Finish a Basement: A DIY remodeling adventure!
Great home theater tips to help you design and setup your basement home theater!

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Visit our project planning page to learn how to prepare to finish your basement whether you're remodeling your basement by yourself, or hiring a contractor to finish your basement
Visit our design page to see how we created our basement design, and for tips on how you can design the basement of your dreams
Check here for information on the tasks you'll need to complete to finish your basement. Complete with the lessons we learned as we remodeled our basement, and tips to help you avoid some of the mistakes we made.
Whether you're designing a dedicated home theater, or creating a multi-purpose media room, check here for tips on selecting home theater components, and calibrating, and setting up your AV equipment
Check here to follow along as we complete our DIY basement remodeling project!


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Starting construction

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Framing around pipes and wires

It's Hammer Time! Finally, it was time to start building! I had a challenge right out of the gate because my first section had to go around some wires, a gas line, and a couple of water pipes.

For the first two obstacles, I notched out the board to make it fit. I had to cut the top plate to get around the copper.

Framing around copper pipes can be a challenge [Click to enlarge] Be careful when framing around gas lines! [Click to enlarge]
Copper plumbing and a gas line are some of the obstacles I had to work around on my very first section! Framing a wall can be a challenge with obstacles like these in the way!

Since the first wall ran along the joist, I didn't need to snap a chalk line at the top. To make sure my wall was straight, I used a plumb bob at the front of the joist, to make a mark on the floor on each end of the (approximately 12') wall. Then I snapped a chalk line in between.

To determine how tall to make the wall (and how long to cut the studs) I measured from the floor to the joist at a few points along the location of the new wall. Then, I subtracted 3 " from the lowest point to determine stud length (1 " each for the thickness of the top and bottom plates, and " to allow room to raise the wall into place.)

I built the first 8' section of wall in a couple of hours. Next, I cut out the necessary areas of the top plate to create clearance for the pipes. After tipping the wall into place, I secured it to the joist with a couple of 6" quick clamps. Then, I nailed it to the joists using 12D (3 ") nails, and shims as necessary.

The lesson I learned here is that it's a LOT HARDER to hammer a nail upward into the joists than it is in a 'normal' position.

Finally, I used a hammer drill to drill the holes in the bottom plate and concrete, and secured the bottom plate with cement screws. My first section was up! I built and installed the next (4') section in the same manner. Luckily, I had no obstacles for that one. I added the next small (32" section) using the 3-4-5 method to create a 90 degree corner. Not bad for a weekend's work!

Additional construction resources:

Progress Topics

Getting started

Down come the walls

1st mishap

Basement wall cracks

Lumber and tools

Starting construction - Hammer time!

Moving ductwork

Finishing the 1st wall

Around the corner

Five short walls

The big wall

Repairing cracks again!

Framing around windows

Framing the office

Finishing the office

Design decision

Framing support poles

Framing the last wall

See also...
Phase 2: Electrical and Drywall

Phase 3: Priming, painting and finshing touches




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