CASE STUDY – PART 2
A Basement Development Journey
Bringing Copper & Turquoise to Life
11. Underground Plumbing
- According to code, there must be a certain amount of clearance on either side of the toilet
- We needed 57” for the washer and dryer
Once we had those variables measured out, we were able to make the shower as big as possible based on the space we had and knowing where our plumbing needed to be. Once that was completed and the plumbers had done their work, including a backwater sewer valve, stormwater check valve, and floor drain, we got the plumbing inspector in to have a look. We had no problems and got the green sticker to keep going! Now we could backfill and compact the area followed by a concrete pour.
After the inspection and our subsequent green sticker of approval, we proceeded with the next step.
Once the frost walls were up, we framed up the interior walls & window openings. Keeping with the 45-degree theme of this basement. All the walls and bulkhead corners were built this way to enhance the flow and smooth transition of the space. As usual, we used a variety of lasers to establish straight bulkheads and plumb walls. Due to the slab floor being so inconstant, framing took a little extra time. Almost every stud had to be individually measured to ensure a snug fit. It would have been nice to level the floor first, but due to scheduling conflicts, we made this work.
14. Plumbing Rough-in
To provide clear communication to the plumbers, all drains and shower valve locations were previously marked out, so they were in and out quickly.
- Shower water supply and valve – Check
- Toilet water supply – Check
- Lavatory water supply and drain – Check
- Washer water supply and drain – Check
- Clean-outs as required – Check
Then it was time to get our electricians in there.
15. Electrical Rough-in & Lighting Layout
The reason for this is simple – real estate. HVAC needs the most room, so this contractor comes in first to run the big duck work, consisting mostly of ridged pipe. Next is plumbing. They work with a lot smaller pipe and can always find a way. All they need is a few inches and some gravity in most cases. With PEX water lines, they can wiggle their way around almost anything.
Last comes the electricians who have small wires to route around and only have to drill small holes.
The electrical situation in this basement was a disaster when we began, but with proper planning, oodles of circuit demo, and master trades, we had no problems passing this inspection.
For this basement renovation, as in all our renovations, a lot of time was spent laying out the lighting. I always recommend a higher count of 4” LED lights as opposed to fewer 6” lights. They must be in straight line, an appropriate distance away from the walls, centred as required and overall, in an aesthetically pleasing layout. Combine all these design elements, and you end up with very minimal shadow casting on the walls, great home office work lighting and spectacular feature lighting. Throw in some dimmers and voila, a well-lit basement!
Lastly, as we always do, we drew a map of all the light locations because we were close to drywalling right over everything. With a map drawn, we know exactly where to drill the holes for our lights later.
16. Crawl Space Repair
To repair it, we had to jack it up with tele posts, almost an inch in the worst spot, remove all the damaged framing, and reframe it. Once the new framing was in place, we simply let the jacks down until everything was level, shimmed as required, and sealed up the outside properly. Now it was pest proof and ready for spray foam. A bonus from this work was that the patio door above finally operates smoothly again!
Watch our quick Crawl Space Repair video to see the process for yourself!
17. Courtesy Mapping
As you just saw, it was an unfinished crawl space used strictly for mechanical runs, but it still needed to be warm and sealed up properly. To accomplish this, after the structural repairs, our insulation technician laid a 10 mil poly vapour barrier on the sandy floor and fastened it to the concrete foundation wall. Then he sprayed an R20 foam insulation to the walls and joist ends. This resulted in a warm crawl space, which is important for the comfort of the living room and bathroom floor above, as well as preventing the water lines from freezing. The poly also eliminates any musty smell that can potentially come from a raw earth floor.
In addition to the crawl space and prior to insulating, the entire basement foundation was vacuumed to rid the walls of any dust, resulting in a much better adhesion of the spray foam. Then, all foundation walls and joist ends were filled with foam to R20. When using spray foam, no poly vapour barrier is required as the insulation is a closed cell product, meaning no humidity or air can travel through it.