Finished Basement

Finished Basement
 Interested in a finished basement or diy information on how to finish a basement?

 With all the building materials that are involved with a home remodeling
project it can all seem over whelming, but don’t worry, we are here to help!
Click here for Suspended/Acoustical/Drop Ceiling Panels from Armstrong

  Mechanical like your homes plumbing, electric, lighting, wall framing,
duct work framing ,drywall, drywall finishing, Trims, painting, drop ceiling,
windows, doors and possibly cutting them down are important things to
consider in your home remodeling project.
When laying out your design, You must plan ahead!
      Here are a few Tips on Finishing a Basement  and Finished Basement pictures
to help with your Carpentry skills so you can DIY (Do it yourself) if you choose.
If this is beyond your Building skills, then ask for a free estimate from
a building contractor who can provide you with expert advice and planning.
Don’t let designers like Home Depot or other construction companies tell you
its impossible when its not!
If you have a  plan or remodel design and want it executed call us.

When planning to finish a Basement you must consider some of the followings;
  The very most important is not to cover up anything that may come back to haunt you later.
                               If you have cracked walls or water leaking through your walls,you need to fix them first.
                              Building walls over a wet leaky wall is a sure way to get black mold.
                  Older Block walls (cinder Blocks) that have multiple joints are usually the type that leak water
                             and are prone to cracking and heaving inward.
     Poured walls which are poured in one solid cast is most preferred and are easier to repair.
       It is not uncommon to have a crack or two in these walls. Some are just hairline cracks that
   never leak water and won’t need repair.  For more info on repairing cracked walls go to 

    Get the water away!
     One of the simplest, least expensive and most common way to stop water from
getting into your Basement is to keep all water run off away from your home
by installing gutters, down spouts and have the grade of your yard to be sloping
away from your house.
     You may already have gutters installed but are they leaking? You might want to clean your
    gutters and re-caulk the seams or replace your gutters completely.
     A Remodeling,handyman or home improvement company can fix these home repair problems.
Don’t cover it!
      Plumbing; Repair and/or replace leaky shut off valves on water lines.
If you plan on hanging drywall(sheet rock,gypsum board) on the
ceiling or walls,you do not want to cover up any shut offs! Gas or water.
      You can re-route your water and/or gas shutoff’s to a location that wont be
covered permanently like your utility room were you might use a drop ceiling
(ceiling tiles)for a finished look.
      Spray a solution of dish soap and water on gas lines and valves.
You are looking for air bubbles. If you see air bubbles,you have a leak!
  Electric Wires
      Not only will you be running 14/2 wire for your lighting and 12/2 for your wall plugs.
      will there be a computer,phone,stereo speakers or cable tv?
       You must not forget before you cover your walls
How will you finish your windows?
       Basement windows are usually up high at the bottom of floor joist.They need special
attention so that when the ceiling,whether it be drywall,drop ceiling,tecthum or
other type doesn’t go across the window opening.
see a Finished Basement window image
   stair well
       Will you want to open the stair wall? If so you will need to
have a plan to finish that area. Usually the ceiling at or above
the bottom step will need to be framed and finished to exactly what
your suspended ceiling would be when finished  Click to see before
and after Basement finishing images stairs, Clarkston and Troy Michigan. 
  Those big pipes!
      Plumbing,waste drains/vent pipes. Don’t worry.
      Frame around the pipes for added detail. When its finished it will have dimension.
      You might want add a copy of your framed in box down the wall to create symmetry or
put a built-in cabinet or custom book shelf in between two framed boxes. 
            click here basement pipe image in Farmington Hills Mi.
   Metal Pipes holding up the beam that are usually lined down the middle of your basement.
      I usually attach 2×4 pine to the post with a 22 shot driver.You can buy one for 20.00.
      After the 2×4’s are attached you can add drywall or a finish board to finish.
      You will want this done before you start your Drop ceiling.
Duct work
   The duct work will also have to be framed out before the ceiling.
      It helps to have a long extension on your drill gun to reach those hard to
reach places.    It also helps to have a nail gun!
    Lay out the walls for your Finished basement;
      First off.Do not start building walls and shove them up against the cement wall.You will
  end up with wavy walls.
      After carefully inspecting the original cement wall for straightness from one end to the
     other,measure and mark 4 inches out from wall at both ends.
      Run a chalk line from mark to mark.This is were the finished side of your wall will be.There
     should be aprox. 1/2″ space between the wall and the inside edge of your 2×4 bottom plate.
     Bottom plate=horizontal part of wall that the vertical studs sit on.
      Doing it this way and following the chalk line will ensure you to get a straight wall.
    Build walls for a finished Basement;
     If you are going to build your walls on the floor,then stand them up to put into place on
    your chalk line,do not measure everything tight!You will be sorry and better have a sludge
    hammer ready to beat your wall into place only to find out it won’t go!
     It is better to cut your studs a good 3/8″ shorter than your floor to joist measurement and
    don’t forget to take off the 3″ for the thickness of your top and bottom plates.
     For example,if you measure from floor to the bottom of your floor joist and you get 92″
    subtract 3 3/8″ (92″- 3 3/8″= 88 5/8″  and that would be your stud length. 
     Don’t worry about the gap in between the top plate and the joist.hope you bought shims!
      Also keep in mind some floors can be un-even and remember,measure twice,cut once.
         Once your walls are up,sit them on your line,plum/level,shim the top and nail.
     Good Job!
  Don’t go cheep when doing your Basement remodel!Put your studs 16″ on center not 24″.
      It is real easy to put a hole in a wall at 24″ oc.I’ve seen kids playing and go right
      through a 24″ oc wall       ( oc= on center )
   Basement Ceilings;
        Although there are many types of ceilings that can be done,the most common are dry wall and
       Drop ceilings ( suspended ceilings ).
       Suspended ceilings;
       If your latest renovation project includes a new ceiling, don’t panic at the thought of overhead
                                           drywall work.
       In the right situation, a suspended ceiling that is comprised of a grid that supports 2 x 4-
      or 2 x 2-ft. panels offers some real advantages over the permanent variety such as drywall.
       First,ducts,pipes and cables hidden above a dropped ceiling remain accessible for repair or
      modification. And second, suspended ceilings are better sound barriers than drywall ceilings.
                           For the do-it-your selfer, though, the real bonus is easy installation that requires only
                         simple household tools. Comprised of a metal grid that supports lightweight panels, a
                         suspended ceiling is well within the capabilities of most homeowners. If you’re worried
                         about the institutional look, drop-in ceiling panels have become more attractive in recent
                         years, with a wide range of designs to choose from.
                           While suspended ceilings are not for everyone, or for every situation, they make a lot of
                          sense in basements and in first-floor rooms with bathrooms overhead. If a leak appears in
                          the plumbing, a suspended ceiling can mean the difference between a costly, time-consuming
                          repair job and a minor inconvenience.
                            All you need for a suspended ceiling is sufficient head clearance. Requirements vary,
                          but most codes stipulate a minimum 7 1/2-ft. ceiling height in new construction. Some codes,
                          however,will accommodate a lower ceiling height if it’s part of a renovation project, so it pays to
                            You’ll need roughly 4 in. of space between the old and new ceilings to tilt the panels in place,
                           and an additional 2 in. if you intend to install drop-in, full-panel fluorescent ceiling lights.
                            When laying out your ceiling grid you will measure from wall to wall in both directions to find
                          center points (points of reference).It is a good idea to see were you will end up by going 2ft.
                          increments from these points to determine were you will place you main runners in   
                          your ceiling grid system.While checking these references pay attention that you wont end up
                          with a grid right next to a wall angle to were it is to close to properly place a ceiling tile.
                                                     Watch around window boxes,stair headers and duct work.
                Ultimately you want to have equal cuts of your basements ceiling tile at both ends and sides
           of your home improvement project.
     Drywall ceiling;
      If you want to install drywall on the floor joist ceiling in your basement,you will have to
                           pay close attention to your homes mechanical that are hanging down past the surface to were
                           your drywall will rest.This is a good reason to use drop ceilings but if you want a more
                           finished look,drywall is the way to achieve this.
                             There will always be something in the way,whether it be drain pipes,water lines,shut off
                           valves,gas lines,electrical,duct work or your home air conditioning line it all can be moved to a
                           certain extent without spending a fortune.
                              I would not recommend moving any of these unless you are qualified or you hire a qualified
                            Home improvement,home remodel or home repair company such as a home improvement or
                            basement remodeling company.
                              To level your ceiling and get past the hanging mechanical,I use what is called a hat channel.
                              It looks like the shape of a hat if you look at the end and is formed from thin sheet metal.
                              It come in thickness from 3/4″ to 1 1/2″ and 12 ft long.It is leveled and screwed to the bottom
                             of your floor joist to get you past the mechanical that are in the way.
                               I prefer hat channel over wood.It is about the same price as 2×4’s,most times
                             cheaper.Because it is made of sheet metal you can stack many length when storing to take up
                             less space,lighter weight and best of all,won’t warp causing cracks in your dry-wall joints.
     Basement doors;
       Some Ceilings in basements end up being so low after finishing that you will need to
                              cut down the doors.
                                Hollow core doors are commonly used because of the affordability but you can not just cut
                              them down without taking away the doors integrity.If you cut more than 3/4″ off the bottom
                              you will want to add a new bottom rail.  
                                 Also figure in if you will be adding carpeting or any flooring that will add to the finished
                              opening of your basement door.
         How to Cut down a basement door;
                 The installation of new carpeting or an area rug are perhaps the most common reasons.
                                  Adding air space under a bathroom door for more efficient operation of bathroom fans
                               is another reason (you need about a 1-in. gap to allow replacement air to enter).
         Here are basic instructions for shortening a hollow-core or solid-wood door.
                                   Mark the Door; measure the distance from the head jamb to the floor (or carpeting) at the
                                left and right side of the opening. Subtract 5/8 inch from each measurement (to include a
                                1/8-in. gap above the door plus a 1/2-in. gap below the door). Transfer dimensions to the
                                door and connect these points with a straightedge.
                                                Tip: If you don’t have a 1/2-in. board, use any size and either add or subtract
                                                    from the line drawn when penciling the final cut line.
                Score the Veneer To prevent the up-cutting circular saw blade from chipping the veneer, clamp
                          a metal ruler or other straightedge to the door on your cut line and cut through the veneer
                          using several passes with a utility knife. Use the same procedure to prevent chipping when
                          cutting across the grain of a solid-wood door’s vertical stiles.
                                               Make Guided Cut;Clamp a straightedge to the door to guide a circular saw
                                                      along your cut line.
                                               Make sure the saw blade remains about 1/16 inch away from the cut line on the
                                                       waste side.
     Skip to Step 7 for solid wood doors.
      Tip: Place two pieces of scrap lumber lengthwise under the door, so they support the door and
                            the cutoff. Then you don’t have to support the cutoff with a free hand, or worry about the
                            damage to the unscored underside veneer that may occur if it is allowed to fall free.
                                         Clean off Core If your cut exposes the hollow portion of the door, you must reinstall
                                                the solid-wood rail from the cutoff. Start by making room for it by pushing in the
                                                ribbed cardboard or wood-strip core and scraping off any glue from the inside face
                                                of the veneer.
                                       Salvage the Rail;Peel the veneer off the cutoff. Scrape and/or sand the glue residue off
                                            the rail. If the two stile sections on the ends of the rail don’t just fall off, break them
                                      Reinstall Rail;Apply wood glue to both faces of the rail and insert it into the door bottom
                                          until it is flush with the bottom edge. Do not push too far, as it may be difficult to pull
                                            Wipe off any excess glue and apply two or three clamps for at least an hour.
                                       Sand and Seal Use a sanding block with medium- and then fine-grit sandpaper to round
                                          over and smooth the cut edges. Seal the bottom edge of the door with a finish to
                                          match the door(varnish or primer-and-paint). If you don’t, particularly with a solid
                                          wood door,the door will absorb moisture and may warp.
                             © Allor Remodeling & Construction  Sitemap   In the remodeling business since 1990