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Burlington Basement Build Thread

post #1 of 373
Thread Starter 
After lurking for quite a while and finally joining up last month, I thought I would start up my build thread for our upcoming basement project.

We're moving next week into a new home. It's a bungalow, with approx. 2,000 SF, with a basement that is essentially the same footprint. And the basement has 9' ceilings. It's new to us, but 22 years old. We've got 2 kidlets, boy turning 6, girl turning 2, so they are obviously a big factor in our design decisions!

I thought I would start this off by posting pics of our current family room setup - all of this equipment will end up in the kids' playroom in the new house.

This is a pic of our "entertainment center". The cabinetry was purchased from Woodcraft, and it holds:
  • Sharp 37" LCD (with 1/8" clearance on each side!)
  • Yamaha RX-V650 AVR
  • Bell XpressVu HD STB
  • XBOX 360 (for games and DVDs)
  • Wii
  • Energy fronts and center, Denon sub and rears
I also hard-wired CAT5 for hooking up the XBox to our home network, so we stream movies to it from our iMac in our home office.


Here's the other side of the room. I built all of the cabinetry (as I intend to do in the new place) and wired the room for 7.1, although we never hooked up more than 5.1. Not a great shot of the wall 'cause it's full of boxes - we're moving in a week!


The leather chairs are recliners and really comfortable. They'll probably end up in our main floor family room in the new place.
post #2 of 373
Thread Starter 
During our last visit to the new place, I took some quick measurements of the main basement area, and started a (very) rough mock-up using Sketchup...

Here's what we're thinking might be a good set-up. Obviously its not a dedicated home theater, but we wanted to create some usable zones in the basement area. I am going to be building the cabinetry to run on 3 walls, including the hallway to the walk-in closet (including 2 built-in desks). The main room area measures 25'x18', with the bar area being 14'x15'. The hallway near the home office, playroom and closet is 12' long x 7' wide.

Here's a shot of the proposed theater area:

The screen drawn here is 92", and the seating area would put people at about 10-12' from the screen.
The door to the left of the screen is to the furnace room, and the blue box above that door represents the bulkhead for duct work that runs along the ceiling. Here's an actual picture of the space I took during our home inspection:

The existing french double doors are going to be moved over to the right.

I've done some homework on equipment and stuff, but I am going to be changing my mind many times over the next few months as this comes together. Flooring and cabinetry will come first, so I am expecting the home theater portion to happen in early 2010. I've already got a CEDIA-certified technician on board to help with design considerations, as well as some (probably most) of the installation.

I'll keep posting over the next months with updates. Please feel free to leave comments/suggestions/criticisms as I have found this community to be incredibly knowledgeable and useful in this kind of build!

Cheers,
B
post #3 of 373
B,

OK; I'll be the first of many that will likely comment.

Looks like a nice space, and no doubt your layout looks like a good start. And 9' ceilings - you are indeed lucky

I am sure you will hear from "Big Mouthin in DC" >> Be sure that you value his inputs - he knows his stuff very well, and was most helpful in my earlier phases (even more so > if I would have taken all of his advice

P.S> I'm subscribed
post #4 of 373
One Add'l thought:

Just make sure that you are really OK with your HT in such an open area > thinking about the traffic that will go thru your area to get to the other rooms...
post #5 of 373
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cuzed2 View Post

Just make sure that you are really OK with your HT in such an open area > thinking about the traffic that will go thru your area to get to the other rooms...

Good point, and one we'll definitely have to consider, since the screen will likely end up on a wall in a hallway. If it does go there, it'll be a fixed screen with in-wall speakers...

The bathroom downstairs is to the left of the furnace room, behind the stairs (didn't draw it in since I don't yet have proper measurements). Hopefully, people will be polite enough to take the long way around the sofa if they need a pee break!

Can't wait to get in the house and start planning this stuff out. 4 days to go to possession!
post #6 of 373
Thread Starter 
Before I box up the playroom today, I thought people might get a kick outta seeing it, especially my son's LEGO collection...


post #7 of 373
Thread Starter 
So we went in for our final visit before moving to make sure the house was as we expected. I grabbed a few more rough measurements, and took a few more pictures...

Here's the updated Sketchup with some added rooms:


This shot gives a good sense of the space that will end up with the projector and seating. The projector will end up likely near where the current light fixture is (the previous owners had a pool table there).


After checking out the furnace room today with a more critical eye, we agreed that the equipment will be going under the stairs, and will be visible/accessible through the wall here:


Here's a better view of it in Sketchup:


Here's a view looking back towards the stairs and the current bar setup:


Here's the current bar that I will be rebuilding:


Not much more to share - just packing boxes getting excited about moving...
post #8 of 373
That's a NICE wide open space..... with 9' ceilings to boot...... Color me envious!


PS, that's a lot of legos!
post #9 of 373
love the wainscotting, the wallpaper not so much. Your son's death star is most impressive.
post #10 of 373
Nice place! How much (de)construction are you going to do?

That house has good "bones"! Mine had skeletons
post #11 of 373
Thread Starter 
There's going to be a fair amount of deconstruction, but hopefully nothing structural. The carpet is DEFINITELY going, to be replaced with a platon/osb subfloor and laminate (or engineered hardwood) floor. The bar is going to be redone, and we're moving some door openings around. Oh yeah, we're going to have to do a whole new lighting plan, 'cause the cans in there now are near useless. Hopefully we won't have to tear down the ceiling, but I'm not optimistic on that.

I'm going to build the cabinetry myself, and that'll be done in the coming months... that's why the theater part of the room probably won't happen until the new year (trying to be realistic). And we're going to have to find a place to put all the LEGO! My wife's "craft room" is going to become the LEGO room until my 20-month old learns to keep them outta her mouth...
post #12 of 373
With the platon, I used 2 different widths of rolls to allow me to line up certain cuts and trimming to minimize waste. I would recommend going mainly with the widest roll available and then picking up a roll of 4' (depending on your dimensions) to use as filler/spacer. There is nothing worse then trimming 5' off a 8' roll.
post #13 of 373
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gitSehT View Post

With the platon, I used 2 different widths of rolls to allow me to line up certain cuts and trimming to minimize waste. I would recommend going mainly with the widest roll available and then picking up a roll of 4' (depending on your dimensions) to use as filler/spacer. There is nothing worse then trimming 5' off a 8' roll.

Good advice - exactly why I invest time in these forums!
post #14 of 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by gitSehT View Post

There is nothing worse then trimming 5' off a 8' roll.

I agree, but if you are trying to keep the cost down, you can use that 5' you trimmed off for your other filler. That's what I did at least, and I have some left over after only needing to buy one roll of 8'x65'. Obviously, it will depend on your layout and how the big roll will fit. I did a drawing on a piece of paper to plan it out before ever buying anything.
post #15 of 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpdeuce View Post

I did a drawing on a piece of paper to plan it out before ever buying anything.

Plan? pffft plan shman, thats just crazy, I like to wing it and hope for the best.
post #16 of 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by gitSehT View Post

Plan? pffft plan shman, thats just crazy, I like to wing it and hope for the best.

That's usually my "plan" as well...I guess you haven't seen my thread yet. I'll have to go through and see how many "edits" were made to my original thinking along the way. I'm not done yet, so plenty of room for more.
post #17 of 373
Thread Starter 
I used to be from the school of "wing it" too, until I had to pack up my workshop downstairs and move 9 2x4s and a couple of sheets of 3/4" plywood... I always figured, "I'll use 'em somewhere"!

BTW, I've been enjoying your thread, jpdeuce. Was good to see some in-progress reports of laying down the platon and sub-floor...
post #18 of 373
Thread Starter 
Well, we got the keys today, so the house is officially ours (as is the debt that comes with it!). We're bridging for a week to move rather than try and do it all in a day, especially with 2 kidlets in the picture.

Overall, the house was left in decent shape. The previous owners moved out over 2 weeks ago, but left a few things behind I wish they would have taken. Who leaves a 12 gallon aquarium on the back deck?? I also had the pleasant surprise of finding a mouse in the basement storage room - he didn't stay long. I guess I should think of it as good luck since I killed a mouse the first day we took possession of our old house, and things worked out pretty well there!

The basement was pretty musty, though. There is a sump pump in a "cold room", and it smelled a little "woofy". Am thinking that I might get a de-humidifier this weekend to try and get some moisture (and smell) out of the basement. I may also have to consider venting that room, but hopefully not since it is below grade, and I'm not sure where I would vent it to.

The carpet is definitely going. It's pretty nasty after what appears to be years of partying and the accompanying spills.

So we are starting to move stuff over now. My wife and her sister are taking over kitchen stuff while I stay home with the kids and surf the interwebs, since they're asleep now.

Of course, I end up checking out this forum, and end up in my endless debate with myself over HT set-ups, equipment decisions, and overall excitement about getting into some new projects.
post #19 of 373
That's a pretty great space you've got there. My wife and I (before we had 2 'kidlets') looked at bungalow's in Burlington, mostly south east Burlington, but none with 9' ceilings! Good luck with your build!
post #20 of 373
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by roar View Post

That's a pretty great space you've got there. My wife and I (before we had 2 'kidlets') looked at bungalow's in Burlington, mostly south east Burlington, but none with 9' ceilings! Good luck with your build!

We're near Walker's and Spruce - moved to be in the Tuck cachement area for the kids' school... I grew up in west end Toronto (Etobicoke) and my wife grew up in Burlington. They're pretty similar suburbs. I really like Burlington except for the traffic on the QEW...
post #21 of 373
There are some very beautiful homes in that area and yes, Burlington is pretty great, unless you need to make the drive downtown in the morning, then it is just a little far from Toronto for my liking.

We are in the Appleby and Upper Middle area, moved from Oakville 5 years ago now. My basement was already finished when we moved in and I had to shoe horn a theatre into a 4th bedroom in the basement. Not a day goes by where I don't think about going down there and gutting the place Looks like you have a great space to work with, without having to do too much demo.
post #22 of 373
Thread Starter 
Well, we made it. It was a serious push that last week leading up to the move - up past 12am every night trying to get stuff done when the kids were asleep. I was a mess on move day - burned out around 3pm - thank goodness for our movers. Didn't help that the week we moved was the hottest week of the summer!

So after moving in, we started to unpack, and then everyone in the family got hit with some form of sickness. I am still recovering, but the kids are all better (the resilience of youth - how I miss it).

Managed to get my CAT6 wire where I needed it, and installed a nice patch panel to be organized for the home network. By the way, if anyone is in the Greater Toronto Area and needs a reco for a low-voltage wire guy, I've got one. He's also helping me with my theater design, and is going to check out some stuff for me at CEDIA next week. Apparently, he does garage doors, too...

So that's it for now.
post #23 of 373
Thread Starter 
One more thing... I forgot to take a picture of it, but I borrowed my dad's truck during move week to take stuff to the dump, and I got rid of pretty much all of my scrap lumber. So I missed my chance to grab a shot of the wood pile, but I can tell you, it was close to 700 lbs. according to the dump scale. It was hard to believe all the pieces I had been keeping, thinking, "oh, I can make something with that some day".

There were old warped 2x4s, countless pieces of plywood, and I even parted with a few pieces of hardwood. I did keep about 9 good 2x4s, and a 16' 2x10! How could I throw that away?!
post #24 of 373
It is possible to move some of the walls around in the "playroom" "home office" and "craft room" area? I am wondering if a hallway could be placed in there to eliminate the need to walk throught the "home office" to access the "craft room"?

Seems like you may be able to shift the wall between the furnace room and the playroom to the left (making the furnace room smaller) and give yourself some room for a hallway...? Just a suggestion. I always like it when a basement is laid out as close to the main living areas of a home... i.e. no walking through one room to get to another.
post #25 of 373
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by redpa18t View Post

It is possible to move some of the walls around in the "playroom" "home office" and "craft room" area? I am wondering if a hallway could be placed in there to eliminate the need to walk throught the "home office" to access the "craft room"?

Seems like you may be able to shift the wall between the furnace room and the playroom to the left (making the furnace room smaller) and give yourself some room for a hallway...? Just a suggestion. I always like it when a basement is laid out as close to the main living areas of a home... i.e. no walking through one room to get to another.

You make a really good point about walking through one room to get to another. That being said, our most recent thinking was to actually take the door out between the home office and craft room and widen the opening to probably 72", almost making it into one big room. My wife wants to put in a big island work surface in the middle of the room eventually, and it will likely be a good extension of the home office.

We want to make the spaces as open as possible and allow as much light to come through. Both the home office and craft room have windows (standard basement window wells) on the east side. I'll add some pics later today.

Thanks for the suggestion!
post #26 of 373
I am NOT sure about this but I believe having to go through one room to get to another is a fire hazard (fire breaks out in office, kids have no way out). Plus imagine working away in the office and the kids have to go through while you are on the phone (or browsing buttman porn).
post #27 of 373
Thread Starter 
I think it best to add some more pictures to explain the space. Any hey, everyone seems to like pictures.

Below is the view towards where the screen will be. We'll remove that shelf, and dry-wall in the double-door opening. One thing I haven't thought through yet is that cold air return, since I am planning on putting in-wall speakers there.


Here's another shot of the openings to the playroom and office. Currently, you use the double doors to get into the rooms. Our plan is to dry-wall in the double door entrance, and put doors where the windows currently are - there is one for both the playroom and the office. We'll reuse the french doors in the new openings.


This is the playroom for the kids.


This is a shot from the playroom looking into the home office through the current pass-through. We will be dry-walling in the pass-through and the walk-through to make 2 distinct rooms. The playroom also has a sofa-bed, so it can double as an extra spare bedroom if needed.



The home office. The previous owners used the space as a home gym, hence the frickin' large mirrors which will be going. We're basically going to wrap the worksurfaces around the window wall.


The door to the much-discussed craft room. As I mentioned in my last post, we're going to take out the door and widen the opening to 60-72" to create a more open space as opposed to another closed off room.


Here's the craft room which is currently holding all the LEGO... The Death Star didn't quite make it through the move, but hey, if the empire can rebuild it, so can we!


Last picture. This is the view looking from the double-door entrance towards the bar area.


Hopefully this gives a better perspective on the space and our current plans. Keep chiming in with any thoughts or advice!
post #28 of 373
Your basement footprint is huge! The bad part is I dont think the previous owners laid it out very well although it looks nice. I really think you should look into a design that allows for a bigger HT area because in the end that will be the biggest draw down there. The whole kids room/closet/craft/office/storage area would be a nice size area to do this, or rotate the screen to the east wall in its current state and expand the bar out with a large L shaped top or a bar top behind the seating area whish is common on here to do. It sounds like you have plenty of time to figure this all out so keep the thoughts coming!
post #29 of 373
How exactly are the french doors going to work? Which room with they enter into? It looks to me from your pictures that there is not enough wall space there (wtihout removing the closet) for the doors to fit for the home office? Are you splitting them up into single doors?
post #30 of 373
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by redpa18t View Post

How exactly are the french doors going to work? Which room with they enter into? It looks to me from your pictures that there is not enough wall space there (wtihout removing the closet) for the doors to fit for the home office? Are you splitting them up into single doors?

Yes - we'll set them up as single doors. One in each of the openings that are currently used as windows.
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