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Old 08-30-2012, 09:36 PM   #1
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Arrow DIY: Entire Basement Rennovation: Nothing to Something

Again sort of a repost now that there's "Home Improvement" forum.

Figured i may as well start a thread mid-process. Since i now have 2 kids, I chose to put each kid in their own room up on the 2nd floor, plus there is a loft up there that can be used as a play room which keeps everything up there.

So I decided to put a bed/bath in the basement for the wifey and I ...as well as help make the unit more rentable when it comes time.

here was the clean slate, the day i took ownership:









Here's a general layout of the basement and what i'm hoping to accomplish:




What needs to be done:

1.) Move support post: one support post is in the proposed living space, and will be relocated. W8x15 support beam can support the added unbraced distance of the support relocation

2.) Add a decent sized bathroom: Install a bathroom in the proximity of the existing sewer line. sewage pump will need to be installed to pump poop to the sewer

3.) Storage Space: Would like some decent usable storage space

4.) Bedroom and Closet: add a decent sized bedroom and closet, keep the high cielings where possible and adding drop cieling where needed to access utilities above.




I decided to go with steel beams for the framing for a few reasons. 1.) the walls are not load bearing. 2.) steel doesn't warp or mold 3.) Price is nearly the same as a wood 2x4. 4.) lightweight and easy to handle. 5.) I like metal.


Day 1: layout of the walls and plumbing for the bath:




Day 2: Prep for concrete cutting




Day 3: Saw Cut and Break the concrete: (dusty as ****)


4hrs Later:

Started the framing, same day:



Day 4: ran all the plumbing and I backfilled all the concrete. Sewage pump buried and running into the existing sewer lines.



more framing:


bathroom walls going up:


hallway walls in the back:


closet in the back right, framed for 36" pocket doors:


Day 5, more hallway framing: ( Notice the support post has been pulled.)



Walls up, Electrical run. Notice the Red Support Post. I cut a 18"x18" section of concrete floor out and poured a 12" pad for the new support beam to rest on (waited 3 days for the concrete to setup before putting any load on it)


Day 9: Framing complete, I-beam boxed in...READY TO DRYWALL:



Everything was pressure tested and no leaks.


Shower:


Storage Closet:


Day 14: drywalling:




Closet:


Day 20: finishing work on the drywall (still need to work on the bath)








1 month milestone:

Carpet is getting installed as we speak, hopefully the hardwood this weekend.

Finished all the drywall work lastnight and put a coat of primer on everything.









hallway:


I decided to use bifold closet doors for access to utilities:



used some motar mix to fill in the stress relief seams so i don't feel them through the carpet:


working on the bathroom now to try bringing it to the same level of compeltion as the bedroom which is awaiting trim work.

FYI, working with HardyBacker board is a huge PITA! I found the best way to cut it is using a recipicating saw... it seems to just chew through blades. Using a knife, scoring and breaking isn't working...this stuff appears to be laminated so you can't break it like drywall. It's also hard to screw near the edges without it exploding

Anyway, i put the shower pan liner in place, filled it with 3" of water and let it set for a day to make sure there were no leaks. No issues. Lined the shower with 6mil plastic and overlapped it over the pan liner (40mil Vinyl). Right now i'm working on getting the cement board in place.



When i designed the shower wall layout I didn't realize this **** came as 3'x5' sheets, otherwise i would have spaced the studs accordingly....so every sheet needs to be trimmed to fit. lame.

here's the progress:


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Old 08-30-2012, 09:37 PM   #2
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Sewage sump in the back, framed out awaiting a cover. Toilet sits infront of the sewage pump enclosure and the vanity is the right, you can see the plumbing in the wall.


finishing the drywall. Mold/moisture resistant drywall is a must in the bathroom where you don't have direct exposure to water. I used HardBacker board (cement board) in the immediate shower area where it is more likely to get wet.


Installed the recessed shelving which will be tiled:


The shower pan. The 40mil liner extends about 1' up the walls with 6mil plastic on the walls incase there is any water that gets through the walls it will get diverted to the shower pan without leaking through the walls. I put 2x4's on edge and anchored them to the concrete floor. The 2x4's will be encased in a concrete curb that i will need to frame a mold for and pour.



Anxious to move out of my living room... I put the furniture in before finishing all the detail work.

started getting the closet flooring in:


12mm laminate flooring with hand-scraped texture:


acoustica panel drop ceiling in place:






closet shelving and floor finished last week:







Hallway updates: put the drop ceiling in which still needs a recessed light, installed the utility (electrial box, FiOs, Water main, Alarm System) closet doors, finished the flooring. Still need to do the baseboards, trim work, and some final paint.








getting to the bathroom now. I took on the task of cutting 18" square tile down into strips for the shower wall. I have a tile design i want to achieve in my head and this was the answer. 1-1/4" x 18" strips and 3"x18" strips.

tedious.









framed out the shower for the concrete pour this weekend. The plan is to finish the concrete and leave it decorative so i dyed it using pigment powder so that when it fully cures it's a color similar to the tile, dark grey.

the framing: using melamine board to help with surface finish and mold release. I used some 1x4's to give me my level line for the top of the slab around the edges.

+

reinforcing mesh on the curb portion:


took A LOT longer then i had planned because my barrel mixer didn't mix the finer aggregate (sand) as well as i had hoped. i would use a mortar mixer next time. Started mixing at 10am didn't finish until 6pm.




ALWAYS WEAR GLOVES!! i felt pressured for time at one point and thought "oh well" didn't think it would hurt this bad. My skin is peeling off today from the strong alkaline mixture. Learned after the fact that it's a good idea to clean your hands with vinegar to neutralize.



that's it for now. I'm going to let it cure for a few days before i pull the mold. I'm sure i'll have airbubbles and gaps, but i'll just mix up a putty and fill them in. After that it's polish to a finish that's not too slippery when wet then add a couple coats of sealer.
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:37 PM   #3
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started the tiling this weekend.

installed the radiant heating elements. SUPER easy, highly recommended. should be nice come winter:



dry layout of the tiles so everything would fit and i wouldn't have to run outside to the tile saw mid process.




only took about 2hrs to get laid out. just a recommendation if anyone plans on using radiant heating element matting:

1.) apply mortar directly to the elements pushing it through the mesh to make sure it bonds well to the floor
2.) level off the mortar smooth with a trowel using the heating elements as a thickness gauge
3.) butter the back of the tiles and trowel the grooves, don't try troweling groves over the elements.
4.) then just stick the tiles as normal




started tiling the shower. took a lot more time then i was expecting because of stopping to cut tiles and trying to work with the mortar.



So far everything is looking as i had hoped. After the tile is set i'll be polsihing and finishing the shower base.

installed the lighting for the shower:


and after about 12hrs of tiling...i have about another 10 to go.


not to break my arm patting myself on the back..., but i'm really loving the layout of the tile work. cutting all those strips of tile paid off.

i know it doesn't look like much...but i started polishing the concrete this weekend and using a 4" grinder with a diamond cup wheel really flings black mud around well. I was covered head to toe in black concrete mud. So far i ground it smooth and sanded with 80grit sand paper on my orbital. I'm only going to sand it to 220 then wax/seal it so that it's not too slipery for obvious reasons.



progress to date, hoping to get the tiling done today so i can start grouting everything:



Toilet may get swapped out, i'm not particularily happy with the size of this one:


testing the fixtures. the shower panel shoots the water about 20ft across the room, lol. so this is at 20% throttle. Running 3/4" copper line paid off. I have no shortage of water.


shower panel fricken rocks. ***** LIGHTING!


vanity installed, mirror yet to be mounted. Contemplating a backsplash.


one piece glass sink/counter:


I did get chance to finally grout the tile this weekend and, to me, it completely changes the look of the tilework. I used a ready-mixed sand based grout with the color already added (grey). It went fairly smoothly as grouting is pretty straight forward.



Right now, I'm focusing on putting flooring in my kitchen/dining room while i wait for my concrete polisher to be shipped so i can get the shower pan polished and the glass installed.

I started polishing the concrete a couple days ago and will update details later, once i finish it. But it's pretty cool to see a reflection on concrete.

SO FINALLY installed the shower glass lastnight:

I ordered custom glass from a place in pittsburgh called Rex Glass (www.rexglass.com) and they specialize in custom glass. Their kit provided everything needed to do the install (minus silicon) i just needed to provide the dimensions.

I had planned in advance when I first started the layout on this project, the standard door size is 28"x78". To save a bit of money, I made sure i could utilize this standard size. The return needed to be custom cut and that turned out to be 42 1/8" x 78". The door and return ended up costing about $860 including shipping, while local buffalo companies wanted $1200+ for the same sizes. Decent savings. PLUS i thought the hardware quality was awesome. The hinges are solid stainless and very beefy. The hinges are also pined to automatically return to fixed posistion once they are within 15° of the closed posistion.

Setting the track for the return, which requires just anchoring screws into the concrete and wall. A little bit of measuring is required to get the posistioning correct so that it's a tight fit with the door, but it's all pretty straight forward.









still need to re-install the shower panel and do a final install on all the shower hardware:


still trying to figure out what i want to do with the space behind the toilet...i wanted to do 3 glass shelves, but the wife wants something enclosed.


this pic gives a good prespective of the layout:


mah shower:


installed the frosted glass pocket doors for the closet:




Figured I'd update the thread. I move to West Palm in a couple days and decided to add a tile floor to the shower and change the jets for a wider spray pattern. The new tenant should love it.










And the last pics of the completed work now that I have moved out.








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Old 08-30-2012, 09:54 PM   #4
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We would get along well man

Love it!

Did you have to put an egress window in every room?
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Old 08-31-2012, 07:32 AM   #5
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Yeah, I think we'd get along well too! How did you like the pre-mixed grout? I read all of the "experts" say that you should steer clear of it and its better to mix your own. I even returned the one I bought and then bought the powdered stuff to do mine. Also, isn't dry fitting the tile just so important but such a pain in the ass?! I was using Travertine and of course broke a few tiles stepping on them or putting a knee on one when I was just doing the dry fit. PITA!

Yes the hardibacker is tough to work with but it's supposed to pay off in the long run. I heard that you really need a diamond blade.

You have some serious guts drilling into the cement floors, I think that may be where I draw the line. That would scare the bejeezus out of me for sure. All in all, very impressive craftsmanship overall, and I'm hugely impressed.

Edit: Also, what company did you get the closet organizer from? I ordered one of the John Louis sets and am about to put it in my sons closet. I like the looks of yours.
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Old 08-31-2012, 08:18 AM   #6
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I'm totally jealous of your ability to not only do the work, but to do it in such style! Beautifully done.
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Old 08-31-2012, 09:58 AM   #7
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^ Thanks, I appreciate it. To be honest, this is the first construction project i've ever done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonJon View Post
We would get along well man

Love it!

Did you have to put an egress window in every room?
no, it's technically not a "living space" so when I advertise it for rent or sale, it's a "finished basement with bathroom"


Quote:
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How did you like the pre-mixed grout? I read all of the "experts" say that you should steer clear of it and its better to mix your own.

Yes the hardibacker is tough to work with but it's supposed to pay off in the long run. I heard that you really need a diamond blade.

You have some serious guts drilling into the cement floors, I think that may be where I draw the line. That would scare the bejeezus out of me for sure. All in all, very impressive craftsmanship overall, and I'm hugely impressed.

Edit: Also, what company did you get the closet organizer from? I ordered one of the John Louis sets and am about to put it in my sons closet. I like the looks of yours.

I actually liked the pre-mixed grout, went on well and sealed well. no problems. I have used the powder mix for everything else though. Laying the tile took A LOT Longer than i was expecting for the shower, probably about 20hrs total. I was thinking i could do it in 8hrs.

cutting through the concrete floor wasn't a big deal, just super dusty because I made the initial cuts with a saw.

my closet set is actually from Home Depot, Martha Stewart Collection.
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Old 08-31-2012, 10:05 AM   #8
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started the tiling this weekend.

installed the radiant heating elements. SUPER easy, highly recommended. should be nice come winter:



dry layout of the tiles so everything would fit and i wouldn't have to run outside

only took about 2hrs to get laid out. just a recommendation if anyone plans on using radiant heating element matting:

1.) apply mortar directly to the elements pushing it through the mesh to make sure it bonds well to the floor
2.) level off the mortar smooth with a trowel using the heating elements as a thickness gauge
3.) butter the back of the tiles and trowel the grooves, don't try troweling groves over the elements.
4.) then just stick the tiles as normal


How did you install the heating element ? Did you have to run a new electrical line for the element thru the walls and to the box or is the 'draw' small enough that you can run it to an electrical outlet ?

Where did you get the heating elements ? I have only seen them come in a mesh style and they were ...like 400 -500 bucks for an 8x8 square. I don't remember exactlybut it was ridiculously expensive for some insulated wire.

But I want them in my next house.



installed the lighting for the shower:










Just curious.............I don't remember ever having a light directly in my shower.
Are there any rules against having lights in a shower or is it permitted because you have Can lights that are recessed ?

I like the shelves built into the wall as well.

Beautiful shower though !


I like frosted closet doors...good idea.
Anyhow, you do amazing work. Are you a general contractor by trade ?
Everything you do appears to be done very well.
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Old 08-31-2012, 10:57 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAFENGAS View Post
no, it's technically not a "living space" so when I advertise it for rent or sale, it's a "finished basement with bathroom"
Not sure how strict NY is, but once you finish it, it's a living space.
Did you run any duct work? Methods of egress set by code are important also, having a system to move and replenish the air is too.
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
How did you install the heating element ? Did you have to run a new electrical line for the element thru the walls and to the box or is the 'draw' small enough that you can run it to an electrical outlet ?

Where did you get the heating elements ? I have only seen them come in a mesh style and they were ...like 400 -500 bucks for an 8x8 square. I don't remember exactlybut it was ridiculously expensive for some insulated wire.

But I want them in my next house.
I knew i was running heated floor when I ran the electrical and that circuit has a higher amperage circuit breaker. I actually located a place to buy the elements from off ebay and purchased from their store directly. I think i got the heating elements and control panel for about $220 total. I think it was about 20 sq-ft total.

Quote:
Just curious.............I don't remember ever having a light directly in my shower.
Are there any rules against having lights in a shower or is it permitted because you have Can lights that are recessed ?

I like the shelves built into the wall as well.

Beautiful shower though !
technically according to code it's not allowed, but i couldn't find anything that I liked the looks of and the bulbs are double sealed halogen (halogen inside of a bulb). You can have lights in the shower but they have specific cans and lense covers which looked horrible. My reasoning, when i did it, was if for some reason they stop working because of moisture i can always convert them to an actual shower can becuase they are all larger, i'd just have to cut a larger hole. If they did short out for some reason, they are protected at the breaker. It's been almost 2 years now and no problems yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond42262 View Post
I like frosted closet doors...good idea.
Anyhow, you do amazing work. Are you a general contractor by trade ?
Everything you do appears to be done very well.
Thanks, i stained those and then added a frosted contact paper to the clear glass to get that look. Every frosted door i found was over $600+ for the set. I made these the way i wanted for about $200 total.'

No, i'm not a contractor, just an engineer who looks to save a few buck where I can.
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:17 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Not sure how strict NY is, but once you finish it, it's a living space.
Did you run any duct work? Methods of egress set by code are important also, having a system to move and replenish the air is too.
No, with NY you can have a finished basement and advertise it as a finished basement, but it can't be added to the living space. for instance, the basement is about 600sq-ft, but i can't add that into the size of the house when i list it and the basement wasn't included in the sq-ft of the house when I purchased it. If i made adequate egress, i would be able to list an additonal bedroom and add the square footage. I can however list the additional bathroom.

As far a duct work, there were existing ducts and additional ducts added throughout the basement to provide HVAC. The return air into the HVAC is pulled from the 1st floor and wasn't affected by the rennovation.

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Old 08-31-2012, 11:41 AM   #12
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No, with NY you can have a finished basement and advertise it as a finished basement, but it can't be added to the living space. .
Your house I guess. More important than codes.... God forbid you have a fire and your kids are in the basement, how are they going to get out?

Safety is more important to me than some inspector fining you for a permit violation. You gotta (should always want to) have at least 2 methods of egress from a basement. Even if you don't use the room as a bedroom (I already SEE a bed in your pictures), the finished rooms would be considered "habitual spaces". You kids will be playing down there, right?

Quote:
Marc Nard, ICC technical expert, further explains which spaces require emergency egress or exit openings, saying emergency exits are required in basement sleeping rooms or habitable space - defined as spaces used for living, sleeping, eating, or cooking. While that does not include spaces like bathrooms, toilet rooms, closets, halls, storage spaces, or utility spaces, it does include offices, recreation rooms, bedrooms, and home theaters. ***8232;***8232;There are some fine points. For example, a basement that has no bedroom but has an office would need an emergency exit for the office. But, says Nard, "Say you have a basement bedroom and an office which is not in the bedroom. How many emergency egress and rescue openings do you need? Answer: One, but it has to be in the sleeping room."
Last post... don't want to junk up your thread... Just be safe (even if code doesn't require it)
Finish work looks amazing. I would have run returns to the HVAC. Your system will try to pump air into the space, but you won't be pulling any out. Stale air is not good (radon)
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I agree with JonJon.

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Old 08-31-2012, 12:37 PM   #13
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Love the choice of materials and that mirror is awesome. Keep up the good work!
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Old 08-31-2012, 01:12 PM   #14
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Looks awesome. When we did our basement in Portland we had to put in an egress window in order to pass inspection. Wound up going with a 4x4 sliding window, which involved a lot more dirt to be hauled and a bigger egress well, but it let in so much light that it was worth it.

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Old 08-31-2012, 05:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Your house I guess. More important than codes.... God forbid you have a fire and your kids are in the basement, how are they going to get out?

Safety is more important to me than some inspector fining you for a permit violation. You gotta (should always want to) have at least 2 methods of egress from a basement. Even if you don't use the room as a bedroom (I already SEE a bed in your pictures), the finished rooms would be considered "habitual spaces". You kids will be playing down there, right?

Finish work looks amazing. I would have run returns to the HVAC. Your system will try to pump air into the space, but you won't be pulling any out. Stale air is not good (radon post... don't want to junk up your thread... Just be safe (even if code )
I understand the concern. It's something that I considered and I guess I chose to live life on the edge. The window that does exist, though smaller than code (30"x18"), does fully remove by simply unlatching and a rollout escape ladder was mounted outside.

but note that I DO NOT LIVE THERE. It's rented out to others who choose to use that room as they wish. When i rented it out, the basement is noted as nothing other than additional storage and a bathroom.

I had a radon test done which concluded there was no concern for radon and a CO alarm is also located in the basement.

Also the HVAC is located in the basement and the returns were already run because the HVAC was already dumping air into the basement. I just closed some registers off and ran them elsewhere within the basement based on the layout.

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Old 09-01-2012, 05:11 AM   #16
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great stuff man, learned alot
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Old 09-05-2012, 12:30 AM   #17
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wtf
that looks awesome man
are you a builder or sorts by trade

only one thing I could complain is lack of natural lighting.

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Old 09-11-2012, 08:47 AM   #18
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Where is this house located? In florida also? I have been hanging out there for 10 years and this is the first basement I have ever seen!
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:59 AM   #19
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Where is this house located? In florida also? I have been hanging out there for 10 years and this is the first basement I have ever seen!
IIRC, Buffalo, NY. Before he moved to FL.
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Old 09-11-2012, 07:21 PM   #20
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^ Correct

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Originally Posted by naMKaren View Post

only one thing I could complain is lack of natural lighting.
agreed, I already have the intent of putting a larger window in when the rental becomes available again. In hindsight...

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoconutPete View Post
Where is this house located? In florida also? I have been hanging out there for 10 years and this is the first basement I have ever seen!
Yeah, this is my place in upstate NY. Here in FL, I miss having a basement for projects.
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