The basement rec room is finished!
This was such a labor of love, and the planning was long and insane. From the get-go, we knew this house that we bought in late 2019 was going to have some of the basement finished.
It was an open canvas, a blank slate, completely blank and empty. Since moving into the house in 2019, we have done so much to make it exactly how we wanted and dreamed it to be. In this post, I am going to share how we changed a part of the basement from the blank slate to a finished space perfect for family movie nights.
Published January 6, 2023
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What came before
Before we got to this point, there was so much work that had to be done.
Insulation, drywall, and more.
To check out the progress click the links to my blogs where I shared all of the progress.
The first step was to make sure the walls were sturdy and strong. We had to shore up the wall with an I-beam, a little epoxy and a lot of paint.
Once the walls were waterproofed and secured, we got started with insulation and drywall and forming walls on the outside of the room.
Materials Needed for a finished basement
To finish the drywall, there are a few materials that you need. Most of the materials are all drywall and mud tools like tape, corner bead and trowels.
If you are doing some drywall finishing, a good set of tools is highly important.
In addition to tools, the mud you use is also important to decide as there are many varieties.
For example, there is “Taping Compound”, “All Purpose”, “Extra Lite Joint Compound”, “Plus 3” and more. And incredibly, each of these can also be purchased dry so you can mix your own.
Then, to mix the drywall mud, you use a drill and a drywall mud mixer which is a neat tool to insert into the drill.
Just make sure to have a pail or bucket of water to set the mixer tool into when you are done so the entirety of the mud does not go down the drain in clumps. Wipe off most of the clumps in the water and then make sure to then rinse the drywall tools in the sink and dry them off completely so they do not rust.
On each of the ceiling outside corners, staple a metal corner bead to help protect the edges from damage. Then, place the tape over the edges so the drywall mud can stick to it. Using a drywall trowel, trowel the mud onto the edges over the tape and cornerbead.
This process does not take a quick amount of time. In fact, doing drywall finishing is quite a laborious project. Once the first layer of mud is on, and fully dries, then sanding the high spots is highly necessary. Then, the second layer goes on, dries and is sanded, paint can finally start!
In addition to the outside corners, the inside corners and ceilings need to be finished.
To finish the inside corners and joints, using drywall tape is the way to go. Just use a drywall finishing trowel, trowel on a small amount of mud, and then place the joint tape over the seams. Then, trowel on more drywall mud over the tape.
Additionally, within the inside corners, fold the joint tape before placing it in the corner. But make sure to fold it the right way, as it does have a specific way it goes.
To get to this point, with the outside corners done, inside corners done, ceiling done, and screws covered, it was more than a week.
Additionally, two layers were troweled onto the red metal beams that were left in the basement rec room. As they were literally inserted into the concrete of the basement floor, they were then not easy to move and would be an unreasonable thing to do.
Texturing the Walls
This is the second time in our house that Tyler got to practice his texturing skills.
The first time, it was in our boys’ bedrooms that we built from scratch. Half of the basement is now a finished space.
As this is an incredibly messy process, Tyler placed plastic up to keep the dust down. It sure helped, but we still needed to dust the basement when it came down. The awful red posts were also covered at this point. It sure made a huge difference!
The most exciting part was, that once the texture was done, we could finally prime the walls.
Just doing this completely transformed the room and made it look like a real room.
Once the primer had two coats, the ceiling then got two layers of ceiling white.
After the ceiling paint was done, then the walls were painted.
Wires and Lights
Once the drywall was finished in the basement, the paint and finishing touches could finally be started.
Outlets and switches were installed, lights were hooked up, and the room started to truly come together!
We used color changing glare control lights that were 4-inch. These were amazing and truly were not difficult to install.
Tyler also had an amazing idea to add crown molding on the soffit and then place a rope light inside, so we have a little extra accent lighting. This rope light will have its own light switch that can be turned on or off when we want it to be on.
One does not just add crown molding. It was an ordeal fraught with indecision.
Using a scrap piece of wood, Tyler placed a light strip, and we then placed it on two spots on the soffit and the ceiling to see where the crown and light should be placed.
Below was the best, as it followed the soffit and lit up more of the ceiling.
Installing the Cabinets
Finally, once the ceilings and finishing touches were done, the cabinets could be installed.
With the help of a laser, a level and a lot of shims, the cabinets went in and were then anchored to the wall.
Hanging the television in the finished basement
Samuel, our oldest, helped Tyler run all of the wires and install the television and devices.
He was a big help as this momma has zero idea how to do any of that wires stuff.
Plus, the tv was heavy.
The cabinets are done, soffit is done, crown and lights are in and done, and even the Nintendo and Xbox are ready to use.
With the 3-inch PVC pipe underneath the drywall, all of the wires and chords are completely hidden.
The Basement is Finished
There it is! The basement rec room is officially done.
This basement project was something of our dreams when we thought about buying this house back in 2019.
And now, three years later, with this extra space to use in the basement, it feels special and very homey.