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posted Sep 21, 2009, 12:21 PM by Quoc-Anh Vuong   [ updated Sep 24, 2009, 7:20 AM ]
The builder puts up a price tag of $50K to finish the basement of around 1300 sq-ft. Since finishing basement has an equivalent value or more, based on what rooms or features and finish materials. So it's time for thinking about finishing the basement, and here are few things we have to keep in mind:
  • Need a plan
  • Submit plan to Arlington county for permit
  • Also need electrical plan & submit way ahead of time
  • Figure out who will do what:
    • Insulation
    • Air conditioning
    • Framing
    • Drywall
    • Flooring
    • Electrical
    • Plumbing
    • Moldings & trims
    • Finish drywall & paintings
    • Installing doors


If the basement floor does not have any moisture, we can put down the foam underlayment, and install laminate flooring right on top of it. This is the most economical way. The total for 1,500 sq-ft of laminated flooring is around $1,300; less than $1 per sq-ft. Including underlayment & end-caps

Sub Floor

If doing the sub flooring, it will cost around $1.5/sq-ft (DriCore $5 per panel of 2x2). This sub floor compensate for the dips on the concrete floor and also acts as vapor barrier. Laminate, hardwood or carpet can install on top of this sub floor directly.
  • Tape 2x2 plastic sheet on wall & floor. Only need DriCore if there are moisture trapped inside the plastic sheet. Do the same for wall, and make sure to fix it before put up the wall foam.


Use special adhesive to put up 2" rigid foam on the basement walls all the way up to rim joists. Then install 2x4 walls with 1" offset. Use pressure treated for the bottom plate. However if the sub DriCore floor was used, put the 2x4 wall on top of the DriCore. Insulated with R-11 between studs.

Door & Soffit

Cover the pipes & ducts with 2x4 soffit. Door framing make sure 2" over all around.

Rooms & partitions

Bedroom requires 5.7 sq-ft egress, or 24" x 20" window. So, make sure to have that requirements before calling it a bedroom.

We probably need:
  • Media room
  • Exercise room
  • Wine cellar
  • Utility room
  • Bar & lounge area
  • Sitting area or pool table.