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post #1 of 42 Old 06-23-2011, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello all! We just moved into a new house a little over a year ago and both me and my wife have the itch to get the basement finished! The only problem is its probably going to take a very long time

The biggest of these reasons being funds (stupid money) and the second biggest reason being that some friends of ours recently sold their house and because of some unfortunate circumstances they are going to be unable to buy a new house for an undetermined amount of time and because of that we offered space in our basement for them to store the stuff they don't need for now while they move in with his parents until things get figured out. So anyway, that means whatever i do to start will be limited to about half the basement until their stuff gets moved back out.

Anyway, enough about that, lets get to the floor plans!!!! its a ranch house with about 1820 square feet on the upper level and just under that for the basement. to start with i'll be doing the computer room, family room, storage, and maybe bedroom 1. Bedroom 2, the utility room and the bathroom is where all the aforementioned stuff is being stored from our friends. i'm planning to get framing, electrical, and audio/video cables done in those areas and probably stop with that until the stuff gets moved out and i can catch the rest of the basement up to that and then do the drywall all at once.

I will be doing most all the work myself with help from friends/family. I do have some limited experience as i finished off the basement in my previous (town)home and did a theater room in there (which was basically the whole basement). Of course i don't know if i did everything correctly as i didn't pull permits or have inspections done (shhh don't tell anyone) but if i did mess up it wasn't obvious as it passed inspection for when we sold the house. This time i will be doing everything correctly though so no worries there

Now comes the questions part! as i mentioned i have limited experience doing things but am generally good at figuring things out and am excellent at following directions (i am married after all).

so questions
1) Support Poles: I labeled on the floor plan "Pole 3" this pole is in a bad spot and in my current plan would basically sit in the little hallway area where the bedroom/bathroom are. would it be acceptable to remove that pole and put 2 new ones up, one in the wall of the utility room close to the corner of the current pole and the other in the wall of the bathroom?

2) HVAC: the family room, both bedrooms, and computer room all have 1 existing vent that were installed with the house was built. Would i need to add any others to those existing ones? i'm assuming i need to add one to the bathroom, how about the storage room? and lastly would any kind of air return vents need to be installed? (if it matters the furnace does have one of those new fresh air exchange things built in)

3) Electrical: I did do this in my previous basement but it was also smaller. The main breaker box is up in the garage, i was planning on running a "main" line down from it into the utility room and putting a breaker box there to run all of the electrical for the basement too, is this OK?

4) sound dampening: notice i didn't say proofing I would like to at least be able to dampen the sound (planning on 7.1 speakers) coming up stairs. Is this one of those things where you might as well go all out or its not worth it? or are there things you can do that will help dampen without going all out sound proof? I was thinking at a minimum at least putting fiberglass insulation in the joists of the ceiling/floor.

Thats all for questions now, most other stuff i think i've got a good handle on, but of course i haven't started yet

Now its time for the fun stuff, audio/video!!!! my plan is that on the "tv/screen" wall i would mount a TV to that wall, then up in the rafters i would have an in ceiling projector screen that would then come down in front of the TV when you wanted to watch something bigger i'm thinking somewhere around 55" for the TV and 120"+ for the projector.

Then underneath the stairs where i have listed "A/V equipment" i'm going to build some in wall shelves that would be open to the computer room, here i would put not only the A/V equipment for the family room tv/projector but also all of the networking equipment for the house. Sidenote: i was fortunate enough to be able to run CAT6 cable throughout the house when it was being built, i have a HDhomerun for OTA and WHS for movies/shows and then HTPCs hooked to all of the TVs in the house /Sidenote. then to control the equipment since its in a different room under the steps i would either run IR cable or get an RF remote and RF to IR converter.

Well i think that covers things for now, i hope to be able to get the studs to start framing in the next few weeks. I'll also take some pictures of the spaces in the next few days and post them as well. Thanks all for looking!

Edit: updated with final floorplan
LL
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post #2 of 42 Old 06-23-2011, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
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EDIT: Got some pics done tonight so here they are

This one is right out of the steps looking at the TV/screen wall



This would be facing 180 from the first one looking toward the bedrooms



The next three are of the computer room





Looking at storage room



Next two are bedroom and bathroom area (and all the stuff we are storing )




Under steps and utility



and finally a better one of the utility room

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post #3 of 42 Old 06-23-2011, 11:07 AM
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very nice plan to start with - lots of space. Have you consulted with a professional architect or structural engineer on moving the support pole? You may need it to pull the proper permits.

Continuing on with the support pole you want to move, can you tell if there is a seam in the main support beam over the pole?

HVAC - yes, I believe you should also have returns to properly circulate the air.

You are a good friend to let them store their stuff - just double the expected time for how long it will be down there ; )

Good luck,
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post #4 of 42 Old 06-23-2011, 12:26 PM
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You definitely want to consult with a structural engineer before moving support poles/beams.

I would also consult with an electrician for running a subpanel down to your basement.

Sounds like a fun build
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post #5 of 42 Old 06-23-2011, 04:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Scout's staff View Post
very nice plan to start with - lots of space. Have you consulted with a professional architect or structural engineer on moving the support pole? You may need it to pull the proper permits.

Continuing on with the support pole you want to move, can you tell if there is a seam in the main support beam over the pole?

HVAC - yes, I believe you should also have returns to properly circulate the air.

You are a good friend to let them store their stuff - just double the expected time for how long it will be down there ; )

Good luck,
Dan
Thanks for the replies, i looked at the beam and it looks like its 2, 2" boards nailed together to make the beam. The builder is coming at some point this summer to do some minor 1 year warranty work and i'll see if they can get me an answer on moving the poles. I'm hoping that it will be ok, even though it will be different spot i would be adding another one to try and make up for it.

For the HVAC, would i need to hire a pro to figure out where to put that stuff or as long as there is space for air to move that works?

and yeah on the storing stuff i'm planning on a long time for it being down there, we figured we should since we stored our stuff at my brothers house after we sold the townhome while this house was being built for us and lived with family, since we had it done for us and all
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post #6 of 42 Old 06-23-2011, 05:41 PM
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Looks like it should be a fun project. It'll be nice that you aren't rushed to get it done, but that can also make it drag on forever. My basement flooded 2 months ago, and it was the only place we had to watch TV, so I worked that thing every day until it was done. It was great to get it done so fast (about a month), but it was a lot of work, and a little stressful. I would have preferred more time.

Regarding your plan, I like the open layout and the amount of space for the home theater area. Are you planning on a bar area along the wall of bedroom 1 or anything like that? Will it be more of a dedicated HT area, or more multi-use?

I have a cold air return in every room, but I don't have a new air exchanger either.

Regarding electrical, I'm fairly certain that you can run a sub panel (I was required to for my hot tub), but make sure everything is to code.

For sound dampening, fiberglass will definitely help, but you may want to look into acoustical insulation since it's all open anyway.

I have all my electronics stuffed away in another room now with an IR repeater, and I love how clean it is. All I need is my Harmony One remote. The only catch so far is that I wish I had a more modern AVR that had on OSD so I could see the volume, mute, and other settings. Mine does not, and it needs to be upgraded, but it works for now.

I'll definitely follow this thread. Good luck!
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post #7 of 42 Old 06-23-2011, 08:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by htpc-geek View Post
Looks like it should be a fun project. It'll be nice that you aren't rushed to get it done, but that can also make it drag on forever. My basement flooded 2 months ago, and it was the only place we had to watch TV, so I worked that thing every day until it was done. It was great to get it done so fast (about a month), but it was a lot of work, and a little stressful. I would have preferred more time.

Regarding your plan, I like the open layout and the amount of space for the home theater area. Are you planning on a bar area along the wall of bedroom 1 or anything like that? Will it be more of a dedicated HT area, or more multi-use?

I have a cold air return in every room, but I don't have a new air exchanger either.

Regarding electrical, I'm fairly certain that you can run a sub panel (I was required to for my hot tub), but make sure everything is to code.

For sound dampening, fiberglass will definitely help, but you may want to look into acoustical insulation since it's all open anyway.

I have all my electronics stuffed away in another room now with an IR repeater, and I love how clean it is. All I need is my Harmony One remote. The only catch so far is that I wish I had a more modern AVR that had on OSD so I could see the volume, mute, and other settings. Mine does not, and it needs to be upgraded, but it works for now.

I'll definitely follow this thread. Good luck!
Thanks for the reply! that sucks about your basement! but glad you were able to redo it and get it done so quickly!!! the room will be more of a muti-use room as apposed to a dedicated theater room.

we are kind of toying with the idea of a wet-bar type area, either the bedroom wall like you mentioned or the outside wall next to it would be ideal areas, i'm just not sure how running the drain pipe for the plumbing would work. AFIAK It would have to run around the exterior wall to the drain in the wall where the one for the bathroom sink is.

Thanks for the aucustical insulation tip! i don't really want to go all out with DD and green glue but want to be able to stay up and watch a movie and be able to hear it without keeping my wife and daughter up

glad to hear having stuff tucked away worked for you, my wife is happy with the idea since she doesn't like clutter! thankfully the setup won't be too involved, will just have a HTPC, AVR, and xbox 360.


ah and bump for pics
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post #8 of 42 Old 06-27-2011, 08:45 AM
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Regarding storing your friends' stuff: I had a similar challenge with my BIL & his family, although it was not their stuff, but them. Four months of togetherness with them & their 4 kids under the age of 7! It's all worth it in the end, so long as it only delays your efforts.

Anyhow, my question is:where are you located? Looks like you have the typical new construction "insulation" on the basement walls, which is almost useless if you live aywhere that actually needs insulating. Fortunately that is easy and not too expensive to do.

Also, what is the cause of that discoloration around the crack in your concrete floor?

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post #9 of 42 Old 06-27-2011, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Regarding storing your friends' stuff: I had a similar challenge with my BIL & his family, although it was not their stuff, but them. Four months of togetherness with them & their 4 kids under the age of 7! It's all worth it in the end, so long as it only delays your efforts.

Anyhow, my question is:where are you located? Looks like you have the typical new construction "insulation" on the basement walls, which is almost useless if you live aywhere that actually needs insulating. Fortunately that is easy and not too expensive to do.

Also, what is the cause of that discoloration around the crack in your concrete floor?

Thanks for the reply! I know how living with in-laws goes, we lived with my wife's sister for 4 months while our house was being built

yeps its the typical new construction insulation, house was finished last year in may and i live in central Iowa.

the different colored concrete where the drain is, was from them having to move the bathroom stubs since they put them in the wrong spot initially. the discoloration around the crack to the right of that i'm not sure what it is. we haven't had any water come up through there and have a dehumidifier right there running, there was some white crystal like stuff that formed for a bit but has since gone away but the color change hasn't. i think i might put that on my list of things to ask the builder when they come back.
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post #10 of 42 Old 06-27-2011, 05:08 PM
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Iowa is cold enough - I hope you are planning on replacing that blanket insulation with proper insulation. It is pretty easy and relatively cheap now, but once you build the walls it becomes a big project.

I'd also have someone double check that discoloration near the crack in the floor. I'm no expert, but that isn't the norm for a new house!

Good luck with you project!

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post #11 of 42 Old 06-28-2011, 06:54 AM
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Quote:


It'll be nice that you aren't rushed to get it done, but that can also make it drag on forever.

Ain't THAT the truth, brother?

Don't get a return vent confused with the combustion air requirement. If you truly have a fresh air exchange from the outside, then you don't need to worry about combustion air. The combustion air has to come from outside the system. If not from outside the house, then at least enough from the surrounding room. That means that if you DON'T have fresh from outside, then you need to be sure that there is enough air surrounding the furnace. That usually means that if you enclose it you have to leave enough of an opening to provide the air. That is usually done by using a louvered door to the enclosure or providing 2 144 sq inch openings one at the floor and one at the ceiling.

A return vent sucks air out of the room and "returns" it into the system to be re-conditioned. This allows new conditioned air to enter the room. You need returns in order to maintain proper air flow and temperatures.

And as a side note, my HVAC inspector says that the code say you have to have them, but it doesn't say WHERE, so I was able to put mine around the corner in the hallway facing away from the theater area to cut down the noise.

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post #12 of 42 Old 06-28-2011, 08:13 PM - Thread Starter
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well the first pre-basement finish project was finished tonight! i was putting a utility sink in the garage and since i was going to have to cut into the water lines i decided to go ahead and rerun the lines in the ceiling instead of under it, its the ones in the pics of the computer room. That way i don't have to worry about dropping the ceiling to accommodate them.

as to the insulation, yep all the blanket stuff will be coming down and real insulation going up in all the walls once they are framed.

as far as the furnace goes, based on what Tom said i think there are two different things the furnace has going on. From the pics you can see there are two white PVC pipes that go into the furnace, those both go outside, i would guess that on is exhaust and the other is intake for the combustion air.

the other thing is the "fresh air exchange". there is another flex pipe hooked to the system that goes outside. when that runs its basically exchanging the air from inside the house with air outside the house, kind of like having your windows open. so for example, i've got the A/C on right now set to 75, every once in awhile you will hear the furnace running and air coming out of the floor vents but the A/C unit outside will not be running. its supposed to cool (or heat in the winter) the incoming air with the outgoing air as to not change the ambient temp.

so, based on all that info, my guess would be i wouldn't have to worry about any kind of air return vents in any of the rooms of the basement?
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post #13 of 42 Old 06-29-2011, 07:27 AM
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No, you still need return vents. You can't push conditioned (heated or cooled) air into the room if the air already IN the room has nowhere to go. This is what causes "stuffy" rooms in completely sealed dedicated rooms. One of the major problems with older homes is that when there are not enough returns, as air is pushed into the room, the only place for the air already in the room to go is out through cracks and crevices, which wastes a LOT of energy as the conditioned air is literally just going out the window.

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post #14 of 42 Old 06-30-2011, 08:46 AM
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You cant just go moving/adding support locations randomly.
The beams have engineered joint locations relative to load support and load to foundation transfer that offset deflection and uplift forces.
There are also dedicated footings for the appropriate loadings below the slab that you cannot see.
Typically the T-Post support pad under the slab will be a minimum of 36" x 36" and 10" deep with 10m rebar reinforcement 4 or 5 rows each way.
The post must be centered on the pad to transfer the loads evenly....bearing this weight on just a 4" slab is asking for disaster.

You will likely need to have a steel plate bolted to both sides of the support beam,
and then jack hammer your floor open and pour new reinforced support footings for the new post locations.
Both will need to designed on a professional level.

I'm a Professional Residential Architectural Tech and get request like this often.

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post #15 of 42 Old 06-30-2011, 01:26 PM - Thread Starter
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You cant just go moving/adding support locations randomly.
The beams have engineered joint locations relative to load support and load to foundation transfer that offset deflection and uplift forces.
There are also dedicated footings for the appropriate loadings below the slab that you cannot see.
Typically the T-Post support pad under the slab will be a minimum of 36" x 36" and 10" deep with 10m rebar reinforcement 4 or 5 rows each way.
The post must be centered on the pad to transfer the loads evenly....bearing this weight on just a 4" slab is asking for disaster.

You will likely need to have a steel plate bolted to both sides of the support beam,
and then jack hammer your floor open and pour new reinforced support footings for the new post locations.
Both will need to designed on a professional level.

I'm a Professional Residential Architectural Tech and get request like this often.

thanks for the reply! this is why this place is great, to get answers to questions from people that are in the know!!! i suspected the answer would be as much though guess its back to the drawing board to try and figure out a way to work around the pole.
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post #16 of 42 Old 06-30-2011, 02:08 PM
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The simplest (and cheapest) solution without a total re-design,
would be to reduce your shower stall by about a foot +/- (just a guess)
and reduce both bedroom closets by the same amount so the post is in your utitity room.

The rooms can stay the same size just push the doors down enough and you should still have room for a 48" shower.
If you need a little more room the toilet only requires 30" by code.

Are the plumbing rough-ins already in place?
Typically a builder will place those according to your future plans because its a lot eeasier to do before the slab is poured.

I try to make a suggested layout for bedrooms and bathrooms at the planning stage so the windows end up centered in the rooms,
plumbing drains go in the right location, and posts and plumbing stacks get hidden in walls or storage areas.

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post #17 of 42 Old 07-01-2011, 01:30 PM - Thread Starter
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well some good news at least, our friends whose stuff we are storing were able to get their situation straightened out and bought a house already! they close on august 12th so their stuff will be moving out after that. then i'll just be down to the money factor my wife wants to be ready for carpet by next april so we can use our tax return on that, probably won't happen though!

anyway, to answer the post above me, the bathroom stubs are already in place, and in fact have already been moved once when the house was being built because of a miscommunication of where we wanted them. The plan was to mirror the upstairs which goes bedroom, bathroom, bedroom. Thanks to the pole that can't be moved i've had to alter the plans a little bit.

I updated the original post with some alternative floor plans to work around the pole, any input as to what looks good or what wouldn't work about them would be greatly appreciated! once i get things nailed down i can go get my permit and figure out how many 2x4's to order and get them delivered!
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post #18 of 42 Old 07-12-2011, 12:08 PM - Thread Starter
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well we finally decided on a floor plan! i updated the original post with a link to the final plan. I got it submitted to the city today for review so as soon as they give the OK it will be time to order some wood and then get started! i'm excited for the end product and wish i could just fast forward to it being done

http://i1102.photobucket.com/albums/...ment_final.jpg
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post #19 of 42 Old 07-20-2011, 07:08 AM - Thread Starter
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ok, so building permits can suck it! sent everything to the city and its going to cost me $361 to "allow" me to finish my basement! not only that you need separate permits for electrical and plumbing at $35 each, not only that you have to take a test if you want to do electrical yourself, or have to hire someone, and finally the kicker, you can't do plumbing yourself! you have to hire a licensed plumber to do plumbing and to top it off you have to start within 90 days of getting the permit and finish (finish being drywall up) within 1 year of the permit issue.

ugh this throws a wrench into the money gears! the permit is over half the cost of what lumber would be for the walls.

ok, i feel better now, everyone can go back to their regularly scheduled forum reading
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post #20 of 42 Old 07-20-2011, 10:50 PM
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ok, so building permits can suck it! sent everything to the city and its going to cost me $361 to "allow" me to finish my basement! not only that you need separate permits for electrical and plumbing at $35 each, not only that you have to take a test if you want to do electrical yourself, or have to hire someone, and finally the kicker, you can't do plumbing yourself! you have to hire a licensed plumber to do plumbing and to top it off you have to start within 90 days of getting the permit and finish (finish being drywall up) within 1 year of the permit issue.

ugh this throws a wrench into the money gears! the permit is over half the cost of what lumber would be for the walls.

ok, i feel better now, everyone can go back to their regularly scheduled forum reading

You in Minnesota by any chance? This tale sounds way too familiar....
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post #21 of 42 Old 07-21-2011, 07:01 AM - Thread Starter
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You in Minnesota by any chance? This tale sounds way too familiar....

nope, central Iowa
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post #22 of 42 Old 07-21-2011, 11:27 AM
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Don't pull permits?

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post #23 of 42 Old 07-21-2011, 06:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Don't pull permits?

trust me its crossed my mind..... i just don't want to take the chance of having someone nosy turn me in and then i get fined, or have something happen and be because it wasn't to code (amateur here) and not have my insurance cover it or anything like that. so i'm stuck doing it the "right" way.
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post #24 of 42 Old 09-04-2011, 03:06 PM - Thread Starter
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hooray progress!!!! well things were slower to get started then i had anticipated! between vacations and work and getting my wife pregnant again its been slow going. unfortunately pregnancy is not good to my wife, she is nauseous and sick all the time and will be for the entire pregnancy so its been kind of limiting on when i can work, basically the stars have to align where someone is watching my daughter for me and someone is either taking care of my wife or she is feeling OK but not sleeping so i can go down and work without the noise bothering her.

so anyway, got part of one wall done so its started will just be slow(er) going then i had hoped.



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post #25 of 42 Old 10-21-2011, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
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bump, ok i know this is going to be a very general question, but i'm hoping some people that have hired out work will reply and give me an idea. Basically i've got it in my head that i want the basement done sooner rather then later and would like to look into taking out a loan in order to hire people to do most of the work for me to get it finished faster. the only problem is i have no idea how much i would need in order to do that.

things i would want to hire out would be

Framing
electrical
plumbing
drywall

so based on the plans i have done up for the basement does anyone have some ballpark guestimates of what i would need for each of those to hire them out???

thanks!
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post #26 of 42 Old 10-21-2011, 02:52 PM
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No idea on framing and electrical since I got help and did alot of it myself. Total finished space is a 900 sq ft. I'm from the Minneapolis area.

Rough-in for plumbing ran about $1400. That included knocking out of the concrete for plumbing for the wetbar and rough in for the bathroom.

Drywall - Was about 4000 in labor for hanging, taping and ceilings. Total sq footage measured out to 3300.
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post #27 of 42 Old 10-21-2011, 03:57 PM
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For the ceiling the way yours is you could prolly do a drop ceiling which would help if you ever need to run any wires across the room...not sure on the pricing though compared to to just get drywall on the ceiling
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post #28 of 42 Old 10-22-2011, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBlackAngel View Post

bump, ok i know this is going to be a very general question, but i'm hoping some people that have hired out work will reply and give me an idea. Basically i've got it in my head that i want the basement done sooner rather then later and would like to look into taking out a loan in order to hire people to do most of the work for me to get it finished faster. the only problem is i have no idea how much i would need in order to do that.

things i would want to hire out would be

Framing
electrical
plumbing
drywall

so based on the plans i have done up for the basement does anyone have some ballpark guestimates of what i would need for each of those to hire them out???

thanks!

I live just outside of Minneapolis and here were my costs for hiring out the following for my 1100sq ft space (bedroom, playroom, media/living room with wet bar and fireplace, bathroom):
Electrical - $2600. This includes all recepticals, switches, canned lights, smoke detectors, etc. I had lots of zones and got four quotes. I went with the second lowest quote because the guy was a master electrician and he really was responsive and knew his stuff.
Plumbing - Like Iowa we cannnot do PEX plumbing in Minnesota. For the shower pan, all the plumbing, wet bar including sink and faucet, faucet and shower head/handle, etc, It was $2500. I went with the second highest bid for the same reason above. Highly recommended and the last thing you want is a plumbing problem.
Drywall: $2600. This includes hanging, mudding, tapping, texturing the knockdown ceiling, etc. I had to supply all the drywall but he supplied everything else (corner bead, mud, etc). Went with the second lowest bid.

I used Angies List and got lots of quotes. I would think labor is more here as well. Good luck.

One more thing. All the subs except drywall need to pay and pull the permits. Do not pull any permits unless you do the work yourself. And never pay all the money to these subs upfront.

EDIT: The electrical costs did not include all the AV cables. The electrician ran cable TV lines to all the rooms (minus the bathroom), and I ran all the HDMI cables to the projector, speaker and sub wire for 7.2 sound, and all Cat6 to all bedrooms and two to the projector. I ordered everything through Monoprice.
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post #29 of 42 Old 10-22-2011, 06:35 PM - Thread Starter
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thank you all for the replies! this is helping me out a ton figuring out what i'm going to do! if anyone else reading has more to add please do!

thanks!
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post #30 of 42 Old 10-27-2011, 05:56 PM
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Did you ever figure out what you are doing structurely? That is an odd looking set of supports, but perhaps that is what is being done today in parts of the country. There are definetly ways to move those, but you will need a structural engineer to look at it - it could involve steel beams.

Yeah, differnet permit requirements in different parts of the country. I did a smaller set of work in Seattle about 10 years abo and only had to pull electrical and plumbing permits and did all the work myself. I did hire out drywall for one larger project (living and dining room ceilings in a 90 YO house with failing plaster), just because it is such a pain in the neck.
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