In Ankeny I had finally got my basement to a place that I was happy with it. It wasn’t really the design that I wanted due to time and cost restraints, but it functioned how I wanted it to function. It was done. I could relax and enjoy it. And then we moved. Since then I’ve had an incomplete basement and no man cave. Well, not one inside anyway. I had this awesome surround sound system and I bought a projector late last year from a craigslist find … and it just wasn’t in an environment fit for it. Then we started planning my 30th birthday party and I really wanted to have the bathroom blocked off so that people could use it and we could use the basement for Mario Kart. That’s what started this all. I wanted to take a piss without everyone hearing it.
I found Sketchup awhile ago and absolutely love it. There was a little bit of a learning curve, but once you figure it out it’s an amazing product. So I went and tried to put my vision for the basement into a model that I could use as a reference while I built the new basement. The overall idea for this man cave was a little more sophisticated and upscale from what I did in Ankeny. I was still learning a lot in Ankeny and there are several things I would have done differently. I wanted this to be setup in a way that I wouldn’t immediately regret what I had done. I also wanted to be able to watch TV while playing poker and have a nice theater area. That’s where I came up with this:
The space isn’t huge, but I think it’ll server my purpose just fine. I wanted to make it warm, inviting, and match the design that the previous owner of the house had used upstairs in the kitchen and our fireplace.
Work Begins – The Plumbing
As I started to take down the walls we had another water issue. We had this last year right before we went to Colorado but I thought I could let my temporary fix last a little while longer. I had no plan at this point to do anything with the bathroom. I didn’t want to spend the money on that as I thought we could get by. Then the furnace condensation line overflowed again flooding out Katie’s office as well as a big chunk of the walls I had just built. That made me decide that we needed to do the plumbing now so that we could relocate the floor drain and make the condensation line go to a proper floor drain instead of one 20 feet from it. Since we were going to do that, I decided to just replace all the copper water lines with pex and completely replace the sewage lines with PVC so we won’t have to worry about it for a long time.
That was a LOT of work. We had just done my old man’s sewage system a few months ago and I had already forgotten how much work that is. On top of the work, we we guessing at what we needed so just bought as many adapters as we could every time we went to Lowe’s so we didn’t have to keep making trips – even though we ended up making several trips anyway. I ended up returning $200 in just pex connectors.
Walls and other Core Stuff
Now that the plumbing was done, I started working on framing out the walls and sheetrock and stuff. The entire basement is now insulated with the exception of the laundry area. Here’s a few pics of this. Not many exciting things happened here but here area few pics:
Now that the walls and core stuff was up, I started working on trim and installing the brick and wood walls. So far the walls are turning out how they did in my head, which is always a good thing.
I wanted to have a place to store my blu-ray collection as well as somewhere to keep the electronics and some other random stuff. I went ahead and designed a full wall entertainment center to accomplish this. Here’s the design:
Once I finalized the design I went ahead and started working on actually building it. So here’s how far I’ve made it on that:
And that’s pretty much where I’m at now with the entertainment center. I have finishing, trim, and the feet of it to go.
I started finishing the basement trim. I got the stain put on everything in the main area and it turned out really well. The only problem is I varnished a couple sections way too soon and it spread the stain. So now I get the pleasure of sanding my freshly varnished wood and putting another coat of stain on it to correct my fuck up. But here’s a couple of pics of the stain in progress.
Now I’ve got quart round, window trim, the door to Katie’s office, and the bathroom yet to do. Really hoping to make some good progress this weekend.