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-   -   Small(ish) basement project (http://www.houserepairtalk.com/f45/small-ish-basement-project-5462/)

sigma 10-23-2008 07:25 AM

Small(ish) basement project
 
My wife and I recently bought our first home and I'm already getting "the itch."

I have done a few basement remodels with other people, not sure if I'm ready to do it on my own right now, so I thought I would start small.

In our basement is a small "hallway" (for lack of a better term) along the outside wall. The space is roughly 48" wide, and extends for at least 6 feet from a doorway in the wall. (I'll have to take pictures)

When I first saw the area, the first thing that popped into my head was "Hmm, that would be a great space for a wine cellar."

Instead of finishing the whole basement at once, I wanted to start with this space, figure out what I feel comfortable doing on my own, price, and an excuse to buy power tools.

Two issues cause immediate concern: flooring and walls.

Because the area is only 48" wide, I am worried about framing taking up too much space. Particularly, the area needs to be comfortable to enter, and wine bottles are 12" long (or 4" wide). Are there any alternatives to framing?

As for flooring, I'm thinking hardwood (or laminate depending on how much money I have left over). Should this be installed directly over the cement floor, or do I need a sheet of plywood, or foamboard insulation?

Anyway, I know this is a lot, and I'm still in the planning stage, but I wanted to get some advice from more experienced people that I'm on the right track.

Thanks! :)

spaz2965 10-23-2008 08:23 AM

3 Attachment(s)
You don't want to put hardwood on concrete, due to the fact that it will buckle over time, concrete will draw moisture and if you want hardwood then put 2x4 flat on floor and then your plywood. What I would do there is ceramic tile as you may lay that right on concrete but would use a flexible additive in with your thin set. As for your framing you may frame with your studs so that you only take up 1 1/2" use treated bottom plate and rip it
1 1/2" x 1 1/2" as for you exterior wall you may fur it out with 3/4" lathe and use a 3/4 foam insulation. If you take pictures of it I could give you more options that you could choose from, like does that hallway have to stay as previous homeowner framed, you may also come down to landing and turn steps so that you could gain more room. Sometimes, in small basements there isn't much to choose from and are limited on your opinions. If you are not sure and are fairly good with computers, which I wasn't when I started, punch pro professional home design is a good program and is reasonable cost, I got computer and was computer illiterate and now draw prints for every job that I do. I started first with drawing my house for learners and did very well. Now don't get me wrong I believe that I spent days and noumours hours drawing my house before I got it to the way I wanted, but it can be done. Also remember a wine cellar is cool so you outside walls shouldn't be insulated. Here are a couple of pictures of some of the different things you may do.Attachment 908

Attachment 909

Attachment 910

Square Eye 10-23-2008 08:52 AM

In an area where space is critical and limited, I'd do as little framing as possible.

On the concrete floor, You'd have the best luck with ceramic tile. Trying to use wood of any kind can be troublesome in a basement.

As for the walls, you could plaster them. Or use a good quality construction adhesive to glue moisture resistant drywall directly to the walls. This will give you no R-value but it will save space and if the exterior wall is mostly underground and no windows, you should be ok. If you do want to insulate the exterior wall, you could use 5/4" pressure treated decking to fur out the walls with 1" foam board between the decking boards. Then 1 1/4" screws will be all you need to fasten the drywall. You will need a ceiling and it should be insulated from the rest of the house. Interior walls should also be insulated. You need to keep a constant temperature.

Then, there's the condensation issue. If you try to keep this room cooler than the rest of the house, you will need a good sealing insulated door. An exterior steel door would work well and there are many glass options available. Condensation is another reason to consider ceramic tiles on the floor. There will be a few things to work out but you should be able to do this yourself. You might consider a dehumidifier or a cooler. I have seen one that mounts on the wall near the ceiling. Seems like that would be perfect for a basement install. And if you can control the humidity, you may be able to use hardwood on the floor. Lots to consider

Square Eye 10-23-2008 09:00 AM

I did a Google search :) Rosehill Wine Cellars has some interesting ideas.

sigma 10-23-2008 10:34 AM

I like the idea of 5/4" decking with 1" foam board insulation on the outside wall. So total wall space would be about 2" on either side, for a total of 4". That would leave roughly 45" interior, so I could lay the bottles "sticking out" (one side) and still have nearly 30" of walkway, or flat on both sides for a couple extra inches.

As for the humidifier/AC unit, I think I need to do some research. Unless I can mount it over the door (or vent it there), I'll have to do some masonry work, or put a vent into the stairwell, neither being preferable.

But it generally sounds like I'm on the right track. And I've certainly got a lot to consider.

There's also the prospect of talking my wife into letting me buy all the fun stuff :D

PortlandTradesmen 11-29-2008 01:39 AM

I love stained concrete for a basement floor. I personally like the look a lot. But it’s so well suited for a basement because it doesn’t really matter if it gets wet, dirty or scratched.

This is something I’ve done myself the problem being that the floor grinders that are available for rental are not that effective. Or the rental places don’t have the correct series of abrasives or the knowledge to advise people on the subject.

Most the time if you go in under informed you’d come out with something that would translate to a sander and a stack of 80 grit sand paper for a wood floor. If you’ve ever sanded a wood floor you will know that you could do it, it would just take far longer than if you started with a heavy grit and worked up to the 80.


Often it’s worthwhile to hire a pro to grind and then do the stain and seal yourself. It’s pretty easy.


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