So, here’s the basement plan, in a nutshell

Here’s a very rough diagram of the existing, unfinished basement:

The left and bottom walls are concrete foundation walls. The right and top walls are already framed in. The alcove at the top is the area under the porch. That will be left unfinished for now, but might one day be converted to a wine cellar.

The plan is to do something like this:

We’ll add a half-bath and enclose the water heater and furnace in the nook of the stairs in a closet. The left side of the room will be the man cave with a big tv (perhaps a projector) and a wet bar. The right side will be office space and a music area. We’ll put in a Harry Potter-style door on the wall next to the stairs so we can use that space as a closet.

My plan of attack is this:

First, I want to bring in a plumber to make sure we can configure the half bath in that location with the drain pipe and other plumbing in its existing location and get any work done that we’ll want to do before we rough things in. Then, I’ll bring in an HVAC person to see what needs to be done to get the appropriate vents in place to ensure even heating and cooling (my current basement gets far too cold when the AC’s on, even while the upper floor remains hot; I want to avoid that). I may let the experts handle that work.

In the meantime, we’ll start framing after putting up the extruded foam insulation on the concrete recommended here. After the framing is in, I want to figure out exactly what my wiring needs will be, both electrical and for networking, surround speakers, etc. Again, I may let a professional handle the electrical wiring, but I’ll probably do the rest myself. I want to keep exposed speaker wires, HDMI cables, electric cords and such to a minimum.

When that’s all done, the drywall will go up. This is probably the part I’m most nervous about. I’ve heard the taping, mudding and sanding is exacting work. This is when I’ll really be hoping friends show up to help.

After the dry wall is up and painted, I’ll put in the flooring. I’m leaning toward laminate right now, but I’m open to advice and suggestions. Finally, the ceiling will go in, probably acoustic tile. Update: One of my advisers informed me it makes more sense to put up the ceiling before the floor, to avoid risking damage to the new floor. See, I’m learning things already.

I don’t have a solid timeline in  mind, though I’d like to have it all done by late fall if at all possible. Let me know what you think – even if you think I’m insane.

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