Finishing A Basement Yourself Can Be A Rewarding Pastime

The subterranean space under your house can be converted to an imitation living space without you having to be a professional carpenter or an expert in any sort in the building profession. Basements actually started out being a thing called a Root Cellar. They were a sort of an extra tall crawlspace. What they call around here a Michigan Basement. They usually had field stone for walls which were held together with mortar. They usually leaked water in between the stones and it dripped down on the floor but that didn't matter because the floor had no pavement on it at all. The house above usually came as a kit from Sears and called a Craftsman.

New construction usually has poured concrete walls that are eight feet tall and nice and straight and usually don't leak much water. There is usually some pavement on the floor. This usually ends up as a big empty cube that reminds people of an unfinished living space. In order to finish this space off you will need to build a framework around the perimeter where you can install insulation and wiring and drywall. This does not require a perfect job. What I mean is that it can be a little out of plumb and that wouldn't matter because the walls are not really a structural at all and could fall all the way out and not effect the house at all. So I say build the walls one stud at a time and nail them down to the floor and ceiling joists and you have a great start.

Once you get the walls all done then it's time to do the suspended ceiling. To save time and money use 2 foot by 4 foot panels of suspended ceiling. Make sure to nail the wall angle to the studs all around the outside. Just measure down from the ceiling usually 4 and inches to the top of the wall angle. In the center I usually use a drywall finish so that requires some framing around the I-beam and the heat ducts. That gives you a great nail base for your ceiling. Just keep an eyeball on your track and keep it fairly straight. The lights usually go in with the ceiling.

The next step would be the doors and trims. Use pre hung doors and pre primed moldings. That is the fastest and cheapest. Then give everything a coat of paint. Floor carpet is next. I make it sound easy here I know. But after you have done a few of these they are all alike. After 20 or 30 you could do them in your sleep.

I have seen zillions of amateur finished basement jobs. I would say the biggest mistake that amateurs do is try to be a perfectionist. That is not necessary. These jobs don't have to be perfect. What they have to be is done. Done is the key word. So try to get as much help as possible and remember that the lighting is sort of dim in these places so perfect is not necessary.