My wife also didn't want a standard, boring handrail with pickets. So she designed a slat screen and had them build it - it turned out beautifully:
She also had the idea of using barn door hardware for a sliding door separating the main room from the laundry/storage room. Again, I wasn't too fussed either way and would've been happy with a conventional door. But it's hard to argue with the results:
Sliding Barn Door
The one surprise has been how warm and humid it gets in the basement. All the walls and the ceiling are insulated now and the old windows were replaced too, so perhaps that shouldn't be too surprising. It's just I've always associated basements with being cold, even in the peak of summer. I have no cold air return because the house uses hydronic heating and therefore there is no ducting. I've tried running a portable dehumidifier, but all the hot air it exhausts have nowhere to go so while the moisture is removed, the unit is also heating up the basement! I'm currently looking into a ductless a/c unit, which has both a cooling and a drying mode. After all this expense of renovating the space, I'm not looking forward to spending another few $$ for another piece of equipment though
Anyways, I'll post the final wrap-up over the coming weeks/months....sorry.
PS: Is it possible that we could talk over the phone in case I have any questions?
BTW, I plan on doing all of the labor for the underpinning myself...
It has been a little over a year since the basement was done, and it sure has gotten a lot of use during this time. My son loves pushing his toy trucks around and I've been enjoying lots of movies and watching sports on the big screen. As life continues to be busy, the space still feels unfinished as there are still lots of art I'd like hung and I've had no luck finding an a/v rack that meets the wife approval and satisfies my audiophile sensibilities. I also would like to look into room acoustic treatments, especially as the space is wide open, and the left front speaker opens up to lots of space but the right front speaker is at a corner.
View from Laundry Room (everyone loves the concrete floor!)
View from Projector
View from A/V Rack
Toy Storage and Open Counters Under Stairs
Blue Circle BC32 5-channel amp
Blue Circle BC3000 MkII pre-amp
Audio Aero Prima CDP
Anthem MRX500 receiver
Totem Forest, Model One Signature Center, Dreamcatcher Side Surrounds, Energy RC-Mini Rear Surrounds, Hsu STF-3 sub
My own build of mini-ITX HTPC
Blue Circle MR1200 power conditioner & various cabling
Da-Lite 110" HP screen
Money Shot: Running XBMC and System Turned ON!
There it is - hope you guys enjoyed the thread! I also had a heck of a time dealing with a ground loop hum. This was particularly frustrating because I had 3 dedicated circuits put in for the whole setup! I even called in an electrician to double check everything, but no luck solving it. The only "solution" I found was to have everything plug into a power conditioner and then run a power cable with the ground pin pulled from the power conditioner to the outlet.
I'm not sure if I'd go through all of this again if I had the chance As someone else posted earlier in this thread....maybe I should've just moved and found another house with the basement I wanted.
Awesome transformation! Thanks for vicariously taking us along for the ride!
The room is a bit echo-y so I have to start researching room treatments and such....lots more work left to do
Hello I am new to this site and I must say I love your project. Great job! I want to do the same in my basement right now. I currently have a dirt floor 6' tall michigan basement. I wanted to ask you how the angle beams are connected on top. From the pictures it looks like they are in the concrete but cant tell on top. Are they bolted to the floor joists? thanks again
I'd love to learn a bit more about the design of your water-proofing solution — I'm trying to thread a needle here and get some of the benefit of underpinning but without doing so.
I've opened a few test areas in my floor and found that water does seem to arrive during the rains. My current plan is to excavate a smaller 2' deep viewing pit, and remove around 4-6" of soil and existing concrete elsewhere, keeping approximately 5.5' away from the basement wall so as to not have to get into underpinning. (Width is to allow 2" of foam board insulation and then 3.5" of framing using 2x4s in front). My hope is to basically get enough depth to install foam board, vapor barrier, and then radiant heat piping everywhere, and end up with a new polished concrete floor perhaps a few inches lower than when I started.
I believe I'll need to install a french drain, leading to a sump pit outside of the theater area, and invest in a sump pump and backup. What I'm curious about is what the difference is between the vapor barrier plastic I saw in your design (under the radiant heating pipes) versus the heavier rubber material. I'm not sure whether I need to go that far or not, and what the cost implications might be and would appreciate any learnings you might have there.
The easier question is what exactly you did to arrive at the color of your concrete floor — it's just what I'm looking for, and I'd like to duplicate if possible!
For more context, here's a draft layout from my theater designer. Probably should go ahead and post that back in my earlier thread anyway!