Making a Man Cave
Here’s Phase II of a basement Renovation—The Finish Line
By Mark Clement
In Phase I of our renovation we spent time on infrastructure, converting a beat-down basement to a diesel dungeon for the men of the house. Phase II occurs after the demolition is over, the walls are framed, and insulation has been installed. This second phase requires layout work and careful planning that lead to the carpentry you see and feel every day. The following are some tricks to use during your own basement remodel.
Something special happens when you remove a basement slab. Yes, you gain headroom; you also lose every single reference point. There’s nothing to measure to or from. Yet, you need to locate where the drain lines should go, so your plumber can install them.
One trick I used is to lay sheets of plywood and screw them together like they were the finished floor. I snap lines where I will eventually build walls. Then, from the snapped lines I can measure drain locations from real reference points. I then drill a hole in the plywood and blow spray paint in there.
Then, I remove the plywood. The spray paint remains. Boom; the drain lines have been marked for the plumber.
We installed a wood shower, and while I’ll detail that in a separate EHT article, the punchline is that it’s awesome. The reason I bring it up is the shower curb I formed and poured myself. It’s made of concrete to match the floor. It took some figurin’, but once I laid out the form, the pour was easy and cost only about 20 bucks (couple bags of ‘crete and some plywood scraps). That’s tough to be beat for something that works so well. If you don’t like the look of concrete, there is no better substrate for tile. It also bought us more headroom, which makes the whole place feel bigger.
The juju in my DieselDungeon is “refined-rustic.” What brings that to life more than an exterior siding technique polished up for interior use?