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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've been following numerous threads and participating on the site for a couple of years while doing the renovation on my basement, but haven't started my own thread. So, here's nothing.

All of this work is DIY. I'm an attorney, so I haven't had any formal training. It's all from watching TV, research, and past renovations in my old houses and my current house. I didn't take great before pictures, so some of this will come peace-mail.

Unlike a lot of other builds, I actually had a "workable" semi-finished basement. What makes it worse is that we were already using the space for storage, parties, and working out. So, I couldn't afford to move everything out and start from scratch. My thread will summarize how I went from a 70's poorly finished basement to the Spartan Sports Den and entertainment space.

Here's an idea of where I started:
 

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Discussion Starter #2
The walls were done in the 70's in a faux tudor style thin panel wallboard. It was only about 1/4" thick. There was no insulation in the walls and after moving in I had some water issues that were since rectified. So, the walls were really cold in the winter/spring/fall (most of the year) and bowed here and there due to moisture in the past.

The house had a full kitchen in the basement when we bought it. However, we soon discovered that mice had previously occupied it and the rod-holes on the exterior wall were not filled in a couple of spots in that area. To say the least, that had to be demoed.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
After gutting the kitchen area, repairing the rod holes, insulating and repairing the drywall. I moved onto the bathroom. Hey...bonus basement bathroom. Except this one looked like it was redone in 1983. I wish I took more "before" pictures, but I'm not a big picture taker and spent more time demoing. :)

The brown toilet (not pictured) was removed first. The vinyl floor was fun to scrap off by hand, too.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Here's a view out from the kitchen (behind the bar area) to the space where I'll be putting the TV viewing area.

Please note, this house was built in 1976 and has numerous pipes, electrical connections, intercom system, water lines, gas lines, etc. running through the basement ceiling. There's no way I could comfortably close up the ceiling. So, I'm drywalling the exterior walls and replacing the office-style ceiling with a ceilume drop. I'm going to go with the tin-style in the kitchen/bar area and white on the remainder of the ceiling.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The insulation dilemna

I went back and forth on this forum examining the best methods of insulating the walls. I narrowed it down to 3 options.

Option #1 : spray foam

Option #2 : Use pink styrofoam-type board for vapor barrier, then put up R-13 between the studs

Option #3 : Use just R-13 faced insulation between the studs (facing acts as vapor barrier)

There was no insulation before the renovation, so anything I did would be an improvement. I just didn't want to do all the work and then regret not doing something down the road.

I looked at this thread for guidance:

http://www.avsforum.com/forum/19-de...-foam-insulation-basement-concrete-walls.html

I ended up doing the 1/2" rigid foam between the poured concrete walls and the existing studs. I cut it to size and glued it in the joist bays as well, then I either taped or spray foamed the joints to prevent air infiltration. I then insulated the space between the studs in the wall with R-13. The rigid was R-4, so I will be getting the equivalent of R-17 (I guess).

The basement is already warmer even though I haven't finished all the walls yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Resist Destruction

One of the hardest parts of my renovation was resisting the temptation to tear down everything and start from scratch. My goal was to save time and money and be smart about the construction process. So, I tried to keep as much of the material as I could. I didn't want to totally rip out all the studs and move the spaces, so I tried to keep everything where it was for the most part and work around it.

I watched alot of DIY shows and Holmes is one of my favorites, so I had to resist his philosophy.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I tiled the bathroom floor and kitchen floor w/ some porcelain tiles from HD. I went with a hopscotch pattern using a 12" tile and 6" tile. I've done 3 other floors before in prior houses and helping out my parents, but this is the first time doing this pattern. I must say that its hides some of the possible imperfections in lining up tiles very well.

I was able to recycle the old vanity, cleaned in thoroughly, lighted sanded and applied a stain/poly in one. Looks like new now with a new sink, countertop and faucet.

The drywall repairs in the bathroom were a pain! I hate doing drywall.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Here's some of the progress on the walls. I had to do the walls in sections as I'm only doing this part-time during weekends, holidays, and vacations (when I have time to spare with the family including 2 girls under 4).

The first 2 pics are looking towards the bar/kitchen area. That niche was a bookcase that I tore apart and made into a floor to ceiling inset area. My wife bought me 2 chairs from historic Tiger Stadium in Detroit when they tore it down a few years ago. I had them against a back wall, but that area will suit them nicely.

The other is the kitchen with the flooring and ceiling in. I got a great deal on the stove and fridge...cabinets will join them soon.
 

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Here's the niche (after painting) with the 2 Tiger Stadium seats, me and my now 3 year old (this is about a year old).
 

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I had 2 other niches in the basement. One is where my TV used to be (check out this monster) and the other where my new TV will be located. Directly across the other wall. I tried to eliminate the niches, but the electrical panel and a waste line was next to one, the other had the water meter and a cleanout flanking it. So, I decided to keep them, rebuild them and make them a decorative part. I am going to recess my TV (70" Vizio)

I reframed them with cement board and then bricked them with reclaimed brick face. It goes on like tile, but is kind of a pain to keep straight, clean, and fill with mortar.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Here's the TV area. I built in backer boxes behind the Polk built-in speakers since the wall was built out an extra foot from the wall. I thought that may impact the sound, so I used the guidelines set by Polk to build it into the stud area, caulk it, etc.

The cabinets on the right of the recessed area is hiding the water meter, so I decided to flank the other side with matching cabinets for storage (there's a water clean-out behind the far end of the cabinets. I got these from Lowe's unstained.
 

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I had to flank the TV with cabinets on the right (see picture of water meter and service) and on the left (plumbing clean out and waste drain).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I've been slacking on this thread and the basement work since the summers are typically spent out poolside. Since the pool is now closed, it's time to get back to work.

I cleaned up some of the mortar from the bricks using an acid solution. That stuff tore through the tile sponge but it got off the mortar.

I also started staining some of the cabinets. Although I took the doors out to the garage, the rest had to be stained in the basement. It takes a while for the smell to dissipate. I think I'm going to add some crown at the tops of the cabinets to dress them up more. Here's the staining:
 

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When I was house hunting I thought I would do brickwork like that in parts of the basement. I was fortunate enough to find a finished one (with lots of pine woodwork) but I really do like the brick a lot.

I think the dark MSU green would look great as a trim paint color in there along with the wood shelves and brick (we did Pitt colors - darker blue and some yellow - as colors to match the pine in my room)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I think the dark MSU green would look great as a trim paint color in there along with the wood shelves and brick (we did Pitt colors - darker blue and some yellow - as colors to match the pine in my room)[/QUOTE said:
Thanks...I still have to work on the ceiling where I built some closets and over the TV viewing area, the bar, and trim. Once I'm done with that, I'll look into introducing more colors. My wife doesn't want the space to be "too dark" since it is the basement, so I've been using more natural type materials (wood, brick, granite) to stand out.

BTW - I like your space...seems like a comfortable spot for entertaining and watching games.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
My next step was to build some closets on the end of the wall where the TV was. I was intending to put my components in the shelves next to the TV, but changed my mind and went with a movable rack and build closets for storage on the wall.

Here's the slight before (after some demo):
 

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