Basement Finishing Project

Updated October 16, 2007 

We sold the house! Too bad we couldn't enjoy the home theater...we didn't even see the finished product!


Staircase to basement

Foamular rigid XPS foam insulation with wall framed by Rich

Sheet rocked and mudded - Sep 6 and Sep 10

Mudded again and ready for sanding - Sep 12

The stairs will have a runner installed by contractors.



Sheetrock on the ceiling at the bottom of the stairs - Sep 12

Suspended ceiling grid butting up to the ceiling of the bottom staircase - Sep 26

Rich got started on the electricals. A blank face plate will replace the switches in the photo. - Sep 30

The blank face plate has been installed - Oct 1

Rich put in two dimmers, one for the sconces and one for the recessed lights. The third switch is for the stairs. - Sep 30

Rich installed a ceiling light fixture and switch for the hallway - Sep 30

The hallway ceiling has also been covered with sheetrock - Oct 2

The hallway ceiling has been mudded and sanded - Oct 5

The closet under the stairs is waiting to be insulated with Foamular board, and then both walls sheet-rocked. The closet is ready to be used as a AV media room. The bunch of wires consist of: 7.1 speaker wires, satellite, cable, telco and HDMI. - Oct 1

The under stairs closet has been sheetrocked. Waiting for mudding and sanding. - Oct 2

Under the stairs, sheet rock has been mudded and sanded.. I left my wiring design sketch attached. - Oct 4





The carpet has been installed in the staircase! - Oct 3

A new door leading to what used to be Rich's office - Oct 23

The under-stairs closet door has been installed - Oct 31

The staircase has been painted. The black wall is part of the HT room.

The hallway is also done.

Home Theater

View of doorway into Kitchenette - Sep 12

All walls sheetrocked and mudded and waiting to be sanded

Ceiling will be suspended (finished height will be at least 8.5 ft)

Floor will be stained

The room will be a dark grey or black

View of stairs bottom - Sep 12

The stairs bottom will be covered with the same material as the stairs runner.





Projection screen wall - Sep 12

New wall vent moved from Rec Rm to Home Theater and passing through Kitchenette. The vent will be painted to match the wall color.

The suspended ceiling is coming together. The baseboard and entryway casements have also been installed. - Sep 26

The walls and floor will be painted and stained, respectively, then the acoustic tiles will be put in.


Testing different blacks, and greys for the theater room. - Sep 29

Rich has got one of the mini-recessed lights installed. Three more to go. These lights have gimbals that allow you to focus the light. - Sep 30



 We installed our make-shift projection screen. The ceiling tiles in the center have been installed. I spray-painted all electrical cover plates, switches and outlets black. - Oct 5



 All four mini-recessed lights have been installed and are controlled by dimmer. The sconces also have dimmer control. We only only waiting for contractor to install the cut tiles at the borders - Oct 5




The rest of the black ceiling tiles have been put in place - Oct 23

The DIY screen had to be ripped off. The drywall was repaired. - Oct 31

Final photo (taken by realtor): flat black (Behr Mouse Ears Black) walls and the (on second thought not so great) tile red concrete stained floor


View of duct work as seen from Kitchenette





View of bathroom door from inside Kitchenette

Two walls have been sheetrocked and mudded. Now waiting for sanding. - Sep 12

View of Rec Room entryway from Kitchenette

Box built around duct work and more insulation in the wall - Sep 26

Just some electric work by Rich and the room will be ready for sheet rock and suspended ceiling.

Fiberglass insulation has been installed in the ceilng and walls - Oct 1

The kitchenette walls have been sheetrocked. Waiting to be mudded and sanded, and suspended ceiling to be installed. - Oct 2

Another view of the kitchenette - Oct 5

The new drop ceiling in the kitchenette, and door to bathroom - Oct 23

The kitchenette is done.

Rec Room

View of the front of the Rec Rm

The double doors and window open to the back yard

All but one wall and the ceiling has been covered with sheet rock and mudded - Sep 12

The old duct and vent location can be seen



View of the rear of the Rec Rm - Sep 12





Duct has been moved from Rich's workshop to the middle of the Rec Rm - Sep 13

Rerouted ducts as seen from Rich's workshop - Sep 13

I put in more fiberglass insulation - Sep 26

A soffit was used to cover the exposed laundry vent piping. It is framed with 2x4s and sheet rock. - Sep 26

Partially installed insulation in the ceiling (all by Marvee). - Sep 30

The same ceiling is mostly done. There are narrow pieces that have to be cut by Marvee. - Sep 30

The insulation for the ceiling is all done - Oct 1

The wall insulation has all been installed, too. - Oct 1

Rich installed a 3-way switch that controls the Rec Rm celing light. The other switch is by the double doors. - Sep 30

The Rec Rm ceiling and walls have been sheet-rocked - Oct 2

Rich requested the contractor leave space for an access panel, so the plumbing can be reached - Oct 2

Another view of the rec room - Oct 5

A door has been installed leading to Rich's old workshop - Oct 23

A piece of drywall covers the access hole - Oct 23

The ceiling and walls have been painted.

The opening leads to the under-stairs closet, the HT room to the right and to unfinished part of basement to the left.

The Rec Rm is done

Unfinished rooms

The stubbed bathroom has ceiling tile in it now, but we left everything else open - Oct 23


This door helps to hide the unfinished bathroom - Oct 23

All of the other unfinished rooms have lights and outlets in them. They used to serve as Rich's work area.

This room adjoins the Rec Room and had Rich's workbench. This can be a bedroom, if the two other doorways are walled off, AC vent set up and a closet installed - Oct 5

View from the former "finishing room", where Rich used to apply stains and finishes to his music boxes. This room had a small window that opens up to the space under our back deck. - Oct 5

View from the former "storage room". Rich kept his lumber and other machinery here. - Oct 5

Another view from "storage room", but this time, you can see the candidate bedroom's window (left) and the smaller room's window (right) - Oct 5

View from Rich's former office and electronics workshop - Oct 5

The same office is home to the breaker box and the water heater - Oct 5


Here's our "make-do" setup in our new home...