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Basement Finishing and Renovations Has it been 2 years already? Time to work on finishing the basement into some extra living space.


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Old 2014-09-11, 08:35 AM
hebdo27 hebdo27 is offline
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Default Ottawa Basement Finish

As per a seperate Ottawa thread and a few requests to provide more details, I will be detailing my basement reno from the last 3 months.

Last edited by hebdo27; 2014-09-12 at 12:45 AM.
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Old 2014-09-11, 08:59 AM
hebdo27 hebdo27 is offline
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The start.

I don't have the very initial picture of my basement but it can pretty much be described as an episode of "Hoarders" albeit without the dead cats or rodents. With the impending birth of our 3rd child, finishing the basement had become a manditory requirement! My initial plan was to finish it myself but with two small children it was impossible to do work in the evenings without waking them up with all the power tool noise. Plus I had no energy left after all the effort required to get them to bed.

A little about myself, I'm a mechanial engineer who likes to dabble in woodworking. Over the years I have learned to be fairly handy around the house (having grown up in a family that didn't even own a hammer or drill (and my dad was a civil engineer!!!)) I love watching the home reno shows (Holmes, McGilvery, Baeumler, etc) although I know better and enjoy them with a grain of salt!

After a long 2 month process to select a contractor, we finally choose one. The contractor selection process was in itself a labourous ordeal with many potential candidates either no-shows for estimates or after talking with them for about 10 mins, realizing they had no clue what they were doing (and some of them were from reputable local companies). The contractor we chose initially qouted us $20k for a basic basement but with all the extra stuff we wanted it ballooned to $30K for all the work (including electrical/plumbing/etc) and all permits. I would be required to fund the finishing touches and the "client" picked items (paint, trim, shower, fixtures, vanity, fireplace, counter, cabinets, tiles, stones, etc). Fairly straight forward during the contract review and we both signed off on the work which was expected to take 6-8 weeks (eventually turn into almost 3 months but I was expecting that anyway).

Last edited by hebdo27; 2014-09-11 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 2014-09-11, 09:06 AM
hebdo27 hebdo27 is offline
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Default The start

It took me a good week to get all the crap (or as much as I could) out of the basement and into our garage or my parents garage/home. We signed the contract on Wednesday and they were ready to start the following Tuesday.

Oh a little about my house, it was built in 2008/2009. It's a two store single home, approx 2800 sqft, thus I assumed my working canvas for the basement was around 1400 sqft, minus about 300 sqft of unfinished mechanical room. Upstairs is 4 bedrooms with 3.5 bathrooms.

These pics are right at the begining, as you can see my stairs are still very closed-in. On of my work requests was to open up the staircase.

Overall the height around my basement was averaging around 7.5 ft, would have been nicer to have more ceiling height but jacking the house up not even in the real of imagination.
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Last edited by hebdo27; 2014-09-11 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 2014-09-11, 09:49 AM
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This will be fun to watch the progress. One suggestion: get them to air seal the vapour barrier in the joist spaces and at the bottom of the wall where you can see the strapping.

The basement will be much more comfortable as a result.
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Old 2014-09-11, 02:15 PM
hebdo27 hebdo27 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by good2know View Post
This will be fun to watch the progress. One suggestion: get them to air seal the vapour barrier in the joist spaces and at the bottom of the wall where you can see the strapping.

The basement will be much more comfortable as a result.
Hey G2K, it's actually already done. Just a few minor touchups to do. I just wanted to share my experience and hope to provide insight or inspiration for others that will be going through the process in the near future. But please keep the comments coming.
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Old 2014-09-11, 02:22 PM
hebdo27 hebdo27 is offline
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Prior to this work being started (actually a year before), I got a gas guy in to run gas lines for a dryer, stove, fireplace (basement), and and BBQ gas line to the backyard. I knew it was better to do it before they closed up the walls then to try and do it after the fact. I also ran CAT6 network and Cable lines to multiple locations on the mail floor, knowing that once the ceiling is closed up in the basement any additions would be a pain.
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Old 2014-09-11, 02:27 PM
hebdo27 hebdo27 is offline
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Here is the fireplace getting installed.

We got the higher rated BTU version of the 36" standard Napoleon fireplace that comes most new houses. We wanted the basement warm and coozy in the winter, thus this fireplace will actually heat much of the basement. The standard fireplace puts out about 12,000 BTU, this one is rated ~26,000 BTU and vented to push more heat out. I got it with the fan blower also.
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Last edited by hebdo27; 2014-09-11 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 2014-09-11, 02:32 PM
hebdo27 hebdo27 is offline
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Even though our basement was roughed-in for a 3 piece bathroom the contractor had to move the drains around for proper placement or else the bathroom would have been really awkward. The concrete base of my basement is actually a lot thinner than I though it would be.
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Old 2014-09-11, 02:41 PM
jeffjc jeffjc is offline
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is there any plastic between the 2x4 on the floor and actual floor?
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Old 2014-09-11, 03:21 PM
hebdo27 hebdo27 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffjc View Post
is there any plastic between the 2x4 on the floor and actual floor?
jeffjc

Yes he used that pink foam rolls you get at HomeDepot for ~$10/Roll. Sill plate gasket or something like that on the 2X4's touching the concrete. I did that moisture test by taping some plastic to my basement floor for a few days. There is no moisture at all in my basement, it has always been very very dry in my basement. But yes the added protection there is good to know. I was talking with the city inspector on this and it is actually NOT a bylaw requirement, just good framing practice.
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