Author Topic: Semi-Finishing a basement  (Read 17082 times)

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #100 on: January 14, 2023, 09:55:34 AM »
From here, it looks fantastic - that's a huge difference.

You mentioned only that you were going to paint the floor - I'd recommend looking at some cheap low to medium pile carpet/rugs to lay down to add some extra warmth. While the space looks worlds better than in the picture, it's still fairly cold/inhospitable looking. Some carpet that you won't fret over losing to a small flood would be that last boost (in addition to redistributing your furnishings).

Your basement looks great! I can appreciate all the hard work you have put into it.

A couple of ideas in case anyone is ever seeking them: The house we purchased a while back has a ceramic tile floor over the poured concrete. We use throw rugs over that and they are washable if we ever have a flood. Not a drip of leakage since we've lived there.

Walls are painted cinder block with a drop ceiling. Considering having the ceiling spray foamed to control movie room noise in the upstairs family room.

We run a dehumidifier down there. Also recently purchased a heat pump water heater which should further assist that effort.

Thank you.

Good ideas. I'm thinking of putting in a couple of indoor/outdoor carpets which can handle any flooding but is warm on the feet.

I am not going to create a movie room. The surfaces are very hard (concrete walls/floor) so the sound will be awful with the echoing. And, I've already painted the ceiling, so no spray foam now.

I have been jonesing for a heat pump furnace and water heater. But my  gas furnace and water heater were replaced months before I bought the house. I'm going to wait for a failure to replace them. Replacing them with the heat pump variants would also improve air quality in the house.

Someone previously mentioned about the humidifier, so when I did the electrical, I added an outlet close to the place I want the humidifier to be.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2023, 09:57:28 AM by CowboyAndIndian »

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #101 on: January 24, 2023, 03:54:11 PM »
Newton was right, a body at rest continues to remain at rest. Could not get started on the basement project once the holidays were over and the kids had gone back. Finally, got some energy and started last week.

I finally finished painting the patchy floors and it looks awesome.

Also, since i had my paint stuff out, added trim and painted the staircase. Risers are white and the treads are the same color as the basement floor. All the trim is also white. I should complete all the minor touch ups tomorrow.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #102 on: January 29, 2023, 07:18:50 AM »
I have not been very productive as I have been worrying about radon in the basement.

Just before we left on our Christmas trip, I ordered an Airthings View Radon device, which measures radon, humidity and temperature. I installed it in the basement the evening before our trip.

Just for reference, the radon levels  (pico curies/Liter  or pCi/L) that the EPA
  • Less than 2.7 -  Good, no action needed
  • Between 2.7 and 4.0  -  Fair, but if in this range for greater than 3months, may need mitigation
  • Greater than  4.0 needs remediation

What surprised me was the variation of radon based on a bunch of factors. It could change within a couple of hours. I have shown the last week and the last month graphs. Green - Good , Orange is 2.7-4.0 pCi/L, Red > 4.0 pCi/L.

A week ago, the radon levels started increasing steadily until it peaked around 5 pCi/L.   I moved the monitor to the 1st floor of the house, where we spend most of our time and it dropped to 2.0 pCi/L in about 24 hours. You can see that in the steep dropoff at the very end. So, radon is not an issue in the rest of the house. If I can reduce it in the basement, it will probably decrease in the rest of the house.
 
I have been thinking of these issues and this is what I have checked/thought of

  • The radon pump is working because the manometer shows 1.2 inches of water
  • The sump pump cover is air tight. Verified using incense sticks as a smoke puffer.
  • I have caulked the cove gap around the basement, but have not done about 12 feet behind the furnace. This could possibly be an easy entry for radon.

I do need to caulk the cove gap behind the furnace and will do that this morning.

So, I am asking my brain trust, do you have any suggestions on what to do?
« Last Edit: January 29, 2023, 07:23:35 AM by CowboyAndIndian »

CatamaranSailor

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #103 on: January 29, 2023, 08:54:22 AM »
I'm not a radon expert, but I live in an area of the country that has high radon in the soil, I have a radon mitigation system and I talked extensively with the radon contractor when he installed our system 12 years ago.

1) Radon sinks which is why it accumulates in the basement.
2) The radon system basically creates a vacuum under the slab and pumps it outside.

I know you already know this.

When out system was put into our semi finished basement we used the sump pit as well. Our measurements pre-system was 5 and after it was installed it was not measurable.

The contractor indicated that if the readings did not come down after the system was installed, he could drill holes in the slab which would effectively "break the suction" and allow air movement (hence radon movement) under the slab. We did not have to do this because like I said, it wasn't measurable after the second round of testing.

My understanding from talking with the contractor and the testing company was that radon is an issue that shouldn't be ignored, but is also nothing to get freaked out about. You are about a million times more likely to die in a car accident.
You've mitigated. Your numbers are low, even at peak. Enjoy your basement and if you want peace of mind, do a real radon test with the charcoal canister and a laboratory. The kind that measures over 90+ days.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #104 on: January 30, 2023, 05:29:53 AM »
Thanks @CatamaranSailor. I've stopped freaking out now. Appreciate the advice.

I've been thinking. We tested for radon when we got the house and the test showed 2.2 pCi/L. When I started the basement improvements, I went around the perimeter closing all mouse holes and air gaps. I may have been too successful. The fresh air from the holes in the sill plate/joist was probably equivalent to an open window of approx 1 sq ft. The lack of fresh air might be reason why the radon is higher than when we check the levels now.

I'll still try to reduce it. I have a couple of ideas
  • The radon fan is probably from construction time and is approx 30 years old. Maybe time to replace it. I'll get a professional since the fan is in the attic. Also, getting a professional would give a second opinion.
  • I always had a plan for an Energy recovery ventilator(ERV) located in the basement. I might just move this action item higher on the priority list.

I'll keep monitoring the radon levels for another couple of months before I make any changes.

Now, back to the regularly scheduled programming ;-)
« Last Edit: January 30, 2023, 07:03:46 AM by CowboyAndIndian »

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #105 on: January 30, 2023, 06:06:48 AM »
I mentioned ERV in the previous post, but I guess I need to expand on why I think I need to install it.

I have been amazed at the envelope of this house. It is very, very airtight and with good insulation. If there was any air leakage, it was in the basement. Also, the house is perfect for solar gain in the winter, with windows on east/south/west. All winter we have bright sun warmed rooms.

My gas company sends me a home energy report where they compare my house with equivalent homes. Similar size and around the same age.  I am showing the September reports, before I made any changes in the basement. They think I have "The most energy efficient home in their service area". Our house uses  gas for heat/hot water/range/dryer.

My older house had quite a few drafts, so I did not feel the need for an Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV).  Here I have been thinking that an ERV is necessary. It should improve the air quality in the house and reduce the radon readings.

BTW, an ERV just exchanges outside and inside air, but will condition the incoming air with the outgoing air so we do not lose energy in the process.


« Last Edit: January 30, 2023, 07:11:20 AM by CowboyAndIndian »

Sibley

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #106 on: January 30, 2023, 09:02:00 AM »
Yes, if your house is that air tight you need to do something to exchange air.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #107 on: January 31, 2023, 09:46:25 AM »
Yes, if your house is that air tight you need to do something to exchange air.

Thank you. I plan to do that.

I kept the one window in the basement open just a little thru the night. The radon levels had a straight fall by morning. But this could be coincidence. I'll keep that window open for a month  and then take a decision based on the numbers.

FLBiker

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #108 on: February 06, 2023, 01:26:25 PM »
Here in Nova Scotia we typically have HRVs, which do air exchanging and heat recovery (so you don't end up pulling cold air into your heated house).  We put a new one in about a year ago and I've been happy with it.  I don't know that it's technically necessary, but it certainly improves air quality in winter months when things are all buttoned up.  And maintenance is very minimal -- we live in a semi-rural area, so our filters are typically very clean.

Sibley

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #109 on: February 07, 2023, 06:13:52 PM »
Yes, if your house is that air tight you need to do something to exchange air.

Thank you. I plan to do that.

I kept the one window in the basement open just a little thru the night. The radon levels had a straight fall by morning. But this could be coincidence. I'll keep that window open for a month  and then take a decision based on the numbers.

It's not just radon.

When you run the bathroom fan, you're pushing air out of the house, and it must be replaced. Same with the stove vent if it vents outside. Yes, it's minor, but air WILL get in to equalize the pressure so its better to give it a pathway you approve of.

Air quality as well. Put something smelly in a bedroom (you can pick something that smells good, just a strong odor). What happens to the odor? Without air turn over, that odor is going to linger much longer. As annoying as the higher air turnover I have is, when the litterboxes stink it means the odor clears out sooner. Take your shoes off? Stinky feet. Cleaning the bathroom? Particles in the air. Wet dog? Yep. Air turnover helps eliminate that, and right now, you don't have much.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #110 on: February 09, 2023, 08:27:03 AM »
Here in Nova Scotia we typically have HRVs, which do air exchanging and heat recovery (so you don't end up pulling cold air into your heated house).  We put a new one in about a year ago and I've been happy with it.  I don't know that it's technically necessary, but it certainly improves air quality in winter months when things are all buttoned up.  And maintenance is very minimal -- we live in a semi-rural area, so our filters are typically very clean.

That is good info. Based on some maps I saw, it looked liked HRV's were not viable in winter that far north. Glad to hear that it is working.

Could you please let me know what brand and model number of HRV you used?

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #111 on: February 09, 2023, 08:29:54 AM »
It's not just radon.

When you run the bathroom fan, you're pushing air out of the house, and it must be replaced. Same with the stove vent if it vents outside. Yes, it's minor, but air WILL get in to equalize the pressure so its better to give it a pathway you approve of.

Air quality as well. Put something smelly in a bedroom (you can pick something that smells good, just a strong odor). What happens to the odor? Without air turn over, that odor is going to linger much longer. As annoying as the higher air turnover I have is, when the litterboxes stink it means the odor clears out sooner. Take your shoes off? Stinky feet. Cleaning the bathroom? Particles in the air. Wet dog? Yep. Air turnover helps eliminate that, and right now, you don't have much.

Good point.

We cook a lot of Indian food. Spices galore. We use a over the range microwave hood which vents outside, but it struggles with the smell. We end up cracking a window in the house to help over come that.

I will definitely do this.

I've been studying this and believe that a Spot ERV will be the best for me. That way, I do not have to tap into the HVAC system. I've even located an area of the basement it will be located.

Any recommendations for the HRV/ERV? Brands you like with model numbers would be helpful.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2023, 08:33:30 AM by CowboyAndIndian »

Sibley

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #112 on: February 09, 2023, 09:35:01 AM »
It's not just radon.

When you run the bathroom fan, you're pushing air out of the house, and it must be replaced. Same with the stove vent if it vents outside. Yes, it's minor, but air WILL get in to equalize the pressure so its better to give it a pathway you approve of.

Air quality as well. Put something smelly in a bedroom (you can pick something that smells good, just a strong odor). What happens to the odor? Without air turn over, that odor is going to linger much longer. As annoying as the higher air turnover I have is, when the litterboxes stink it means the odor clears out sooner. Take your shoes off? Stinky feet. Cleaning the bathroom? Particles in the air. Wet dog? Yep. Air turnover helps eliminate that, and right now, you don't have much.

Good point.

We cook a lot of Indian food. Spices galore. We use a over the range microwave hood which vents outside, but it struggles with the smell. We end up cracking a window in the house to help over come that.

I will definitely do this.

I've been studying this and believe that a Spot ERV will be the best for me. That way, I do not have to tap into the HVAC system. I've even located an area of the basement it will be located.

Any recommendations for the HRV/ERV? Brands you like with model numbers would be helpful.

I have a 1919 house with no wall insulation. My brand and model is called "drafty". LOL.

There is more than one way to solve the problem, and I can't advise on what would be best for you. With your cooking, you might need a more powerful fan.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #113 on: February 10, 2023, 04:46:40 AM »
It's not just radon.

When you run the bathroom fan, you're pushing air out of the house, and it must be replaced. Same with the stove vent if it vents outside. Yes, it's minor, but air WILL get in to equalize the pressure so its better to give it a pathway you approve of.

Air quality as well. Put something smelly in a bedroom (you can pick something that smells good, just a strong odor). What happens to the odor? Without air turn over, that odor is going to linger much longer. As annoying as the higher air turnover I have is, when the litterboxes stink it means the odor clears out sooner. Take your shoes off? Stinky feet. Cleaning the bathroom? Particles in the air. Wet dog? Yep. Air turnover helps eliminate that, and right now, you don't have much.

Good point.

We cook a lot of Indian food. Spices galore. We use a over the range microwave hood which vents outside, but it struggles with the smell. We end up cracking a window in the house to help over come that.

I will definitely do this.

I've been studying this and believe that a Spot ERV will be the best for me. That way, I do not have to tap into the HVAC system. I've even located an area of the basement it will be located.

Any recommendations for the HRV/ERV? Brands you like with model numbers would be helpful.

I have a 1919 house with no wall insulation. My brand and model is called "drafty". LOL.

There is more than one way to solve the problem, and I can't advise on what would be best for you. With your cooking, you might need a more powerful fan.

Yeah, we plan to update the kitchen hood with a more powerful option. It is just lower on the list.

I'm thinking of a Panasonic Whisper Comfort FV-04VE1, 20/40 cfm sport ERV for the basement. Later on, might add another on the top floor if needed. One of these at top cfm should replace the house air once every 8-10 hours or so. Since the basement has heating/cooling with vents/return, it will also impact the rest of the house.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #114 on: February 17, 2023, 09:07:47 AM »
I did work on the office part of the basement, added pictures and an indoor/outdoor carpet. Also, including a before/after picture.

Got the indoor/outdoor carpet from Costco, about $120. I am not adding it to the total since this is not technically construction.

Other than that, I have been very lazy and getting easily distracted by garden planning etc. I'll probably take a couple of months off as the garden is time sensitive.

« Last Edit: February 17, 2023, 09:15:59 AM by CowboyAndIndian »

Sandi_k

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #115 on: February 17, 2023, 09:12:18 AM »
Looking good!!

Now add a couple of silk plants - like ficus trees, or something on the floor. Greenery really helps the "colder" spaces warm up.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #116 on: February 17, 2023, 09:15:30 AM »
Looking good!!

Now add a couple of silk plants - like ficus trees, or something on the floor. Greenery really helps the "colder" spaces warm up.

Thank you. Good idea.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #117 on: March 15, 2023, 09:00:38 AM »
Update on the radon.

Got a professional to have a look at the system. The fan had some noise and he replaced it. Luckily it was under warranty, the previous owner had changed it in 2020.

Other than that, he could not find much wrong. He suggested putting the radon extraction pipe directly into the concrete instead of the sump. I think that is a good idea and will proceed with that at a latter date.

Updating the fan has not reduced the radon.

Action Items
  • Move radon extratction pipe from sump to slab
  • Install the ERV

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #118 on: March 15, 2023, 09:12:19 AM »
I finished the plastic lattice panels around the water heater and the furnace.

I assumed that the lattice was PVC and that I could use PVC primer/cement to bond to the U Channel. Wrong assumption, it was a plastic whcih the cement had no effect on. So, I used nuts/bolts to attach the channels to the lattice. I epoxied and bolted a 1x4 CPVC piece at the top. I hung it from the joists using steel wire and eye hooks connecting to the CPVC 1.4 piece.

I can see problems with this work. The panel gaps are all wrong. Too much on one side and too little on the other. But my wife says it looks good, so I will let it be. Only work I might do is to paint black some visible duct/pipes at the top of the lattice panels.

Time: 8 hours.

Cost:
Lattice x 4: $180
U Channel Latticex12: $96
Hardware: $25
Epoxy: $12
1x4 CPVC trim: $20
Total: $333

Running Total : $1834
« Last Edit: March 15, 2023, 09:22:35 AM by CowboyAndIndian »

Sibley

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #119 on: March 17, 2023, 09:07:24 AM »
Looks fine to me. I see the gaps you're referring to, but if your wife is ok with it then why waste the effort?

chemistk

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #120 on: March 17, 2023, 12:29:15 PM »
I know it's a bit of work, but if you paint them black you'll notice the gap much less and that part of the basement might blend in a bit more.

FLBiker

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #121 on: March 28, 2023, 10:44:33 AM »
I really like those lattice panels!  You've done a lot of nice things here that inspire me with my own basement.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #122 on: March 30, 2023, 06:49:40 AM »
Thank you @Sibley. Boss is happy, I am glad to concur.

@chemistk, I did think of painting it black but DW had very strong opinions about that ;-)

@FLBiker, I do not take credit for the ideas. A lot of ideas were from this group and another thread where I asked how I could hide the utilities. Thank you for your kind words.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #123 on: March 30, 2023, 07:18:03 AM »
...
5 - That cavity under the staircase is good storage. Put up a wall and door, or just curtains.
...

The easiest is to put drywall up, but drywall may not be best if it floods. I already store wood flooring, stool etc. in that space.

Good idea about the door. As you can see from the picture, the stairs are in line with the furnace/water heater. I guess, I can cut a stud and put in a door there. Of course, I'll add jack studs and a header. A narrow,short door should be doable. A magnetic catch with push to open would not make the door obvious.

One idea I had was to use PVC tongue/groove and nail to the studs. Something like this https://www.lowes.com/pd/Unbranded-5-50-in-x-8-ft-White-PVC-Wall-Plank/5001523497. Probably will look like a shiplap wall.

Or a PVC sheet to be used as drywall. Something like this https://www.lowes.com/pd/Royal-Building-Products-1-2-in-x-4-ft-x-8-ft-PVC-Trim-Board/5001954983 .

Any flaws you see in both of the products or ideas?

I've decided to make a slat wall to hide the cavity under the staircase. Includes a small door with hidden latches to get stuff in and out of the space.

 I plan to use CPVC 1x2 strips with a 3/4" gap between slats. I'll paint the studs and background black so it should look good.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #124 on: June 16, 2023, 08:24:02 AM »
My garden work was interrupted with the horrendous smoke from the Canadian wildfires. I have a whole new respect for the CA folks who go thru this every few years.

Since I had to stay indoors, I worked on the humdifier for the basement. I had already received alerts that the humidity has reached 70%.

Luckily, I had preordered all the stuff I needed, so did not have to leave the house to buy additional parts. Since I had to move the pump down, I decided to replace the pump as I did not know how old it was. Also, threw together a small platform for the dehumidifier so it would be off the ground in case of any flooding.

Works beautifully, humidity dropped and the temperature went up by a couple of degrees. Since the basement is quite cool, the temperature increase is actually good.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #125 on: October 16, 2023, 08:20:30 AM »
My summer garden projects have ended and I've started thinking about restarting this project.

We had some excitement, with a pinhole leak in the incoming water main just outside the basement wall which resulted in a 25  gallons/day leak in the basement. So, I did have the flood that I expected, but it was not from where I expected it to be from ;-). The worrying part is that my water detection alarms did not go off before I found the water. Looks like the basement floor moves small quantities of water away from where I have the water leak detectors. I should get more detectors, but I am thinking of  getting one which can send alerts to my phone. Any ideas?

I am thinking about tackling the space under the stairs first. I will put up a slat wall with a door hidden behind some of the slats so I can access the storage.

This is what I plan to do. Pic reposted below to give a visual idea.
  • Create a door which can slat over. I'm guessing, I'll cut one of the studs to make a wider opening and then frame the door. I'll use a magnetic touch catch, so there are no handles marring the slat wall
  • Paint the studs and exposed drywall black.
  • Im thinking of not using CPVC. Way too expensive compare to regular 1x2 lumber. Wonder if this will come back to haunt me?
« Last Edit: October 16, 2023, 08:23:52 AM by CowboyAndIndian »

Bartlebooth

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #126 on: October 16, 2023, 02:12:54 PM »
I have a fleet of Govee leak sensors and the Wi-Fi gateway device.  They are fine although the app is just oozing with China-ness (or some non-US culture).  I used to have a fleet of Govee temp/humidity sensors too but they burned through coin-cell batteries too often (9 months?).  I don't plan to buy any more coin-cell devices, and also not any more Govee devices.  But...they are fine.  Govee leak detectors use AAA batteries.

I have instead been building out an Ecowitt sensor fleet.  Also made/managed in China I think but a better vibe to their stuff.  Two other things made them stand out to me though: great HomeAssistant compatiblity, and the use of AAA batteries in the temperature sensors.  I don't have the leak detectors at this time though--just a rain gauge and about 8 temp/humidity sensors.    Note that each Ecowitt gateway can only support 4 leak detectors.

Why not just put up paneling?  Probably under $30 for a 4x8 sheet.  If it floods then put up a lower beadboard (also $21 for 4x8 sheet, only need 1/3 as much) section to hide the water stains after it dries.

Sibley

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #127 on: October 16, 2023, 08:03:05 PM »
Obligatory warning to be careful regarding structural integrity if cutting studs. I doubt it's a load bearing wall, but still.

Sorry about the flood, hope the plumbing wasn't too bad to fix.

As for a wall, does it have to be solid? Shower curtains. Washable, water resistant, easily movable, etc. Ask the other half their opinion of course.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #128 on: October 17, 2023, 05:52:49 PM »
 Thanks @Bartlebooth , good suggestions for the sensors. Home assistant is in future plans, so it makes sense to make sure of that now.

Thanks @Sibley, it is structural, since it holds the steps up. I'll put a jack/king stud as well as a header for the door. So that should take care of the structural part. The better half (DW), does not want a curtain. Putting 1x2 slats up is quite easy and from pictures I have seen of slat walls, they look very good.

I'll get to work on the door and report when that is done.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #129 on: October 26, 2023, 11:43:17 AM »
Prep work for the slat wall done, except for painting it black. The door is made of 2x2 lumber and has a magnetic catch.

I've found that I can get the CPVC 1x2 for a lot cheaper if I buy in packs of 15 from the orange store. Another advantage is that it will be delivered to my house.


CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #130 on: November 04, 2023, 08:26:00 AM »
A little delay in working on the slat wall.

DW slipped on the last step while going down early in the morning. Minor bruising, but scaring as it could have been far worse.
She did not put on the light since it shines into our bedroom and did not want to wake me up.

Something I have always wanted to do was to put lights on the stairwell which would not shine into the bedroom and are motion activated. This suddenly has moved higher on the TO DO list.

Once I finish this lighting project, I'll get back to the slat wall.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2023, 09:23:14 AM by CowboyAndIndian »

Sibley

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #131 on: November 04, 2023, 07:39:10 PM »
Oh, that is scary. Glad it wasn't too bad. I too have moved projects up to immediate to-dos for safety reasons. Careful not to fall down the stairs.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #132 on: November 12, 2023, 11:18:47 AM »
Oh, that is scary. Glad it wasn't too bad. I too have moved projects up to immediate to-dos for safety reasons. Careful not to fall down the stairs.

Thanks @Sibley.

That emergency project was put aside for another emergency. My son fell sick with Lyme, so we spent a week in Pittsburgh taking care of him. He has recovered now and we got back late last night. Back to my projects tomorrow.

Sibley

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #133 on: November 12, 2023, 06:12:40 PM »
Ouch, you can't win, huh?

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #134 on: November 14, 2023, 07:30:31 AM »
Staircase lighting complete.  Just putting it here if anyone wants ideas on how to light up a staircase.

Very inexpensive kit was used ($47 on Amazon, $39 after coupon) which included the LED strip, the controller, two motion/light sensors and the power supply. I used aluminum LED channels ($20). Installation of the aluminum channels was quite easy. Installing the LED strip and diffuser was also easy. Whole thing took about a couple of hours. What was hard was getting the wiring done. I had trouble getting the wire over the dog leg of the staircase. Additionally, I did not have an outlet anywhere near the beginning or end of the staircase so had to create an outlet near.

When it is not lit up, it is almost invisible. The controller can adjust the time the lights are on as well as the intensity.

Works very well and I am quite happy with it. It fulfills all my requirements, namely light up the steps when there is motion detected without light shining into the bedroom.

« Last Edit: November 14, 2023, 08:11:23 PM by CowboyAndIndian »

Sibley

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #135 on: November 14, 2023, 08:38:00 AM »
Interesting. That would help with lighting on my parent's basement stairs. They have cats though, not sure how the motion sensor would react to them. Mind sharing links to your materials as a starting point?

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #136 on: November 14, 2023, 06:04:10 PM »
Interesting. That would help with lighting on my parent's basement stairs. They have cats though, not sure how the motion sensor would react to them. Mind sharing links to your materials as a starting point?

Sure, no problems.



I've also provided the name so that if the link has issues, a simple search can find it.

if you have the sensor at a very low height like I have,  a cat could trigger it. In one of my pictures, you can see the motion sensor on the bottom of the first step at the left. If you move the sensor higher, than cats may not trigger it. You could also put a small piece of black tape to block the bottom of sensor from activating with any motion below it.

The motion sensors are wireless and can be installed anywhere. I have one on the bottom step and one on the top step. They are sensitive enough that a foot on the step activates it.


ETA: If the light strip does not have to be hidden, then you can mount the channel/lights on the wall, not on the stringer as I have done. You get corner 90 degree channels which can be mounted on the wall but can shine the light down.

You could also mount the channel under the hand rail. You could route a groove in the bottom of the handrail which will hide the channel.





« Last Edit: November 14, 2023, 08:15:29 PM by CowboyAndIndian »

Sibley

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #137 on: November 15, 2023, 10:23:04 AM »
Thanks Cowboy. I don't necessarily care if the cats set it off, they would probably have fun with it. When the lights are turned on its fine, but I know that sometimes dad forgets to hit the switch.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #138 on: November 20, 2023, 01:01:49 PM »
Slat wall is partially complete. I did use CPVC, but I was almost wishing I had used regular wood. CPVC is not as rigid as regular wood. I do not have to paint the CPVC, the flexing is the only con. I painted the studs and stairs behind the slat black as that would help to hide it.

I need to put a couple of pieces around the outlet/switch.

Building the slat wall around the door should be fun (Not!).
« Last Edit: November 21, 2023, 07:25:04 AM by CowboyAndIndian »

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #139 on: November 24, 2023, 06:09:23 AM »
Happy Thanksgiving!. Hope you all had a great day, eating and drinking with family and friends.

The slat wall is complete, with minor modifications needed.I still need to add a couple of pieces around the outlet/switch boxes. On the right side, i need to cover the side of the 2x4 wall with something to make it look better. I need to replace the outlet cover plate since I have got paint on it.

One issue that I have noticed is that most people do not know where to press to open the door. Even I have to follow the doors top edge, then come down to find the spot. There needs to be an indicator of where to push to engage/disengage the magnetic door catch.

I have had several ideas on what I can use as an indicator of where to push.
  • Epoxy a flat round metal disk at the point. Could not find anything which looks good
  • Use a sticker at the point. But this will get grungy with repeated use. This would definitely be a great temporary solution.
  • Adding a cabinet pull knob, but that would mean that people would pull on it instead of a gentle push to release the door.
  • Adding a sink hole cover plate. It may be a little too big, 2" diameter.



Right now,  #4, the sink hole cover plate seems the winner. #3, the cabinet pull knob, could work if  I could  drill a bigger hole and inset the cabinet pull knob. Advantage of #4 is that I have a spare knob from another project.

Any ideas??


Anyway, I'm off to Florida for 10 days. I'll finish this when I get back.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2023, 09:40:26 AM by CowboyAndIndian »

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #140 on: November 24, 2023, 10:37:47 AM »
What about just a hole, like you might drill for a doorknob? Or the kind of door pull used for pocket doors?

lthenderson

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #141 on: November 25, 2023, 05:58:25 AM »
Since a pushing action is the desired outcome, I think a stainless steel sink hole cover plate seems like an idea solution. It can then be easily cleaned as needed. Another solution could be door knob protectors that prevent door knobs from poking holes in your drywall. They are round and rubber and come in a variety of sizes, styles and colors. Rubber probably wouldn't need to be cleaned as often as stainless steel to keep oily smudges at bay.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #142 on: December 03, 2023, 02:36:04 PM »
What about just a hole, like you might drill for a doorknob? Or the kind of door pull used for pocket doors?

We need to push, not pull...

Since a pushing action is the desired outcome, I think a stainless steel sink hole cover plate seems like an idea solution. It can then be easily cleaned as needed. Another solution could be door knob protectors that prevent door knobs from poking holes in your drywall. They are round and rubber and come in a variety of sizes, styles and colors. Rubber probably wouldn't need to be cleaned as often as stainless steel to keep oily smudges at bay.

Door knob protector sounds like a option to consider. Thanks.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #143 on: December 07, 2023, 10:31:06 AM »
Slat wall is done.

I ended up using the door pull knob installed between the slats. I will revisit this decision if there is confusion on using the door mechanism.

I may not have mentioned it, but I also replaced the boxes for the switches and outlets with the adjustable depth kind. Since I was replacing the box, I decided to move the outlet a little higher, since this was the lowest outlet in the basement. I now realize after seeing the photo, that I installed the outlet the wrong way around. Yikes, that is going to bother me every time I look at it, but not enough to change it ;-)

I have about $750 left from my self imposed budget of $3k. I think I can finish within the budget as I will have only 2 more projects.

I used leftover black paint (from the ceiling), so will not include it in the cost.

Time: 15 hours.

Cost:
1x2 PVC slats x 45: $345
Adjustable depth electric boxes: 12
Hinges: $10
Magnetic catch: $5
Misc lumber: $12
Adhesive: $3
Total: $387

Running Total : $2221
« Last Edit: December 07, 2023, 11:02:32 AM by CowboyAndIndian »

Sibley

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #144 on: December 07, 2023, 01:54:51 PM »
Go get the screwdriver, turn off the power, and flip the outlet. It's gonna bug you and it's not that hard to fix. Just fix it.

What's the last 2 projects?

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #145 on: December 07, 2023, 03:20:21 PM »
Go get the screwdriver, turn off the power, and flip the outlet. It's gonna bug you and it's not that hard to fix. Just fix it.
I will. But I will complain;-)

Quote
What's the last 2 projects?

One is where the water enters the basement and the sewer exits out. I have a pretty decent plan of putting a simple cabinet shelf in the middle and then boxes which hide the water/sewer lines. 3 different parts, all attached using french cleats to permit easy assembly/disassembly.

The other is the corner where the sump pump, radon pit and electrical panel are. I have no idea how I am going to tackle it. Would love ideas. The best I've been able to come up with is to make a simple panels which hinge at the wall and can open up to easily open up this area for work.

« Last Edit: December 07, 2023, 03:22:22 PM by CowboyAndIndian »

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #146 on: December 11, 2023, 08:13:07 AM »
I'm taking a break from this project.

Usually, when I am almost at the end of the project, I power thru and get done with it. With this, I'm letting my foot off the gas.

I also have a lot of activities which take priority over this project. I will be going to visit my Mom for 3 weeks and then go for a wedding of a good friends son before coming back. After time to get over jetlag, I should probably get started again around the beginning of February. Also, the garage where I do my wood working is so cold.

Have a great holiday and happy new year in advance.

Sibley

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #147 on: December 11, 2023, 10:30:19 AM »
lol I get it. I didn't have a door on my office for 2 years. Even once it was painted, it leaned against the wall for a few months. Have a good trip!

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #148 on: December 12, 2023, 08:23:54 AM »
lol I get it. I didn't have a door on my office for 2 years. Even once it was painted, it leaned against the wall for a few months. Have a good trip!

Hello, fellow procrastinator ;-)

Thank you.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Semi-Finishing a basement
« Reply #149 on: March 14, 2024, 01:27:35 PM »
I finally finished the Water/Sewer pipes cover up.

There are three pieces which make up this cover up. The center shelf unit and the two side boxes. All of them are attached using French cleats. The center shelf unit attaches to the wall and the two boxes attach to the center shelf unit.

The center shelf unit has a slide in cover at the bottom which hides the meter and shutoff. So, access to the water shutoff is just a couple of seconds.

I used power driver to attach one part of the french cleat to the wall. The power driver uses a blank .22 caliber shell and drives a nail into the concrete. I had used one a long time ago and had forgotten how loud the bang was and how long the smell of gunpowder stayed in the basement. I borrowed this tool from a friend, but had to buy a 100 count of nails and power loads for just the 6 nails I need driven into the wall.

I have not included cost of paint, screws, nails, and glue, all of which I already had.

Time: 25 hours.

Cost:
1 sheet 3/4 plywood: $49
2 sheets 1/2 plywood: $90
1x2 Trim: $32
.22 cal power load: $15
Power load nails: $15
Total: $201

Running Total : $2422
« Last Edit: March 14, 2024, 01:41:39 PM by CowboyAndIndian »

 

Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!