The Blank Canvas Basement Build - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 14 Old 08-20-2010, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
sachapan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
So it begins......usual story: been lurking for months/years, marvel at the quality of installations both dedicated and not throughout the forums. Have followed some of the local legends on their HT journey's and enjoyed it immensely although vicariously.

After having lived in our current house for almost a year, most of the renovations upstairs and outside (new kitchen, new baths, new decks, new patios, new shed, new carpet, garage overhaul, etc.) are finished/close to finished: i.e. time to start the basement!

The house is a two story with a full basement basically 37 x 37' built in the late 80s. Typical ceiling height is close to 8' (have to measure exactly), lower under ductwork/beams. I've been considering floorplan options for a little while but really haven't nailed it yet and would appreciate some input at this early stage.

Objectives:

1) Workshop area, probably 1/4 to 1/3 of the space on right side of floorplan
2) Theatre area (not a dedicated room) with projector
3) Area for a pool table (don't currently own one)
4) Exercise area/room
5) 3 piece bath (sink/toilet/shower)
6) Storage room
7) Bar area - not 100% sure about this one, not a must at this point but would be nice
8) Most work will be completed by yours truly (maybe sub out drywall installing/mudding and possibly bathroom roughin work)
9) Doubt I will have much of a budget initially for equipment. I will reuse what I have on hand (basic 5 speaker set) although at least the projector, a sub and a receiver will have to be purchased
10) Main use for the projector will be for movies/the odd sports party. Primary television is upstairs for typical viewing, including HD cable box - may want to run an HDMI cable from that to the basement for broadcast HD

Construction considerations/decisions:

1) Platon/OSB subflooring to be used throughout (perhaps not in the bathroom) - already purchased and one whole 4x8' sheet installed.
2) There are existing 1/2 walls (i.e. approximately 4' walls from the ceiling down) on the perimeter with existing insulation/vapor barrier that I plan to leave as-is other than removing the vapor barrier and replacing it once I build the other half of the walls and finish insulating
3) Hung ceiling in at least majority of basement for access to ceiling/joists
4) Two beams the length of the basement on top of the four posts shown
5) Sound isolation is not a huge priority, no children to disturb just my wife and I unless there's house guests around

Here is the current floorplan with my fledgling Sketchup (lack of) skills:



The white area on the bottom left doesn't actually have walls yet: above it there is a sunken floor with a laundry room above so I'm planning to wall it in and use it for storage and a network/server room - possibility for some/all A/V equipment I suppose. The central bottom rectangular room is a cold room with all concrete walls - not sure what I'm doing with it. My wife suggested putting the bathroom there but busting up the concrete to get to a drain would be quite a pain. It is, however, an option to consider.

I intend to build the workshop area first so that my tools/some materials can be isolated, including the hand me down cabinets from the kitchen which are taking up lots of floor space at the moment. I'll try to add some pictures of the space but mostly the basement is full of misc cruft/tools/storage bins/wood/etc/etc/etc. I miss how it empty it was when we first moved in but no one to blame beside myself.

So great collective intelligence that is avsforum: Your input most welcome.
sachapan is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 14 Old 08-20-2010, 01:34 PM
AVS Special Member
 
BeerParty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: New Hampshire, USA
Posts: 1,076
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked: 20
Please include measurements from the posts to the walls - since you probably will not be moving them they will most likely define your space.

You need to provide some details, such as:
  • How much seating do you need for movie/sports viewing?
  • Are you going to use a platform for multiple rows of seating?
  • What areas (bar, exercise area, etc.) do you want to be able to view the screen?
  • If you already have a rough in for the bathroom, where is it?

Also, browse for info on the space needed for a pool table. It may seem like you can fit one in there with everything else, but you'll be surprised at the amount of space you need around it to be able to use it.

Chris

"It hurts to admit when you make mistakes - but when they are big enough, the pain only lasts a second."
--Despair, Inc. "Regret"

My AviaTrix TM Build
BeerParty is online now  
post #3 of 14 Old 08-20-2010, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
sachapan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Thanks, *burp* BeerParty, for getting things started. I will double check the measurements for the posts - from my crude drawing they look off center and I'm not sure that's correct. As a matter of fact, my furnace, staircase AND posts on the right seem too far left versus reality. Have to double check those too.

Seating - 6-8 would be sufficient (usually would be 2-5)
Platform - haven't decided whether I'll build one yet
Viewing - Really only need it from the seating area, exercise area will probably have its own wall mount LCD
Bathroom - no rough in yet but there are a few drain pipes (I'll try to add them to the drawing)

Pool table space needed - yes, I know I'll need to plan the space carefully for that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeerParty View Post

Please include measurements from the posts to the walls - since you probably will not be moving them they will most likely define your space.

You need to provide some details, such as:
  • How much seating do you need for movie/sports viewing?
  • Are you going to use a platform for multiple rows of seating?
  • What areas (bar, exercise area, etc.) do you want to be able to view the screen?
  • If you already have a rough in for the bathroom, where is it?

Also, browse for info on the space needed for a pool table. It may seem like you can fit one in there with everything else, but you'll be surprised at the amount of space you need around it to be able to use it.

sachapan is offline  
post #4 of 14 Old 08-24-2010, 06:59 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
sachapan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I've adjusted my drawing to clean up some of the dimension issues I had in the first edition.



This weekend I started laying down the Platon and about 10 sheets of OSB flooring in the workshop area.
sachapan is offline  
post #5 of 14 Old 08-25-2010, 10:06 AM
AVS Special Member
 
BeerParty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: New Hampshire, USA
Posts: 1,076
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by sachapan View Post

This weekend I started laying down the Platon and about 10 sheets of OSB flooring in the workshop area.

Sounds like you have already decided where you are putting the workshop, can you put it on the diagram?

Chris

"It hurts to admit when you make mistakes - but when they are big enough, the pain only lasts a second."
--Despair, Inc. "Regret"

My AviaTrix TM Build
BeerParty is online now  
post #6 of 14 Old 08-25-2010, 12:04 PM
AVS Special Member
 
cuzed2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Chicago Area
Posts: 4,445
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Liked: 74
Sachapan,

Congrats on finishing your other work so that you can join our madness in the basement. Will you be making this a dedicated space or an "open HT" area?
How about overhead obstructions, HVAC plenums can be a big deciding factor?

I'm thinking you have decided to put the workshop to the right side of the stairs?

I agree that the structural posts will limit and define your options, therefore off the top of my head:

Looks like the most room for a 2-row theater will be the area between your stairs and the left side of the page. The 12' 11" between those posts could define the left and right walls of your theater area? Perhaps placing the screen on the left foundation wall (the 27' wall). I'm thinking even if you go dedicated you would still have an HT room that would be ~12'8" wide at it's narrowest seating position and ~18.5' deep?

BTW, these are very close to the finished dimensions of my HT area (an open plan - also defined by a post). I wish I could have gone bigger > because the room is really not deep enough to do a proper riser...

Check what I did, by going to my thread from my sig. file. Feel free to ask away.

I will be curious to see what others come up with.

Cuzed2
Check out a video of my theater here
CuznEddy Cinema
Officially Hanesamatized on 8/1/09

cuzed2 is offline  
post #7 of 14 Old 08-25-2010, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
sachapan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeerParty View Post

Sounds like you have already decided where you are putting the workshop, can you put it on the diagram?

Yes, it will be on the right side (side with furnace). What I haven't decided is whether I will use all the space to the right of the posts for the workshop or not - that was my first thought when I saw the basement for the first time but I may have to give up some space for some of my other objectives.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cuzed2 View Post

Sachapan,
Congrats on finishing your other work so that you can join our madness in the basement. Will you be making this a dedicated space or an "open HT" area?

Thanks, Cuzed2, your thread is one that I've particularly enjoyed with some of our common objectives - I especially like your component rack under the stairs which I may be unashamedly stealing. An open HT area is my current plan - I'd like to have a causal, mostly open space. Although I've always wanted a dedicated theater room, I think the space will be better used as part of a larger, open area.

"Finished" is our favorite word with plenty of projects on the go pretty much all the time. The last 20% of the work takes 180% of the time. We describe ourselves to others as "serial renovators." What has been a little challenging with the basement is that the space is wide open, we are used to having to work with existing room dimensions (or only moving a wall or two) rather than having an entire floor to work with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cuzed2 View Post

How about overhead obstructions, HVAC plenums can be a big deciding factor?

I'm thinking you have decided to put the workshop to the right side of the stairs?

There are a couple of air supply vents that have elbows to wrap around joists from one joist space to another in a couple of places but the majority of the ceiling-limiting duct work is on to the right of the posts immediately "north" (which is in reality South) of the furnace, which was the major factor in planning the workshop space on the right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cuzed2 View Post

I agree that the structural posts will limit and define your options, therefore off the top of my head:

Looks like the most room for a 2-row theater will be the area between your stairs and the left side of the page. The 12' 11" between those posts could define the left and right walls of your theater area? Perhaps placing the screen on the left foundation wall (the 27' wall). I'm thinking even if you go dedicated you would still have an HT room that would be ~12'8" wide at it's narrowest seating position and ~18.5' deep?

BTW, these are very close to the finished dimensions of my HT area (an open plan - also defined by a post). I wish I could have gone bigger > because the room is really not deep enough to do a proper riser...

Check what I did, by going to my thread from my sig. file. Feel free to ask away.

I will be curious to see what others come up with.

One of my first thoughts was to place the screen wall on the left wall between the windows as you've suggested although that was before the bathroom and exercise room/area objectives were added by my wife (I have come around to her way of thinking although the bathroom is going to hit the budget pretty hard). Some other thoughts for screen wall: top left (9' 8") wall or 8' 11" push out.

I also measured my ceiling height: 89" to joists, 81" to bottom of steel beams above posts.
sachapan is offline  
post #8 of 14 Old 08-25-2010, 02:18 PM
AVS Special Member
 
BeerParty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: New Hampshire, USA
Posts: 1,076
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked: 20
Since you are going for an open plan, one thing you might consider is using the posts to define a bar rather than the 'room'. For example, I am going to assume your beams run top to bottom in your picture, which means the best ceiling height runs top to bottom as well. In that case you would want to align your viewing direction top to bottom. Instead of using the posts to define 'walls', use them to anchor the ends of a bar.

For example, if you put a 10' wide bar between the top two posts, you could easily put 4 theater seats in front of the bar and 4 bar stools behind the bar.

Chris

"It hurts to admit when you make mistakes - but when they are big enough, the pain only lasts a second."
--Despair, Inc. "Regret"

My AviaTrix TM Build
BeerParty is online now  
post #9 of 14 Old 08-26-2010, 06:55 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
sachapan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeerParty View Post

Since you are going for an open plan, one thing you might consider is using the posts to define a bar rather than the 'room'. For example, I am going to assume your beams run top to bottom in your picture, which means the best ceiling height runs top to bottom as well. In that case you would want to align your viewing direction top to bottom. Instead of using the posts to define 'walls', use them to anchor the ends of a bar.

For example, if you put a 10' wide bar between the top two posts, you could easily put 4 theater seats in front of the bar and 4 bar stools behind the bar.

Good suggestion. Thanks.

I took some pictures last night of the current mess.

Standing about in the center of the left hand side facing the reduced ceiling from the laundry room above. Copper supply lines on the ceiling and a drain on the right are also visible. The pile of cupboards will live in the workshop - hand me downs from the kitchen reno project.



Standing just about in the center of the whole basement facing the water tank and staircase.




Standing on the left hand side facing the right hand wall in the drawing(s) above. Posts and one beam are visible. On the far right, a drain line can be seem.



Water softener in bottom right of floorplan. I installed back flow prevention valves on both the sewer and weeping tile drains back in the fall - very much like to keep any future water problems as unlikely as possible.



Turning 90 degrees left, the electric panel and window can be seen. The freezer (the white one on the right) will be staying somewhere. The old fridge on the left will be going. The Stella will be going too - one bottle at a time.



Looking down the right hand side toward the top of the floorplan a.k.a. the Workshop. Platon and tongue and groove installation begun.



Turning to the left to see the staircase.



Standing at the bottom of the stairs looking to the left towards the sunken floor.



Standing in front of the cold room (bottom center of floorplan) looking down central beam. HVAC supply line and central vac piping can be seen.



Right hand side of the 45 degree "pushout" on top center of floorplan. Right hand beam can be seen as well.



Top left of floorplan where an HVAC supply line elbows around a joist.



Hopefully that gives a sense of the current space - including the large amount of stuff that I'm going to be working around at least for the early stages. Once the workshop is defined with walls, the vast majority of the stuff will live there.
sachapan is offline  
post #10 of 14 Old 06-16-2011, 03:40 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
sachapan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Well, it has been an embarrassingly long time since I updated the thread.

In the fall, I laid the subfloor: Platon with 4x8' OSB tongue and groove, tapcon'ed down into the concrete floor. Dragging the wood down the stairs wasn't fun. Burning up my hammer drill less than half way through the floor wasn't fun either. The one I bought to replace it doesn't seem to have the same jam as the old one - figures, the old one came from a pawn shop at least 10 years ago and served well through many projects and the new one is brand new.



But there is some progress to show for all my delinquency. The winter was especially busy at work, with family, etc, etc. March was the cut off for getting back a little money from the government thanks to an energy retrofit program. Which meant I had a deadline to get the insulation done, which in turn meant the perimeter walls and electrical roughin therein was needed. So, some hours later, the perimeter was ready for spray foaming. I researched doing it myself but decided I would pay for the installation by the boys and girls from Insta Insulation (frequently seen on Holmes on Homes). They did a great job, getting in all the various and sundry nooks and crannies, including a couple of cantilevers. The insulation made an immediate difference. As I was removing the original builder's insulation (the absolute thinnest fiber glass I've ever seen), the basement was slowly getting noticeably colder and colder (it was Feb/March). I was used to opening the basement door on the main floor and feeling a temperature drop. The day after the spray foam went in, I opened the basement door and the air actually felt warmer coming up from the basement. Awesome.

One of my objectives was to minimize the likelihood of having water/mold issues down the road. I had back flow prevention valves installed for both the house sewer and the weeping tile system – houses from this era frequently had the weeping system connected to city sewers. Hasn't been that way on anything built in the last decade or more in my part of Ontario. I also didn't want any wood in contact with concrete, the perimeter studs are installed on top of the OSB (which in turn is on top of the Platon) and away from the concrete walls by a good inch.







I met the deadline and had the energy inspector re-evaluate the house and he noted the areas of improvement, which meant I qualified for a rebate – a good percentage of what the insulation cost, since this was the only real cost I had with making the house more efficient, I'm a happy camper. The other things I did were next to no cost: e.g. while we replacing the carpet I spray foamed under the baseboards/drywall on the upper floor. Only thing that was a pain was the joist header in the basement didn't qualify even though I brought it up to the max spec. because there was existing, though pitiful, insulation in place when the house was first inspected. If I'd pulled that down before the first eval I would have qualified for a couple hundred dollars more rebate. Oh well.



Then life got busy again.

Finally, this past weekend, I had 90 sheets of drywall delivered into the basement - so glad I persevered in finding a company that would deliver down stairs and for less money than the local lumber yard would have charged to deliver to my driveway. I was able to install about 20 sheets on the perimeter. Yes, its starting to look like rooms instead of just a huge junk pile under my house.

Since I felt like I needed to see some real progress, I focussed on getting the perimeter drywall up rather than building interior walls. The real milestone will be when I can start setting up the workshop, and get a larger percentage of the junk organized again. It seems like ten years since I had my tools organized even though its “only” been a year and a half. This makes it fun to need a specific tool in the basement and then spend 1/2 an hour looking for it. By the time its found, its possible I forgot why I needed it. But as I stare at the workbench top laying near where it will be installed on the wall, I'm starting to grow some hope that it is possible in the foreseeable future. I really haven't tried to layout the workshop in my mind or on paper. Some of the layout will likely be “fluid.”







I do have to start making some decisions on the layout for the theater room. The dimensions are 11 1/2' wide and 27' long. I'm thinking I might have room for a kitchenette, a bar with stools and either one or two rows of seating.
sachapan is offline  
post #11 of 14 Old 06-18-2011, 06:17 AM
AVS Special Member
 
imjay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,215
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
If you haven't bought fixed, theater styped seating and the pool table let me share our thoughts and where those thoughts finally took us.

We wanted a multi-purpose "fun" area (with theater) and started with a empty 17X24ft room.

Fixed theater seats are space hogs and since they usually face a screen wall this big space is dead space unless people are sitting and staring at that screen wall. We decided to shelf mount the projector above and behind a oak bar and the PJ throws the image across the 17ft width with a nice, 120in diagonal image.

We chose six, large, very well padded and comfy bar chairs for seating. They are nice because they do well for "theater" time when the lights are down and the screen is lit up but they also can be easily moved around when other things are going on and they don't create a big, dead space area in the middle of the room.

Pool is a fun game and having a pool table seems to be a first thought for a game room area. We had one for about 10 years - non-regulation as we could only fit a 4ftX8ft table in the space (competitive regulation size is 4.5ft X 9ft). Our sons and their friends loved having the pool table but YIKES pool tables are worse space hogs than theater seating and only a max. of 4 at a time can play PLUS we learned that a lot of people don't know how to play and/or are intimated to play - specially the ladies - finally, to become a "real" pool player is like breaking 90 playing golf - very difficult game to master.

SO GLAD when we sold the pool table and made room for a number of arcade type games that most everyone of most any age can play. Now we have 7 pinball machines, a foosball table, arcade baseball "pitch and hit" and coin-op type dart machine. In about the same space as one pool table we have game capacity for almost 40 people to be playing at the same time.

Fun To Us? Bar, bar type decorations, lots of games and a nice theater component while leaving enough open area for the room to "feel" uncrowded and open.

Fun to You???? While your room still has some of the "blank canvas" to fill you and your family should explore and define what "fun and games" means to YOU and your friends and then go for it. Our adult sons are planning to spend the afternoon and evening hanging out with old Mom and Dad but we know the real reason for the visit is one is trying to set a score record on the Lord of the Rings game while the other is determined to reach the "Zone" playing the Twilight Zone I seldom chose to "hang out" with my parents once they were in their 60s.
GoodLuck finishing your basement!!!
imjay is offline  
post #12 of 14 Old 06-18-2011, 11:42 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
sachapan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Thanks for feedback and experience, imjay. Nice to hear that the family is enjoying your room. The video games sound good - a MAME cabinet is likely in my future.

As my wife and I have been actually working in the space, we started to see that the pool table isn't as high a priority as it was some months ago and trying to fit one in would limit our other options. We decided an area for exercise equipment is a priority. So I'm moving ahead with planning without a pool table.

Seating is one of the big items to consider. Most of the time it is just the two of us so something comfy to cuddle up on would be good with additional seating for another 4-8 at times being ideal. Maybe a love seat (that reclines I hope) and a few chairs would be best to allow for easy room re-configurations.

I do have some ideas and I'm building the internal walls with those in mind but I haven't sat down to draw them up yet. Have to do that to start getting some more feedback from avsforum.



Quote:
Originally Posted by imjay View Post

If you haven't bought fixed, theater styped seating and the pool table let me share our thoughts and where those thoughts finally took us.

SNIP

sachapan is offline  
post #13 of 14 Old 06-20-2011, 08:07 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
sachapan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Here's a still very rough floor plan at least showing the various rooms. Boy I suck with Sketchup but I'll keep trying. I haven't included all of the interior walls but hopefully folks will see what I have in mind.

sachapan is offline  
post #14 of 14 Old 12-22-2012, 07:14 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
sachapan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Well, first the good news: I'm not dead!

I've been alternating between making progress and getting nothing done in the basement since my last post. I did drywall and paint both the storage room and the shop area:





I wanted an industrial blue color for the shop area but didn't want to pay for three or fours gallons of custom tinted paint for a workshop (easily $175). A trip to the local Habitat for Humanity store yielded 5 gallons of paint for $50. I tried to pick colors that I thought could be blended into something close to the target color - my Delta saw. And started mixing. A little of this, a little of that. Stir, stir stir. Too dark, too light. Adjust, adjust. Bingo.







Installed a slop sink in the workshop and used some leftover tile for flooring and backsplash. The same month I also installed a new sink in my wife's laundry room. I asked, "Is it weird we have his and hers slop sinks?" We don't think so.



I had the watertank moved and was concerned about the possibility of the tank leaking - I've had two tanks leak in other houses and its never fun. So, I installed a new drain immediately adjacent to the tank:





Installed framing, plumbing, electrical and drywall in the bar area:



Framing for exercise area and bathroom/sauna area:





After working in the space and continuing to define wants and needs, we have a new floorplan. Some new ideas in this version, the bathroom has found its permanent home, we are including space for a standalone sauna (to the right of the bathroom), two rows of theater seating (when I showed my wife, she immediately said, "Oh, we'll have to build a platform")



I had a few remaining vacation days that I needed to take before the end of the year, so I've been busy finishing the framing, running some of the electrical and spending lots of time thinking about how little details need to be laid out. Everything from where exactly the bar will be, how much lighting to install, what extra wires should I run for the projector, etc, etc, etc. It seems there's an hour of thinking required for every hour of work in my basement.
sachapan is offline  
Reply General Home Theater & Media/Game Rooms

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off