Basement - Electrical & Framing

It's been a few weeks since my last basement update. Here are some highlights.

Here are all the supplies I bought for the electrical. Actually, this is about 2/3rds of the stuff. I also bought switches, light bulbs, plugs, and some 3 way wire (expensive stuff) which isn't shown here.

After my friend Josh showed me where to put all the electrical boxes and lights, I pulled the wire and put in the lights. Pulling the wire was actually kind of fun. Josh gave me a drill that made making the holes in the 2x4s go pretty quick.

I ran quite a few wires through the ceiling. We added 6 circuits, four for plugs and two for lights. Each circuit needed one wire to go to the service box which meant going through the ceiling.

On Saturday, Josh came over and showed me how to hook up lights. While I was doing that, he hooked up all the plugs and switches, and added the new circuit breakers to the service box. I just have to say that without Josh's help, I would have had little idea on what to do and I doubt it would have done nearly as well. I owe Josh big.

I also had a drywall guy come in and measure things. He gave us a quote and it was a lot less then I thought, so I think we're going to have him do everything. It will cost a little more, but it will save a ton of time.

My mom and dad also came down on Saturday. My cousin Jess was having a post-wedding reception in Ashland so they stopped here first so my dad could help. It was my mom's birthday (on Friday) so on top of my dad helping, we took my mom (and dad) out to eat. Happy birthday! Which reminds me, one time when my dad came down by himself, my mom sent delicious brownies with him. I'm not sure if I ever said thank you, so thanks mom! They were delicious.

Anyway, while Josh was working on plugs and I was working on lights, my dad started working on moving the door to the basement. The door was all the way to the edge of the foundation wall which was odd. It left very little room to frame the last wall. Basically, we wouldn't have been able to add trim to one side of the door. It also made getting long things (4x8 sheets of drywall) more difficult to get through the door. We talked about moving it before but it was a little daunting. We finally made up our minds, now is the time to do this sort of thing. So my dad went to work on that.

This photo is after he took out the header. We basically cut all the nails with a sawzall, removed the drywall, and it just came out.

We also took the time to move the hallway switch... to the hallway. Every time the first person would walk down and flip on the basement lights, they would flip off the hall lights. Everyone following would be in the dark. Having the hallway light in the hall makes a lot more sense.

So, after quite a bit of work, we finally got the door back into place, but over about a foot. Not sure if you can tell, but the header is a little crooked. That was my fault. Shouldn't matter much (it will all be covered up). Dad was a big help with this. I was kind of nervous about doing this, but he just jumped right in. That's generally the way to figure things out. Once it's broken, your only option is to fix it.

So Saturday, electrical and moving the door took all our time. I had a lot of other goals, none of which we started on.

So that was what I did Sunday. In this picture, you can see a lot of the work I did. I framed the last bit of the final wall (although I haven't nailed it into place yet. I created a door for a closet under the stairs. You can also see the two rows of lights in this image.

And finally, I framed Abby's shower. With this, I'm about 99% done with framing. I went around and found all the places that I thought would need some backing for drywall and added that. I also finished up the soffit around the duct work. The only thing I have left is to add some wood backing for the TVs.

I have a lot to do still, and we'll be gone this weekend for Abby's birthday. So I'll probably be working on the basement all this week. Tonight I finished running all the coax cable (although I thought of another place I might run it), all of the cat 5, and speaker wire for around the TV. I still need to run some for the rear speakers, and I'm going to put a bunch in the bedroom in case anyone wants ceiling speakers in there. Now is the time! I found out we have a neighbor who sells stereo equipment and he came over and showed me where to put speakers eventually. That was a big help as well.

So that's it for my update. I still have a lot to do before the drywallers come in two weeks (maybe three). I need to finish plumbing the shower, vanity and toilet. I need to build the shower basin and put cement board on the insides. And I also need to add insulation. Oh... and I want to see if I can get a 9 foot piece of drywall down the steps now. That will make things a lot easier for the drywall people, and fewer seams means fewer chances of cracks. Once all this is done, the drywallers will put up the drywall and we'll be able to paint. After paint is tile, then doors and trim, and finally carpet (or does carpet come before trim?). Then Abby will be able to move down stairs, I"ll move upstairs, and we'll make the office into the babies room. Fun.

By Craig Kohtz on March 29, 2011