Finish basement now??

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by CurtJ, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. CurtJ

    CurtJ Stunt Coordinator

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    We are building a house and would like to finish the basement and place a dedicated home theater room. The builder has quoted $34/sq ft and we are planning on finishing around 1300 sq feet. Does anyone have any advice on should we finish the basement now or do it after we have moved in? I would like to get it done now just to put it in the mortgage but I know that I will take a little tax hit doing it now.
     
  2. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    I wouold go ahead and have it finished now. At least framed and drywalled. You could always paint it later. Make sure you have plenty of power lines run and speaker wire,video cables, etc. run or at least the conduit to run the wires later.

    Parker
     
  3. David F

    David F Auditioning

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    If you have it done now, you might not be satisfied with the result. I purchased my new home 6 years ago, and am just now getting around to finishing the basement.

    Your builder will probably do the basement they do the rest of your house. The materials won't be top-notch, they won't use enough insulation in the ceiling, etc.

    In the end, I will end-up with a higher-quality product - but as the result of countless hours of construction that I'll be doing myself. If I were to do over, I probably would just go ahead and have the builder do it.

    If you decide to NOT finish the basement now, I would make sure the basement does consist of the following:

    1) Have them dig the foundation deeper (if it's not too late - you didn't mention where or not they've broken ground on it or not). I have 9-foot ceilings in the rest of my house, but only 7.5' in my basement. Wish I'd had them dig it deeper.

    2) A rough-in for a full bath. That means they'll go ahead and connect all of the waste water lines for you. That will save you from having to dig-up your cement floor later. (Something I have to do to finish a full-bath, as my basement only had rough-ins for a half bath.)

    3) A rough-in for a wet bar. (See #2)

    4) Make sure you have your furnace and water heater parked somewhere out-of-the-way. It will cost more to do this (as more pipe and ducting might be required), but will end-up saving you a lot in the end.
     
  4. Brian Osborne

    Brian Osborne Stunt Coordinator

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    If you are going to spend that much money... thats like $45K. I'd be my own subcontractor. You can hire done what you want, get a better result and have a lot more control over what is happening. Most builders wont build to a Home theater, they will just add rooms. There are other considerations when you are looking at a theater room.
    Most lenders will allow you to rewrite your 2nd if you have one after just a few months. I've spent the money now, with plans to refi our 2nd once I can refinance to include added value from the finished basement. Basically swaping my menards card for a fixed rate HELoan. In my case it is 6 months. Because it is new, the house has to be occupied for 6 months before I can use any value except for purchase price. If you do it yourself it will also take 18 months before your taxes will increase because of it.
     
  5. Don.l

    Don.l Stunt Coordinator

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    If the house is new and just built, I would wait at least a year. Reason? Cracks. If you finish it now and in the course of a year that house settles and some cracks form (and they will), you may get some water coming in. You should wait a year, then evaluate the cracks you have, and have them fixed and then do it. Trust me on this. I had a friend learn this the hard way. He had to remove two sections of a wall and had wet carpet. It may no be $34/sq ft. next year, but how much more would it cost you to replace all the stuff ruined by water?

    Don
     
  6. ChrisWhite

    ChrisWhite Auditioning

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    Recently I finished my basement with a dedicated HT room, workout room, 1/2 bath, and plenty of closet and storage area. I did the majority of the work myself but I did hire a friend of a friend to do work that I was not competent enough to do (sheetrock and taping, also he framed my whole basement in two days). The total cost for everything was around $9500.

    I would suggest that you wait at least a year to see if water leaks in and during that time frame you can plan and design an awesome HT room.

    You could finish your basement in increments such as
    1. framing
    2. wiring/plumbing
    3. insulation
    4. sheetrocking

    I had my house built three years ago and finally finished the basement. You don't want to rush into anything that you may not be happy with later. BTW- I wouldn't want my builder to have finished my basement. Many builders cut corners wherever they can- so watch them as your home is being constructed!

    One thing I would do though is to get a price from your builder to install a sewer basin for a pump so your waste can be pumped up to your sewer pipes. That is if you want a bathroom or any kind of sink in your basement. My builder ripped me off by charging me $900 to do this. A 30" plastic basin costs around $40 and they installed it after the cement floor was already poured. They saw cut the floor, installed the basin and necessary piping, then backfilled the area and very very sloppily cemented over the backfill. This made it difficult when I went to put a ceramic tile floor down.

    Good luck with your endevor
    Chris
     

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