Finishing Out our Basement

(posted 5/6/2014) - It's been 5 years since we moved into our new home (built on top of the location where we'd lived since 1977). Pat and I have talked about finishing out the basement over the years, but it never was a pressing need. Now we've taken the plunge - so that I can move all my piano keyboards (2), guitars (2), amps (4), mics (3), and various recording devices (2) along with half a dozen stomp-boxes and controllers out of the loft and out of Pat's office area. The plan is to create a music room in the basement where I can permanently keep my 'stuff.' We'll also continue to keep our large elliptical machine, weights, and workout bench down there... and add a TV-room for kickin' back with a 70 inch screen and good sound system.

To that end I put together a permit plan design which the village has recently accepted. We've hired out electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and fire-sprinkler work and will shortly be starting the rough-framing that needs to be done before the other trades can do their thing.

So, since I like to document these adventures I've included a link to a copy of the permit design drawings and support information. I plan to add comments and pictures as things move along ... hopefully culminating in a nice looking space in our basement by end of August.

I'm especially sensitive to concerns about flooding in our basement, and to that end have gone to extra-ordinary lengths to make the basement unlikely to flood -- and able to be restored cheaply if it does flood.

For the former -- I've gone to a double sump-pump pit with a backup pump controller set to go off only if the primary pump fails (solid state water level sensors). Each pump can handle full-on storm water inflow (>2500 gph).

We put in a whole-house 14KW Generac system last full that runs off NG so if power goes out the generator automatically cuts in to provide power to all outlets.

The Ejector pit pump has a water level sensor in it that lets us know if that pump fails to empty the pit in a timely fashion by dialing our cell-phone with a message, plus an electronic pump controller that sounds an alarm if the pump fails to turn on when commanded.

The basement walls will be clad in Insofast EX 2.5" EPS that is mold and vapor proof, with plastic studs to fasten drywall onto. We plan to use green or blue drywall that can get wet without supporting mold.

The concrete floor will be directly covered with Modutile that is totally moisture resistant and will not support any mold growth (plastic base with no-mold non-biodegradable laminant face). Tiles are 1/2 inch thick and typically are 10 degrees above floor temp in a normally heated room.

All wood plates touching concrete will be pressure treated to resist water/mold and will be under-sheathed with water resistant membranes.

The basement is dry and odorless, but we will be installing a dehumidifier in the mechanical room for summer (humidifier is used in winters).

Here's a link to the design / info PDF that describes what we plan to do.