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!
Anyways, sorry I haven't been around AVS to answer some of the follow-up questions but I barely have time to watch a movie or listen to old fashion 2-channel music between my young kids and work. I have to say though that I relied a lot on my contractor and structural engineer for the technical details of the design. Again, it's coming up to 5 years now since the underpin was completed and there haven't been any problems.
The room is definitely lively sounding considering that I have no acoustic treatment in the space, but I'm not really sure that I can do much about it at this point. Remember that this is also a play area for the kids, and not just a man cave
Better late than never, I guess, but here are some quick answers to some follow-up questions some of you asked:
Water was something I worried about and still do when we get lots of rain and I hear the sump pump working every few minutes, but it hasn't shown up as an issue. Basically, the layer of gravel, dimpled membrane along the walls plus the weeping tile leading to the sump pump seems to be an effective solution in keeping the basement dry.
As we get cold and snow in the winter here, the engineer did spec a foam board beneath the floor and radiant heating tubes for added insulation. My wife picked the color of the concrete and I can't remember the name of it now. It's a dark slate gray and still looks awesome today - we get lots of compliments from friends when they see it for the first time. I have to say that concrete flooring is great when you have young kids and messes/spills are easily cleaned up.
As for the steel angles, I can't remember what the top of the angles are tied to. I might have some old photos to jog my memory, so I'll have to check. And, yes, the bottom is inserted into the concrete grout.
If you guys have any more questions, I'll check back and do my best to answer. I use the basement almost every day and love watching movies and sports on the 110" screen.
Last edited by lpw; 11-16-2014 at 10:29 PM.
I would like to possibly get more pictures or information how the "ledge" was finished. I have the same lege in my basement and trying to figure out how to finish it. There is not much information out there on ideas.
|basement , excavate , underpin|