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Discussion Starter #1
I want to finish my basement and try to do most of the work myself. This will be a long drawn out process. I already have a rough in for a half bath. I would also like to add a tub as well. My question is what are the first couple things I should do to get it started? I am thinking -

1. Design
2. Framing

I also want to get the bath completed before anything else is done.

Am I missing anything that needs to be done prior to this?
 

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Basement

Have you had any leaks in your basement? You would want that taken care of first (Gutters, french drain, etc.).


When I lived in Cincinnati, OH, I finished my basement and within 2 months it started taking in water. Was a real pain to clean up every month.

-AJ-
 

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Discussion Starter #3
AJ, no I have lived in the house for 5 years and never had a leak, but I also have the interior walls coated with waterproof 'paint'.
 

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Here is the layout of my basement. My current plan is - put a bedroom where it says 'optional den'. The 'optional rec room' would be the living area. The area from the steps down to where the 'optional bathroom' would be either a storage area for me or a kitchen. My rough in for the 1/2 bathroom is in the bump out of the area marked 'storage area'. I would also put a tub or stand up shower in that area. Does anyone have any other design ideas on how to best use the space?
 

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My buddy is in the process of doing his basement himself. I can put you in touch to see the work. I've helped him hang drywall, and would like to finish my own basement someday.

The real time consumer is the detail work. Roughing out the framework was a relatively quick job. Get yourself a nail gun and forget using a hammer for the most part. A table saw also helps.

Next you need to wire the place or hire someone to do it. I strongly recommend the wiring be finished before hanging drywall. Same for the plumbing, have it all done in advance. You don't want to have to rip out drywall later on to fix/finish wiring and plumbing.

For the bath, figure how much tile, whether you want to use waterproof backerboard, or prefab shower/tub, etc.

Then there is the ceiling. If you are drywalling the ceiling, do it first, before the walls. In a nutshell, the ceiling drywall needs to float on the side walls and corners. Do not screw the ceiling close to the walls, rather let it hang down ever so slightly. Do the walls last.

One mistake my friend made IMHO was to drywall the closets. This took forever and involved lots of edges. And who sees inside closets???

Finally, we tried to save time by piecing together smaller left-over drywall sheets (e.g., half and quarter sheets) to cover larger areas. Big mistake. It takes four times as long to fill the seams later on. Bottom line, use full sheets whereever possible with as few seams. Even if you have left over drywall pieces, do not make the same mistake.

And, get lots of friends to help you and pay them in beer.
 

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In addition to the water control issues, be mindful of the issues associated with a bathroom below grade. You may need to install a sewage pump to elevate the output from the bathroom drains to the level of your sanitary sewer outlet.
 
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