Terrific Broth

The life of two scientists, creating a small home, in big mountains

Home Stay + A New Room!

People say that after over a month of quarantine together, couples would have either created a new baby, or gotten divorced. 🙂 What about us, you may ask? Well, in our case, we birthed a new room!

IMG_1648

Do you remember the utility room?

It has been two months since we turned our attention to the utility room. Last time we checked in, it was right after the plumbing work. Plumbing was really the last big task we had to finish before putting the room back together. So while I was outside digging dirt, someone was busy at building the walls back up:

IMG_1385

IMG_1536

IMG_1566

IMG_1609

IMG_1648

Framing a utility closet

IMG_1358

We have always wanted to box in the furnace and water heater. After our plumber moved the floor drain, we put up a dividing wall between the water heater and where the washer usually sits.

IMG_1469

The floor drain is now located inside of the future utility closet. The final position of the wall left enough room required by code on the right side of the water heater and access to the clean-out on the sewer pipe.

IMG_1496

And the cool thing is…this is not just your everyday framing – notice the void near the floor?

IMG_1584

Floating walls are required when finishing basements in Colorado. Due to our expansive clay soil, it is common for basement slab to raise or sink. By attaching the wall framing above, on the floor joists of the main floor, the basement walls are now decoupled with the concrete slab below.

IMG_1523

To prevent the floating walls from going out of plumb, a piece treated wood are glued and bolted down to the concrete slab. They are called bottom plates. Long nail goes through both the bottom of the framing and the bottom plate, linking them together so they won’t move in the horizontal plane. The bottom plates also functions as an anchor for the drywall to attach.

Above the utility units are multiple pipes. They are next to the air ducting which takes a big chunk of ceiling space.

IMG_1375

IMG_1380

We boxed all the pipe and ducting in with a large soffit:

IMG_1473

With a 45 degree curve to soften the look:

IMG_1470

Framing was added underneath the ducting, raising it as tall as possible for more head space below. It also allows drywall to attach from the bottom.

IMG_1497

The new laundry nook and exterior wall

The utility closet wall naturally creates a nook for the laundry units to sit in.

IMG_1482

You can also see the new framing on the exterior wall facing east. The new exterior wall was framed over 5″ away from the concrete foundation to accommodate the new sewer pipe as well as the R-19 insulation required by building code.

IMG_1451

IMG_1454

To save on cost the exterior wall, 2″x 4″ s were used in place of 2″x 6″ to frame the exterior walls. More importantly, it saves some weight hanging off the main floor floor joists.

IMG_1464

Adding framing and a pocket door to the closet

IMG_0619

On the opposite end of the utility wall, there is the basement stairs and closet underneath. We decided to keep the closet for storage as well as for better sound insulation. Inside the closet, we added 2″ x 4″ framing on the exterior wall.

IMG_1504

And a pocket door for closet access. This door needs to be at least 30″ wide to meet the code for the electrical subpanel.

IMG_1502

To attach the drywall securely under the stairs, we added strips of the framing under the stairs. It is interesting to see how stairs were built then – treads and risers do not overlap and there are gaps in between them. With the added new support the whole stair is more steady and less noisy.

IMG_1508

Putting back electrical

After framing we moved onto electrical. The electrical work in this room was largely completed last year, including installed a sub-panel, wiring for the recess lights, wiring 20A lines for the master bath, and wiring for the laundry unit and a couple outlets facing the utility room.

IMG_1486

The finished wiring was pushed to the side during the re-framing process and simply needed to be secured to the new framing. In addition, the subpanel was bolted onto the old framing.

Slav detached the subpanel from the old framing:

IMG_1509

and secured it into the new framing.

IMG_1526

Then we secured all the outlets to the new framing. The 2″ x 4″ framing is positioned over 1″ away from the basement walls, making installing electrical a breeze.

IMG_1537

We did add a few more outlets, including one inside the closet and a couple on the stair wall. The installation was pretty straightforward.

IMG_1538

IMG_1539

IMG_1543

Insulating the utility room

IMG_1532

With the electrical in place, we insulated the room. We used R19 for the long exterior wall facing east, as it is a couple feet above the ground.

IMG_1566

IMG_1560

Being completely under the ground (and our garage slab), the exterior wall inside the closet was insulated with R15 batt.

IMG_1562

IMG_1583

We also added sound insulation in all the interior walls. Putting the sound barrier around the utility closet should significantly decrease the operation noise from the furnace.

IMG_1567

IMG_1568

The wall behind the washer and dryer got the sound insulation too. We should hear the washer less from the bedroom and bathroom now.

IMG_1592

Adding sound insulation in the stair wall as well as under the stairs will hopefully reduce the sound from the kitchen and when using the stairs.

IMG_1576

IMG_1582

Now we are ready for drywall!

IMG_1580

Drywall dust, I do not miss you!

The next day, the drywall was up.

IMG_1607

IMG_1639

IMG_1625

IMG_1621

IMG_1626

IMG_1631

IMG_1611

Then the next three days were dedicated to mudding and sanding. I do not miss drywall dust at all! I am just so happy that we are finally done with drywalling in the basement.

IMG_1657

IMG_1656

IMG_1649

IMG_1650

IMG_1653

IMG_1654

IMG_1651

There it is, the new room!

IMG_1648

IMG_1655

Remember the room before?

IMG_9645

IMG_9647

IMG_9648

It feels so good to not looking at open studs again. Honestly, even I had rehearsed the whole design so many times in my mind and on paper, it still felt novel to see the finished walls in person. Yes, we got our utility room back, but it is much more than that. With the utilities and laundry units less visible, the room feels like a new addition to the basement. I am sure installing the closet doors and flooring will further enhance this feeling and give this room its own identity.

IMG_1646

The doors and floors will be delivered tomorrow, and we still have a whole week before the stay-at-home order ends. It would be totally crazy to come out of the quarantine with a finished basement!

Previous

Home Stay + Building a New Terrace Garden

Next

Home Stay + Drip Works

2 Comments

  1. Anna Słoniowska

    Alison, great job.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén