 13 foot wide media/entertainment area that extends back at least another 10 feet beyond the 12 foot exterior walls.

So that’s where we start.  And here is a chance for some crowd participation.  Being that we are by no means architectural experts, we need some help.  We have already employed some of the finest minds in the industry (my dad and my brother), but we are looking for any input that would help.  Please feel free, and feel encouraged to comment on any of the designs.  If you like one more than the others, if you have any suggestions to add to one of the designs.  We are still a few months away from when we would be implementing the designs, so there is time.  But I welcome any and all ideas that you may have to offer.




5 responses

1 11 2010
Jesse Sutherland

I vote for plan #1, I like the creativity of the others, but I think it probably works the best. Plan 3 TV area might feel too constricted. Looking forward to seeing you guys this weekend.

1 11 2010
Andrea Sutherland

1. My dad does electrical work and may be able to help you if you need it.
2. I like Plan 1. Plan 3 limits you too much. If you ever wanted to have a large tv viewing party, you would not be able to expand. I think putting the tv in the bump out limits you.
3. Fun project!

3 11 2010

You might want to phone up someone at the state (you’ll have to get a permit, so maybe just ask them) but I think there was a law that passed recently that says electrical work has to be done by a certified electrician to pass code.

I’m not sure if that means you can’t DIY it, or if that just means if you’re going to charge someone else, you have to be certified, but it would be worth the 5 minute conversation to not have to tear down the basement walls and start over 🙂

Also, when I first saw the thumbnail of the image I thought “He built a pink casket?”

3 11 2010

We like Plans 1 & 2. You might want to wait to wall in the bump out until you are sure. Also you could wire both areas in Plan 1 & 2 for the TV, for flexability in the future. Good luck. Looks exciting!!

5 11 2010

I never actually picked a plan.

As someone suggested, you don’t really have to decide between 1 and 2. An extra cable hookup would cost virtually nothing and would be behind something anyway.

That bathroom is definitely in no mans land. (Ours sort of is too, it’s much bigger than a bathroom should be.) Not sure what I would do there. I think making a hallway out of the a closet is about the best you can do, though personally I would go bigger on the bathroom half.

I also concur with Rex/Nancy. Were it me I wouldn’t to storage of any kind in the living room/bump area. (Then put a cable hook up in all 3.) Then you have a big uninterrupted space for future gatherings, and if said gatherings are things like superbowl parties, you can have more than one tv rolling. Unless the two of you are huge packrats you have plenty of storage space accounted for, IMO.

2-3 thick sturdy shelves out 4-5 feet from the back of the peach area and that should hold a crap ton of stuff just on it’s own. Once you factor in all the other closets, and the utility room, under the stairs, and extra bedrooms, if need be, I think you’ll be set.

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