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  1. #1
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    Finishing a Basement

    I've been considering finishing part of my basement...about 600-700 sq. ft. Anyone been through this before? Anyone have an idea of approximate cost?

    I'd like to do a lot of it myself because I enjoy doing home improvements and it would save money. How much of it is possible to do myself? Or contractor recommendations?

    Any general advice?



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    Re: Finishing a Basement

    I just got done finishing mine. Put in a built in dry bar, built in desk, and bathroom. Total costs ran about $5000. I did use all waterproof drywall so that was a bit more expensive but got good deals on pretty much everything else.



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    Re: Finishing a Basement

    My only advice is if you want it to look good, hire out someone to do the Mudding / Taping / Sanding / Texturing. If you do not have any experience doing it, let someone that knows what they are doing do that part. Hanging drywall is easy, but everything else about it sucks! Especially sanding!



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    Re: Finishing a Basement

    I have a guy at our company that does it on the side do it for me. The cost really depends on what you're looking to do with the basement. I'm not handy so I did absolutely nothing.

    Here is how it broke down:

    800 sqft no plumbing

    I bought all the drywall, framing, supplies, etc
    He charged me $3,000 to frame, drywall, mud and tape. This included areas where he had to box around windows , pipes, etc and also included framing in a bar type area. He worked a couple nights during the weekend and usually once on the weekend. It took him 3 weeks.

    The electrician charged me $1,000. He put in a separate breaker for my A/V gear, hooked about 12 canned lights, and put in about 10 outlets.

    Another guy charged me $300 to do all the trim work.

    The one expense that surprised me was the cost to carpet. I bought cheap carpet and it was still almost $3,000.

    In the end, I think it was money well spent. It would have taken me many months and it would have looked like crap.



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    Re: Finishing a Basement

    How much time do you have? Projects like this take a lot longer than you might think. You might need to subcontract some if it if you are crunched for time.



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    Re: Finishing a Basement

    Quote Originally Posted by dmclone View Post
    I have a guy at our company that does it on the side do it for me. The cost really depends on what you're looking to do with the basement. I'm not handy so I did absolutely nothing.

    Here is how it broke down:

    800 sqft no plumbing

    I bought all the drywall, framing, supplies, etc
    He charged me $3,000 to frame, drywall, mud and tape. This included areas where he had to box around windows , pipes, etc and also included framing in a bar type area. He worked a couple nights during the weekend and usually once on the weekend. It took him 3 weeks.

    The electrician charged me $1,000. He put in a separate breaker for my A/V gear, hooked about 12 canned lights, and put in about 10 outlets.

    Another guy charged me $300 to do all the trim work.

    The one expense that surprised me was the cost to carpet. I bought cheap carpet and it was still almost $3,000.

    In the end, I think it was money well spent. It would have taken me many months and it would have looked like crap.
    so ~ $7 total ... or are materials not added in?



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    Re: Finishing a Basement

    I did mine before I knew what I was doing...

    Now I want to tear it all out and having professionally done.


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    Re: Finishing a Basement

    Quote Originally Posted by clones_jer View Post
    so ~ $7 total ... or are materials not added in?
    I spent about 10K for everything which includes.

    PS3
    Epson 720p projector
    Denon 2307 A/V receiver
    100" diy screen
    19" LCD on the wall (for treadmill)
    Countertop (bought online)
    A/V wiring
    A/V outlets (Sends the signal to the closet where all my A/V gear resides)
    Walls
    Doors
    Trim
    Electrical
    Carpet
    Paint
    Labor
    Blackout shades
    Permits

    You can see pictures of it in my gallery. It's far from being fancy but it's built well and pretty cheap. You can really go crazy with special flooring, granite counter top, bathrooms, etc. We already have 3 bathrooms in our house and there is only the two of us. You have to walk upstairs to get beer anyway so it's not a big deal.

    I can't really think of anything I'd do different. It's not a walkout basement. I probably spend 3-4 hours a week down there right now but 20+ hours during tournament time and football season. I've had 10-15 people down there at one time for fantasy football, parties, and playing rock band on the PS3. It's funny listening to people when they are going down the stairs. About half way down the stairs they see the 100" screen and they always say the same thing "hold s***" and then they giggle like little school girls.


    Last edited by dmclone; 03-18-2008 at 10:12 AM.

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    Re: Finishing a Basement

    Quote Originally Posted by redrocker View Post
    My only advice is if you want it to look good, hire out someone to do the Mudding / Taping / Sanding / Texturing. If you do not have any experience doing it, let someone that knows what they are doing do that part. Hanging drywall is easy, but everything else about it sucks! Especially sanding!
    Redrocker is exactly right......

    I'm currently doing mine now that i've had the entire south side of the house dug up and Rub-R-Wall installed to ensure that my Man's Lounge is not damaged in the future by water.....

    Plan it out, sit down sketch out where your thinking everything is going to go....it takes a lil while to take all the dim's and transfer that into a drawing, but, it may help in laying out how you will use the space....

    Currently i'm drawing my basement, i'm laying out everything to get a better understanding of where i will need telephone jacks, outlets for lamps, cleaning etc, tv outlets and how high.....a lil pre-planning will help in the process trying to think of everything on the fly always is a bad plan....

    Here's some ideas on costs just for the walls:
    For approx 600 sq ft you will need about 100 2X4 studs @ 24 in o.c. at about about 200 bucks.
    Insulation - great for sound absorbtion during awesome Clone games - family wont hear ya swearing....7 bundles with 9 batts per bundle - 335 dollars
    Drywall - 150 bucks around 30 sheets @ 5 bucks a sheet

    700 to do the walls....

    Now on top of this you will need screws, nails, elec. boxes, ceiling, flooring, paint, tape, mud, texture, base, lights, wiring and other misc.

    the walls are cheap, its all the amenities.....



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    Re: Finishing a Basement

    Another thing to think about is landscaping around the house to make sure you have good drainage to reduce the risk of water damage in the basement. You'll want to make sure you don't have any low areas or water flow problems from eaves or drainage from your yard. I put in drainage tile from the back of my house around to the front to prevent water problems in the spring or heavy rains since I had a hill sloping toward my house and run-off would leak in.

    Make sure your foundation is in good shape before you invest in remodeling your lower level.

    Invest in indoor waterproofing too if you have a big investment in the basement.



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    Re: Finishing a Basement

    I didnt think the mudding, taping, texture was that bad at all. I did all the mudding and taping in a day, then my wife actually did all the sanding (for some reason she liked it). I bought a texture hopper to hook up to my air compressor and sprayed on a knockdown texture, let it sit and went over it with a large taping knife. I think it looks pretty darn good and it hasn't cracked at all, unlike some friends who have had theirs done professionally recently.



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    Re: Finishing a Basement

    Did anyone actually get the required permits from the City?



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    Re: Finishing a Basement

    I did and it wasn't that big of deal. I'd rather deal with it now than later.



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    Re: Finishing a Basement

    One more thing to think about related to the permit is inspections. Check around to see what is required for inspections in your town (electrical, plumbing, etc.).



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    Re: Finishing a Basement

    Quote Originally Posted by brianhos View Post
    I did mine before I knew what I was doing...

    Now I want to tear it all out and having professionally done.
    That's my concern as well. I can do the "rough" work, but finishing, plumbing and detailed electrical work are not my strong suit.

    I actually need to get some electrical work done in the basement now. There is a nearly empty panel down there (main in the garage, sub panel in the basement), so it wouldn't be too bad - just not enough experience to feel comfortable doing it.



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