Basement Finish

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by cloneteach, Apr 14, 2013.

  1. cloneteach

    cloneteach Well-Known Member

    Nov 19, 2009
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    I know there have been some threads in the past on this topic but I was looking for some tips and pointers on finishing a basement. I am closing on a house July 1st that has an unfinished basement. I would like to finish it off as soon as possible. It is plumbed for a full bathroom already. It is 728 sq foot but I may leave a small portion for storage. Any good price estimates for contractors in Eastern Iowa? I would like to include wiring for a projector, sound, etc. What are other considerations to factor in?
     
  2. jsb

    jsb Well-Known Member

    Mar 7, 2008
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    Just seconding the idea of keeping a portion unfinished. I'd keep more than are thinking unfinished. I have a townhouse with a 520 square foot basement and probably 2/3's of it is finished and 1/3 is unfinished. No lie, the unfinished storage room is one of my favorite features.
     
  3. cloneteach

    cloneteach Well-Known Member

    Nov 19, 2009
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    Can i ask what you paid to finish it?
     
  4. huntt26

    huntt26 Well-Known Member

    Apr 10, 2006
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    po' dUnk
    Definitely have a sizeable unfinished part. Put your lights on dimmer switches for low-light movie and sport watching.
     
  5. ripvdub

    ripvdub Well-Known Member

    Mar 20, 2006
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    I did mine last year, about 400-500 sq ft. I spent about $3,000 or more. I think $1,300 was for drywall, mudding and texture. I basically did everything =else. My buddy is an electrician and did it for some beer. I think if i had contacted it all, it wouldbeen at least twice what i paid, maybe 3x. If you do a bathroom it'll get really spendy
     
  6. ripvdub

    ripvdub Well-Known Member

    Mar 20, 2006
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    I didn't do flooring tho, just stained and sealed the concrete, we have pets and its just easier to clean up than carpet. And it was only $100. Love the results as well. Not everyone would love it tho.
     
  7. cloneteach

    cloneteach Well-Known Member

    Nov 19, 2009
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    I don't trust myself finishing it, would like to know its done right but might get pricey.
     
  8. MeanDean

    MeanDean Well-Known Member

    Jan 5, 2009
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    Clarence IA-Jensen Beach FL
    Leave some unfinished crawl space in case there's an emergency and you need someplace to bury the body.

    (I got that tip from JW Gacey)
     
  9. jsb

    jsb Well-Known Member

    Mar 7, 2008
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    I actually bought it that way, so I have no idea what it cost.
     
  10. cdekovic

    cdekovic Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2006
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    If you are in Eastern Iowa, watch out for crooked Hawkeye type contractors that will want to rip you off. :eek:
     
  11. ISUDL

    ISUDL New Member

    Mar 26, 2009
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    Dan Olmstead of Olmstead construction in Cedar Rapids does great work, has a good crew and is honest about pricing. Lot of guys looking for work right now though so don't be shy negotiating on costs, no matter who you pick.
     
  12. 00clone

    00clone Well-Known Member

    Apr 12, 2011
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    Iowa City area
    I know some will say it saves money, but I bought a house last summer, and there were several where it was obviously a homeowner finished basement...butt jointed trim, painting jobs that looked like they were done with a straw broom (and no, it wasn't intended), tape joints so bad that not even the heaviest popcorn texturing could help it.

    Those were the ones we walked out of immediately, even if they were priced as if they didn't have a finished basement.

    I would recommend hiring individual contractors rather than a general to handle it all if you're confident in what you are looking for and know how to do it. It will still be some work to oversee, but that's work that I'd put in. I was surprised when I got quotes from individual contractors (electrician, plumber, drywall, painter) how cheap it was compared to my time and headaches and peace of mind that it'd be done right.
     
  13. azepp

    azepp Well-Known Member

    Dec 9, 2009
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    I'm the same... when I see a house with a basement that is obviously amateur finished I cross it off the list. Chances are, if they went amateur on the basement they went amateur other places as well. Unless you can make it look professional, contract it out.
     
  14. 00clone

    00clone Well-Known Member

    Apr 12, 2011
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    Iowa City area
    The other thing to consider if your relationship is good, suggestions from your realtor. Their job is to be tied into the industry and likely they've seen the work of the good and bad contractors in your area.
     
  15. mikedp

    mikedp Member

    Dec 15, 2008
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    We did a 800 Sq Ft Basement Project last summer found good contractor that bid it out where I paid for supplies directly when he purchased and paid his labor weekly. 5 - 6 week timeline and cost of aprox $17K which included $2500 for carpet and $2000 for the 42" high cabinets for the small kitchnette area. Had a 3/4 Bath, Kitchnette area, and office room leaving aprox 100Ft sq for storage along with under the steps. Aprox. $21 ft sq cost seemed reasonable compared to 2 other bids we had of $24,000 - 31,000 by General Contractor.

    Find a starving contractor trying to get his business started with great references. Offer to support their business as a reference if job done well. The guy doing ours got 3 more jobs because of our reference.
     
  16. bpmdu

    bpmdu Member

    Jun 28, 2006
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    Had about the same experience as above. Finished just under a thousand square feet for 17k, which included full bath, carpeting and a wet bar with cabinetry and counter.
     
  17. cloneluke80

    cloneluke80 Well-Known Member

    Apr 11, 2006
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    I am doing my basement now, did framing myself but will farm out drywall... I wired for a projector, I highly recommend doing your own theater wiring (in ceiling speakers, HDMI wired the walls/ceiling, etc) I have really enjoyed doing it my way and not short cutting. Saving money on labor, I have picked more premium materials that will make it nice... its been 2+ years off and on, so I am excited to push through to the end... It does require patience though...
     
  18. Jambalaya

    Jambalaya Well-Known Member

    May 29, 2008
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    --All great responses so far. **first, make a few penciled drafts of the floor plan......*** **Would you ever have a billiards table? Make sure you measure for one (plus an overhead light fixture). You can find all the room measurements on the Web for a pool table. ** When framed, do several WALK-THRU's as to where you want light and light switches, 1, 2-way, 3-way switches. Plus install PLENTY of overhead ceiling lights--with dimmers. ** Fireplace? We are extremely happy we installed another gas fireplace in the basement for the cold months *** Low voltage wiring? We had a land line, SECURITY SYSTEM, stereo/home theater wiring all installed by one company while framed but not drywalled of course. Electrical Concepts in Fairfax is nonunion and very good with all your electrical needs
     
  19. mganzeveld

    mganzeveld Member

    Jun 14, 2010
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    I had estimates done but the estimates always pushed me towards doing it myself. Had to pass the electrical and plumbing tests here in Cedar Rapids in order to do the work. 1200 sq ft. 2 bedrooms, bathroom, office, large living room, and a utility. Did all the work myself except the carpet. Came in 20K under estimate for all the work had it been contracted out. The carpet was cheap. Wondered why I was getting such a good deal. Place was closed for business a week after install. Yikes! There went the warranty! It took me 9 months of weekends to complete the job. Ditto on the unfinished area for a safety spot. I've got a nice, secure crawlspace under our laundry room for junk and bad storms.
     
  20. cyclone1975

    cyclone1975 Well-Known Member

    Feb 4, 2007
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    Going through almost the exact same process as OP. Got bids from three general contractors in DSM area (all three were at the homeshow). Bids were 27, 29 and 56. About 600 sq feet with a 3/4 bath and a very small wet bar. Haven't pulled trigger yet. Seems high and I wish I could do some of it by myself, but don't have the health to do it.
     

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