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Thread: New Basement Studio

  1. #1
    A♥ hoards guitars A♥ rugerpc's Avatar
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    New Basement Studio

    Shawn's PTC swirl thread was a fun progression from rough start to finished product. I thought I'd do the same with my project which I started just over 3 years ago...

    When I consolidated my household with my sweetie, I lost my studio space. I was renting a house and she was buying a house, so we decided that her's was the place for us.

    The first obstacle was that with both of us being on the high side of 50, we just had too much stuff between us. Even with countless trips to the dump and Goodwill, we managed to transform the garage and full (unfinished) basement from piles of 'stuff' to stuffed with things we didn't throw out or give away.

    Well, an unfinished basement is a mixed blessing - you can put lots of things down there, but will you ever see them again?

    So, I took on the job of building in the basement. I started small (and smart, I think) with a powder room. There would be no running up the stairs for nature and getting distracted with TV or some other project while I was working.

    With the powder room done, I moved on to a storage room, then to a cedar closet under the stairs, a shop, a hallway with nooks for freezers and bookcases. Then it was on to a second hallway, a laundry room, a closet around the water heater with room for more shelving units, a closet around the breaker boxes and an entertainment room with kitchenette.

    That left the current project, my music studio. Except for plumbing, every room in the basement proceeded along the lines of what I will show you here.

    The starting place for all was concrete floor, concrete walls with insulation tacked to the upper half and joist ceilings. There was a rough in for the business end of a toilet and one (1) 15 amp circuit of electricity powering bare bulb fixtures and only a couple of outlets.

    On to the studio which I started less than a month ago. The first thing needed was a cozy floor. We wanted to be able to go into the basement on cold winter mornings barefoot. so, an insulated floor had to be installed.

    Vapor barrier, pressure-treated 2x4s on their sides 'shot' into the cement with .27 calibre power 5 nails (insert Tim Allen grunt here).



    Insulation provided by carefully cut closed core foam panels.



    3/4 plywood then nailed and screwed to the 2x4s. The above 2 pics are from the entertainment/kitchenette section, but the process was the same for the entire floor.

    This is how it starts. I'm way past this part now and will be giving you pics in increments.

    I hope you enjoy the process. I'd also be happy to answer questions about details if you have them.
    Last edited by rugerpc; 08-23-2012 at 01:52 PM. Reason: the pesky typo.....
    Thbbbbbt...
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  2. #2
    chief Shawn@PRS's Avatar
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    I'll be watching this thread intently. I need to do the same thing with my basement

  3. #3
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Cool!

  4. #4
    Senior Member themike's Avatar
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    AWESOME! I just knocked down a wall between my room and the guest room to create a Man-tropolis. Living in one side, and studio on the other so I love seeing projects like these.

    It's good to finally have the gear in one spot that's comfortable

    We framed everything out, dry walled, spackled, sanded, painted, rain electric and laid the new floor all ourselves.

    (pre-molding and pre-wall hangers for guitars, hense why there are only 3 visible haha)

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  5. #5
    A♥ hoards guitars A♥ rugerpc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by themike View Post

    AWESOME floor, dude. Is that hardwood or just a fantastic laminate?
    Thbbbbbt...
    Check it out: Phillybri used to have a band: Resonance But he's soooo over them now!
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  6. #6
    Senior Member themike's Avatar
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    Thanks man, it was just a laminant! Super easy to install myself and cheap as all hell. I think I paid $400 and change for the pallet from Home Depot.com for enough to do the room (the photo only shows 1/3 of the room).

    I don't see the exact one I got listed on their site anymore, but it was Home Legend Brazillian Cherry, and it was the thinner of their offerings.
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  7. #7
    A♥ hoards guitars A♥ rugerpc's Avatar
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    I've been framed!!

    After the 3/4 plywood subfloor, it was time for framing. I did the powder room by hand hammering and just about wore myself out. That meant investing in a pneumatic framing gun. If you are building anything more than just a small project, you need these tools!

    This view is from the studio looking into the hallway leading to the entertainment/kitchenettte room. On the left is the framed closet for the water heater and storage, on the right is the laundry. To the near right is the hallway with the freezers and bookcases.



    This view looks in the same direction. The closet with the water heater is finished, as are the laundry and entertainment/kitchenette. I removed the half insulation left by the builder from the outside wall on the left, I'll be doing a more thorough job...



    this is the reverse view. The shop is to the left through a double pocket door. (I'm the king of pocket doors, BTW. There are 5 singles and 1 double pocket doors in the project. That along with 2 regular doors, a double closet slider and something I'll show next time. The double door on the right got significant lock and major bar into the cement upgrades for security and will be topped off with a new burglar alarm. Gotta protect what will eventually be stored and used here. I'll end up doing a bigger vertical bar into framing before it is through.



    That's the sump pump in the far right corner - a challenge to design around itself...
    Last edited by rugerpc; 08-27-2012 at 12:15 PM.
    Thbbbbbt...
    Check it out: Phillybri used to have a band: Resonance But he's soooo over them now!
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  8. #8
    Senior Member themike's Avatar
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    Wow man, great job! It looks absolutely fantastic so far.
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    lots of outlets!!!! Nice ;-)

    FYI - our local building code requires outlets to be 28in or more off the floor.

  10. #10
    chief Shawn@PRS's Avatar
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    Wow man, looking really nice. You've done this before, right?

  11. #11
    Vamanos Pest QueenCityGuitars's Avatar
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    Just the word "basement" makes me cringe.

    Yours looks great though, rugerpc!

  12. #12
    Wheels cjmwrx's Avatar
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    Sorry about the hijack, but this is my Living Room/Studio/ Home office. Looking forward to seeing your finished space!


    Last edited by cjmwrx; 08-27-2012 at 06:28 PM.
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  13. #13
    A♥ hoards guitars A♥ rugerpc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by themike View Post
    Wow man, great job! It looks absolutely fantastic so far.
    Thanks so much It is actually a relaxing thing to do. My only timetable is whatever I set for myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by soundbee View Post
    lots of outlets!!!! Nice ;-)

    FYI - our local building code requires outlets to be 28in or more off the floor.
    There will be lots of things to plug in There are four 20 amp circuits arranged around the walls alternating. They all come off the same phase so there will be no ground looping from amp to mixer to computer, etc. With 48 total outlets, I hope to completely dispense with outlet strips once and for all. I did something similar in the entertainment room. 3 20 amp circuits from the other phase coming into the house split between 24 outlets for the tv, surround receiver, powered subwoofer, DVD player, blu ray, wii, Nintendo, computer, etc. No ground loops there either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn@PRS View Post
    Wow man, looking really nice. You've done this before, right?
    Not on this scale. But I had great training. My dad remodeled or built in every house we ever lived in... This is my first full basement complete with insulated floor, plumbing and heating.

    Quote Originally Posted by QueenCityGuitars View Post
    Just the word "basement" makes me cringe.

    Yours looks great though, rugerpc!
    Climate control, including moisture control is the hardest part to manage. Lots of insulation, particular attention to the HVAC balance and control of the sump pump are key. Having a lot that never floods, even in the most torrential downpours helps. The sump mostly runs to evacuate condensed water when the AC is running in the summer.
    Thbbbbbt...
    Check it out: Phillybri used to have a band: Resonance But he's soooo over them now!
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  14. #14
    A♥ hoards guitars A♥ rugerpc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjmwrx View Post
    Sorry about the hijack, but this is my Living Room/Studio/ Home office. Looking forward to seeing your finished space!


    Absolutely no problem! In fact, I think it would be fun for other forum members to show their studios in this thread as well!

    So, while I'm working on mine, let's see 'em!
    Last edited by rugerpc; 08-27-2012 at 07:51 PM. Reason: Dang typos...
    Thbbbbbt...
    Check it out: Phillybri used to have a band: Resonance But he's soooo over them now!
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  15. #15
    Still a Junior Member Albrecht Smuten's Avatar
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    Guys, I envy you so much! =) I must travel a 100 km even for a band rehearsal =D
    When I grow up, I have to get one of those fancy home studios!

  16. #16
    A♥ hoards guitars A♥ rugerpc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soundbee View Post
    lots of outlets!!!! Nice ;-)

    FYI - our local building code requires outlets to be 28in or more off the floor.
    A bit more info...

    The US National Electrical Code is silent on residential outlet height, making that a design consideration. Most home outlets that are not above counter tops are in the 10" to 14" range. Mine are the height of framing hammer from claw to handle end. A trick I learned from my father for easy, no-measure uniformity of placement. You put the claw down on the subfloor next to a stud and set the outlet box on the end of the hammer handle. I attach my outlet boxes with screws, so I screwgun the box in place while it rests on the hammer. Voila - every outlet at the same height.
    Last edited by rugerpc; 08-28-2012 at 08:56 AM.
    Thbbbbbt...
    Check it out: Phillybri used to have a band: Resonance But he's soooo over them now!
    Lexicon
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  17. #17
    Cream Crackered Mikegarveyblues's Avatar
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    Looking great man!!!

    Starting to get a little jealous... Will be more so if you never hear a peep from the neighbours once it's done!
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  18. #18
    A♥ hoards guitars A♥ rugerpc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikegarveyblues View Post
    Looking great man!!!

    Starting to get a little jealous... Will be more so if you never hear a peep from the neighbours once it's done!
    Thanks! Hopefully sound won't be a big problem. I have some high wattage amps, but I almost never crank them. And I'm insulating for both climate and sound which I'll detail as we get there....
    Thbbbbbt...
    Check it out: Phillybri used to have a band: Resonance But he's soooo over them now!
    Lexicon
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  19. #19
    A♥ hoards guitars A♥ rugerpc's Avatar
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    A framing detail. Existing basement windows posed a framing challenge. They would not line up with either the finished walls or the finished ceilings. So, they required boxing in a bump out and reverse ceiling well.



    I had to do a similar thing around the outside door (photo to follow) .

    At one end of the room, where the sump pump is, there is to be a closet. Sliders were always the plan, but the opening is approx 10 feet! I originally thought that I would frame for 3 36" sliders, but then realized that if I framed for FOUR 28" sliders instead, I could increase my maximum opening from 35" to 57". That should make it easier to get bulky things like guitar cases in and out of the closet. BTW, don't expect the hardware store to stock kits for more than 2 doors on a slider and don't even look for longer tracs there. The 4 door hardware kit and longer rails were special order.

    Thbbbbbt...
    Check it out: Phillybri used to have a band: Resonance But he's soooo over them now!
    Lexicon
    ísɹǝqɯǝɯ uɐıןɐɹʇsnɐ oןןǝɥ

  20. #20
    Senior Member themike's Avatar
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    I absolutely love it man, you're doing a seriously killer job!
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