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post #1 of 78 Old 05-12-2009, 06:19 PM - Thread Starter
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So my wife and I bought this 6 year old home back in Dec.
The previous owner was one of the worst handyman I have ever seen. The way he "finished" the basement is nothing short of a train wreck.
It's more work for me to rip everything out and start over - makes me angry that he violated my house this way

Since then we've been slowly doing our own reno. The upstairs is pretty much complete and now it's time for the basement.
I've been mesmerized by the amazing work that folks here have done and I feel inspired to take on the challenge.
I'd like to keep the basement open concept as much as possible.

Here is what I am planning and need help with:

1) Sound proofing - we have a baby on the way and I want to listen and watch movies in all their glory using my Rockets and Pioneer VSX-94TXH, without waking the little guy.
Currently the basement is completely open as you walk downstairs, so I was thinking of building a wall on the right hand side of the stairs (as shown in the sketch-up) I've read the numerous threads about sound proofing (RSIC clips, DD and GG) - I just need some pointers on where I should utilize them; I know I need to do the ceiling for sure. Also my house is a split level so the basement foundation only comes up half-way and leaves a ledge along the walls. Anyone one have some tips on how to finish these?
The RSIC clips scare me a bit. Looking at the they way you install them, 2 sheets of 5/8" Drywall hanging from a hat channel that is only "clipped" in concerns me.

2) Fireplace - this will be a contemporary flush mount fireplace, similar to this one:
Link
Position is show in the sketchup.
The manual says the main FP header should be built from non-combustible material. Anyone have experience with building a fireplace frame?

3) Main breaker panel is in a hideous location (corner of living room) - you can see it in the pictures. Any tips on how to hide or incorporate this well?
I was thinking I could do a full small closet door, since the FP is going to push out my wall about 20" to 24" inches

4) I have a 42U server rack from work that I plan on building into the wall. I haven't finalized a location yet.

5) A mini-bar? I've seen lots of beautiful work here and my wife likes the idea. I'll experiment with the plan and location.

Here the pics of the basement:











sketches





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post #2 of 78 Old 05-12-2009, 07:48 PM
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I think you will be able to think clearer if you rent a dumpster, park it in the driveway and fill it up with the basement. That hideous job is giving off such bad Juju that I think I blanked out for a minute looking at the picture of the two adjacent doors where the top molding of one sits an inch lower than the other.

If what you see looks so bad imagine what you will find behind the walls?

wiring and plumbing not to code would be the biggest concerns.

At least get the wall/ceiling panels down so you can see what kind of bones you have to work with.


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post #3 of 78 Old 05-12-2009, 07:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mels View Post

The RSIC clips scare me a bit. Looking at the they way you install them, 2 sheets of 5/8" Drywall hanging from a hat channel that is only "clipped" in concerns me.

Don't worry. Maybe Ted will post a picture of him hanging from a hat channel.


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post #4 of 78 Old 05-12-2009, 08:02 PM
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I have a number of suggestions for your layout but tonight I'm looking at the floor plan and that big chunk of the floor plan that the bump out for the the sump pump/kitty litter area takes out of the family room. I think you can do better. Do you have a picture of that area from the other side? From what I can see a 20 minute modification of the plumbing discharge and you can shrink that down considerably.

this area:



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post #5 of 78 Old 05-12-2009, 08:10 PM
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I'd try to put the laundry center in a space shared with the furnace and water heater. and take the laundry storage space and add it too the family room space. That area at the bottom the stairs in your proposed plan is really awkward.


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post #6 of 78 Old 05-12-2009, 08:20 PM
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What's the budget?

If possible, I would seriously gut it down to studs or even rip those out.


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post #7 of 78 Old 05-12-2009, 09:45 PM
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Congrats on the house and baby! I'm certain these are exciting times for you and nonetheless you're just adding a ton onto your plate.

I've been a lurker here on the forums for quite some time and it's obvious that I don't post a lot, but I just wanted to throw out an idea to you.

Personally, why don't you consider placing the theater on the other side of the stairs and creating a bedroom/office where you have your HT planned for now. Obviously for resale purposes you need a closet and window to call it a bedroom and instead of being uncertain of the impact it has on the value of your home you can gaurantee it going upwards.

I know it doesn't leave you with a lot of width but the equiptment closet right under the stairs, and the rectangular size of the room seems reasonable if it's not going to be high-traffic.


EDIT:
AHHH SHOOT I noticed that it's the furnace room just a tad too late. Either way if you're going big or going home, perhaps shifting furnace room into the resized bathroom area and a completely new bathroom/bedoom would serve you well?
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post #8 of 78 Old 05-13-2009, 06:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Leifashley27 View Post

What's the budget?

If possible, I would seriously gut it down to studs or even rip those out.

I'd say about 25k including a new bathroom.

I really think gutting is the way to go - just need to convince the Mrs.


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post #9 of 78 Old 05-13-2009, 06:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

I have a number of suggestions for your layout but tonight I'm looking at the floor plan and that big chunk of the floor plan that the bump out for the the sump pump/kitty litter area takes out of the family room. I think you can do better. Do you have a picture of that area from the other side? From what I can see a 20 minute modification of the plumbing discharge and you can shrink that down considerably.

this area:


Thanks for the reply Big.. here are some more shots

This is looking at it from the front


you can see the beautiful finishing work here...



Inside


More Inside... this rubber union actually came apart while I was under it and the sump pump running - it dumped about a gallon of water right over my head.
Instead of using some simple All-Round to secure the pipe from vibration he took a flat bar from a light outlet fixture, bent it in half and used some finishing nails to hold it in place.
I guess I'm glad I had it happen while I was home and while I was under it


I'm going to re-pipe this discharge through the wall studs.

Speaking of sump pumps - this my first time owning a basement and I definitely want a back for the pump. Anyone installed one of these water pumps before:



mine would be pretty easy to install as the main water line is right beside the sump pump.


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post #10 of 78 Old 05-13-2009, 06:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

I'd try to put the laundry center in a space shared with the furnace and water heater. and take the laundry storage space and add it too the family room space. That area at the bottom the stairs in your proposed plan is really awkward.

I'm open to all kinds of suggestions.

I think these walls are loading bearing:


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post #11 of 78 Old 05-13-2009, 06:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Crap - I feel like I just got home and it's time for bed. Anyways, maybe I'll ponder some of this plan at work tomorrow.


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post #12 of 78 Old 05-13-2009, 08:27 PM
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Those walls do look load bearing. I would imagine the open room part has a beam in the ceiling.

20 something feet is a long way to span a joist without any kind of support.


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post #13 of 78 Old 05-13-2009, 09:32 PM
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This set up looks like it can be easily addressed but I need to be sure what I'm looking at in this picture.



First is this a perimeter drain system sump pump to keep the basement from flooding or is it a sewage ejector pit? The way you could tell is if you already have a basement toilet, flush it a few times and listen to see if the sump pit fills up and a pump motor turns on.

Next what is that other pipe that looks like it was cut off and is just hanging?

Next where does that thing go when it exits the house? Got a picture of it outside?

Is there a closet or something on that landing half way up the stairs over this sump pump area?


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post #14 of 78 Old 05-13-2009, 09:42 PM
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Just another thing I spotted, it looks like the guy didn't use treated lumber for the bottom plates of the walls. It's OK for the first 25 years or so but after that they will probably start rotting.

I imagine he also rested the studs against the concrete foundation walls, same problem. Any wood in contact with concrete must be treated otherwise the moisture in the concrete (it is porous) will slowly disintegrate untreated wood. But depending on your soil condition it may be decades. If you are going to be in the house 10 years or less and you can hide all the base plates inside walls where a future building inspector can't see it then you might want to ignore.


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post #15 of 78 Old 05-14-2009, 05:14 AM
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agree with above that this is prob. a rip it all out and start over from scratch job. you don't know what you're going to find. as far as budget goes, if that means it takes longer to finish or have to finish more sequentially, still might be worth it. my suggestion would be, as Big suggested, is get a 30-yard dumpster set up outside and have at it.

your comments on the photos are funny. wonder what year the roller derby calendar is?

my prior owner was a joke too......the first time we did some laundy, the whole frickin 1st floor of our home turned into a steamy jungle.....the prior family (with kids) didn't even bother to fix the broken outside vent for the dryer!.

the windows look nicely low for a basement. where is ground level around the 4 exterior walls?
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post #16 of 78 Old 05-14-2009, 05:39 AM
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I'll be watching this one to see how you make out. I totally understand what you're going through. I have a split level as well...35 yrs old. The difference is that mine is four level, so half of your basement would be shifted down to another level.

I'm dealing with the same problems...I look at stuff /all the time/ and I'm like..."What the crap!" I just keep spotting things...and that's the only reaction I can come up with.

Just finishing the family room now...and though I did not do the best job on the mud and tape - its 300% better than it was before. The guy had tongue and groove pine on the ceiling, and it was horrid! It was like hanging down to about 6 feet in some spots, cause they had not done the strapping above right...like they just used scraps and tacked it to the joists...if the end didn't hit another joist they'd just let it hang!

Mirriors on the walls, four different kinds of wallpaper, furnace vents that go no where, ah the bliss, overloading wiring...ah the bliss!
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post #17 of 78 Old 05-14-2009, 06:04 AM
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If you do decide to do a total tear down you could probably salvage a lot of the lumber for use in your build back. Just take the nails out as you go so that later you don't saw into one with your circular saw.


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post #18 of 78 Old 05-14-2009, 06:20 AM
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Wow, you started off saying that this home is 6 years old. It reminds me of a house that I saw back in 06 when the Mrs. and I were shopping around. It was a split level built in the 70's No offense intended.

I second everyone elses setiments about gutting it out. Like Biggy said those bottom plates will eventually rot out, the worst part though is that if there is any moisture down there they will likely develop mold a lot sooner than that.


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post #19 of 78 Old 05-14-2009, 06:58 AM
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Ah. That basement brings back memories of the "fixes" the previous owner of our last house did. If something broke it was bound back together with fishing line. or the hole in the wood paneling that was filled with brown caulk, and the best part was after he filled it with caulk he drew with marker on it to match the grain. I found socks shoved in cracks where pipes exited the house. I cant wait to see what you find if you gut it.


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post #20 of 78 Old 05-14-2009, 07:03 AM
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the good news is you've got a nice stack of some great equipment sitting there. it'll have a nice home soon enough.....
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post #21 of 78 Old 05-15-2009, 12:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

This set up looks like it can be easily addressed but I need to be sure what I'm looking at in this picture.



First is this a perimeter drain system sump pump to keep the basement from flooding or is it a sewage ejector pit? The way you could tell is if you already have a basement toilet, flush it a few times and listen to see if the sump pit fills up and a pump motor turns on.

Next what is that other pipe that looks like it was cut off and is just hanging?

Next where does that thing go when it exits the house? Got a picture of it outside?

Is there a closet or something on that landing half way up the stairs over this sump pump area?

This is a perimeter drain that pipes the sump water directly to a culvert at the front of the house. "He" built it be because the previous pipe (smaller diameter) did not move enough water and caused problems - at least this what the neighbour says.

Exactly right Big - it's a closet.

I guess the previous pipe is for aesthetic purposes.


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post #22 of 78 Old 05-15-2009, 12:11 AM - Thread Starter
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agree with above that this is prob. a rip it all out and start over from scratch job. you don't know what you're going to find. as far as budget goes, if that means it takes longer to finish or have to finish more sequentially, still might be worth it. my suggestion would be, as Big suggested, is get a 30-yard dumpster set up outside and have at it.

your comments on the photos are funny. wonder what year the roller derby calendar is?

my prior owner was a joke too......the first time we did some laundry, the whole frickin 1st floor of our home turned into a steamy jungle.....the prior family (with kids) didn't even bother to fix the broken outside vent for the dryer!.

the windows look nicely low for a basement. where is ground level around the 4 exterior walls?

Ground level is half a foot below the window


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post #23 of 78 Old 05-15-2009, 05:31 AM
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On that pipe that is for aesthetic purposes does it go out side? I'm wondering if this guy was so lazy he didn't want to cut a hole in the foundation bending over so he came over here to where he wouldn't bang his head do do his drilling. Looks like if you could redo it going outside closer to the sump you could reclaim some space.


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post #24 of 78 Old 05-15-2009, 05:39 AM
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Quote:
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"He" built it be because the previous pipe (smaller diameter) did not move enough water and caused problems - at least this what the neighbor says.

I suspect the problem was not the diameter of the pipe but rather the horsepower of the pump. Builders are notorious for putting in undersized pumps that wear out in a couple of years. I mean you have to ask yourself looking at the old pipe that is for "aesthetics reasons" how much water was coming into the sump pit that couldn't be pumped out that pipe. I don't believe that it was too small, just the guys brain was too small.

You should also do an audit of your perimeter water management to see why so much water is getting to the sump. Missing or damaged gutters and drain spouts, poorly sloping ground around the perimeter of the house etc.


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post #25 of 78 Old 05-15-2009, 05:44 AM
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Are you sure that they didn't just tell you it was 6 years old? It seems to bear a striking resemblance to issues those of us with 35 year old houses are finding.
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post #26 of 78 Old 05-15-2009, 05:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlyday View Post

Ah. That basement brings back memories of the "fixes" the previous owner of our last house did. If something broke it was bound back together with fishing line. or the hole in the wood paneling that was filled with brown caulk, and the best part was after he filled it with caulk he drew with marker on it to match the grain. I found socks shoved in cracks where pipes exited the house. I cant wait to see what you find if you gut it.

That's awesome...I found a rag stuffed in my exit pipe...then they built box across the width of that wall to hide it..

I ripped the box off, cause it's in my theatre room where my bar will be...and I was like..."Nice...a rag..."

It's a good thing I did find it, cause water started coming in this spring - had to have a concrete guy come out and inject into the hole, and cement around it (they had framed the hole with wood, which was rotted).

Lotsa fun.
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post #27 of 78 Old 05-15-2009, 02:02 PM
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Ha, I've got one that beats all! I found an old pair of underwear (mens tighty whitey's) when I ripped out our basement bathroom sink and vanity. It was just sitting on the floor underneath the vanity. I wonder how long it took the vanity installer to realize he had misplaced his underwear midway through the job.... (I should mention that my condo was 25 years old when I discovered the roos.)

Mels, I hope you opt for taking the time to do your basement right. I doubt that in 10 years you would look back and say "I wish I would have cut some corners to save some money," but, I'd almost guarantee that you'd wish you hadn't cut corners, if that's what you decide to do.

Good luck!
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post #28 of 78 Old 05-15-2009, 02:44 PM
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good luck. Jinx, is that you?
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post #29 of 78 Old 12-07-2009, 08:03 PM - Thread Starter
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So it's been 3 months since we had our little guy, I've finally had the time to start the basement project.

here is my little man helping me plan


here is what we came up with



the walls will be a room within a room concept decoupled from the ceiling using DC04 clips. The ceiling will be decoupled with RSIC clips with 2 layers of DW with GG in between.

Before I demolished the basement, here is one last pic of the fine workmanship the previous owner did...
here is a high quality sub woofer suspended in the ceiling


using brad nails to hold it in place... simply genius


so I was able to get a few walls up and even had the fireplace installed





I was tired of moving my stuff from one side to another, so I built a cart with some old casters I had lying around.



I love the fireplace; it's a modern look with crystals as the base.




Question:
1) I have the following ducts; regarding soundproofing, do I need to do anything with them?


2) I will need to extend the vent so it comes through the 2 layers of DW and RSIC clips. Does anyone know the approx. length from the bottom of a joist to the end of the 2nd piece of DW (if using 2 layers of 5/8") and the RSIC whisperclip? And what is a good way to extend it?

Thanks


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post #30 of 78 Old 12-08-2009, 05:25 AM
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You can get that data from the soundproofing website:

Clips

Not sure which clip you're going to use, but if you follow the link, you can select the correct clip, and then all the data is there.

Bob
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