We used R13 for the wall insulation and R29 for between the floor joists and stuffing of other crevices:
All of the existing wiring was ripped out. Crazy story about the wiring tho. When we hired the contractor he told us "No problem, I can handle all of the electric" but when he started to connect the new high-hats an electrician friend popped over to see the progress and was apalled at what he saw: BX cables into Romex connectors w/o the proper fittings (not that I really understand all of the jargon) and to make matters worse, nothing was grounded properly to boot! Needless to say, we immediately banned him from handling any of the electric from there onwards.
Here's a shot of the cleaned up wiring from the new elctricians:
Here's a pic of the new rear wall we put in:
Also, the stairs to the basement are really steep and were retrofitted to their current location. Whoever installed them did not leave much clearence for headroom at the bottom and as a result, you had to shift your head to the side to avoid hitting it. We came up with a creative and inexpensive solution: shift the existing stairs rearward and lower the platform to make it the first step (at the top of the stairs) instead of even with the main floor. By doing this, we effectively gained 8" of clearence amd what a difference it makes!!
You can see that they had a base at the bottom that forced you to turn to the right when you reached the bottom:
We dropped the platform at the top of the stairs and reinforced it against the floor joist below it. You can see by the gap in the sheetrock how much space was gained:
Here is a side view:
Here is a shot of the bottom of the steps and b/c we moved the back, we no longer need to have them turn:
If you look at the 2nd to last pic above, you can see through to what will now be the laundry room (which currently houses my three theater-reclining chair/couch.) We bought it before I found this forum, and while it was a good deal (faux suede in brown for $1000) and very comfortable (all 3 chairs recline, each w/ a cup holder) i propbaly would have gone in a different direction after reading and seeing the pics of other ppl's seating. Oh well, no regrets - price was right and the wife likes and they can be replaced in a few years
Dont have pics but will post once available.