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the block
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basement finishing ideas/guides (pics of my basement)

My wife and I will probably start trying to have kids in the next 1-2 years, and once we do, our home office will be turned into the baby's room. Right now we have 3 bedrooms on the 2nd floor. The master, the guest room, and the office. I'd rather move the guest room to the basement for the inlaws , but somehow I don't think that's gonna fly, so the office will need to be moved down there instead.

We have a nice clean basement that we pretty much only use for doing laundry, and the utilities are down there (electric panel, furnace, hot water heater, sump pit). The house was built in '99, so the basement floor is newish, cement, clean, no dirt or anything. Insulation was already up when we bought the house, so that's one less thing we'd need to do to the walls. The basement is also heated. The metal tubes that route the heat/ac around the house start in the basement, and they have grates on them for whether you'd like to let some of the air out into the basement or not. Plus I like it cool, so I'm not worried about heat.

Our main concern is that of flooding. On New Years Eve we came home to a couple inches of water in the basement because the sump pump decided it wanted to die while we were at work, so we've replaced it, and since then it's been fine, but it is on the top of our minds now, especially since we'll be putting our computers and other expensive equipment down there. Because of that we were thinking maybe we would need to build some sort of platform to put all the computer desks up on, and to make damn sure there are no surge protectors on the ground. I was even thinking maybe we could put pegboard up on the wall in the corner we were thinking of making the office, and then zip-tying any surge strip or switch or anything like that to the wall.

So anyway, here are the pics of our basement in it's current state:

Coming down the stairs from the kitchen. Note the silver insulation

Note the clean floors. This section would just kind of be sectioned off as a utility area. Not like I can really move the furnace or hot water heater. All the way against this corner is the sump pit. We also have what I call the moat that runs around the perimeter of the basement wall, which is maybe an inch or two deep, and separates the basement floor from the wall by an inch. It's to help drain water around the perimeter to the sump pit, in case we were to get some extra water in there, basically just a first line of defense from keeping it off the basement floor. And as for the wood against the wall, the lady that owned the house before us had cats and they apparently liked to climb the insulation to get to the window, so that was just put there to stop the cats from destroying the insulation.

The other side to the "utility area". The window on left would pretty much be where our office area started.

Back in this corner is where I'd want to put the computers, and put pegboard on one of those walls to keep the wires and cables off the ground.

Same, different angle.

Back up the stairs, notice electrical panel on the left.

I found a guide while searching genmay that I thought might be helpful, but none of the pictures load, so it wasn't a whole lot of help:

Does anyone know of some good sites that give ideas for doing this type of thing? Also anyone have experience doing it yourself? Any pictures? Any ideas on my platform idea, or whether it would be safe to put area carpets down? Do they make special carpety material for basements in case it got wet, it wouldn't be ruined? I just want to clarify we never had a problem with flooding before the sump pump died, or since we replaced it, so it isn't a very likely thing it's going to happen again, at least for a long, long time. In fact when we pulled the sump pump out, it looked way older than the age of the house, and we think they must have cheaped out and got a used one, of the contractor put in a used one, I don't know, but there's no way that thing was only 11 years old. I'm just trying to cover my bases here.

So thanks genmay, I look forward to anywhere you can point me and any info you can give me.

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Old 02-28-2010, 08:57 AM the block is offline  
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I've done basements, my brother's business does mainly basements.

It's not easy to do properly, there are so many things to consider. I highly reccomend not cheaping out.

I can give you some advice later. Some tips for cheaping out on stuff like sub floor.

ie, don't use the dricore subfloor panels that come 2' * 2' and interlock. They are a complete rip off price wise. Instead buy a roll of diamond back/whatever it's called in the US (Delta FL). It's a hard plastic bubble wrap type thing for waterproofing, exterior. Put this down, layer with plywood and screw to the concrete. This will give you an insulated floor for a fraction of the cost.

I prefer wood over steel because it goes up faster in basements. Just screw it in with no problems.

Check for any serious foundation cracks before you finish. They are much cheaper to fix from the inside before you finish.

Lay out your plugs, etc... and make sure you're good. Plan everything out several times.

Any questions I can answer and help out.

PS, put down some sort of subfloor. The one suggested is cheapest. Carpet on concrete is bad and uncomfortable and will detract value when you sell. A subfloor is a MUST in a basement.
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Old 02-28-2010, 03:18 PM crazymike is offline  
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