starting a basement

Old 06-13-01, 11:00 AM
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Okay, I'm ready to start finishing a basement for the current girlfriend and it's been a while. I am thinking of buying a bunch of 2x4's, some pressure treated for the sole plates, a few nails and starting the framing. Am I missing anything? Should I be doing something else first?

Anybody feel like contributing a few words of wisdom before this amateur gets started?

Old 06-13-01, 05:07 PM
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I recommend several things before you begin framing.

(1) Make a complete plan. Include the electrical, heating, and plumbing plans (e.g., where are you going to get power and how much do you need?). Plan the insulation and the vapor barriers. Plan the shelving. Plan the lighting. Plan the bathroom exhaust fan. Plan the egress. Plan the furnace combustion air. Make a firestop plan. Plan the bathroom towel rods. You get the idea, make a complete plan. If you don't, you may find that that wall you just put up won't accommodate some later aspect of the project.
(2) Get a building permit. Sit down with the inspector and review the complete plan, making sure you understand any code issues that are involved.
(3) Solve any moisture problems before you do anything else. This may involve interior or exterior drains and/or a sump.
(4) If you are putting in a bathroom and may need to bust up part of the floor, do this before you begin framing.
(5) Test for radon and mitigate if necessary.
(6) Reroute any ducts or plumbing that may be in your way.
(7) Install egress windows as necessary.
(8) If you're putting in a bathtub, buy it now.

Now you can begin the framing, assuming you know how to do it and don't just make it up as you go along.

Good luck. I hope you're pretty committed to this girlfriend and vice versa. This is a huge job.

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