Fun project and able to teach my daughter some new skills. The ability to list a home with basement as a bedroom, most county’s require a basement egress system to accommodate a first responder.

The plan for the basement is to build out one room 3/4 of the space to be completed. The other room is for laundry, HVAC and Hot Water heater.

The first order of business is to install an egress system the meets international code.

Wellcraft was chosen as the system. Meets code and about 1,200$. Installation cost (free labor) was under 2,000$ total saving 3k. While this is installed, gutter and downspouts were fixed, neighbors fixed. New slope and sod added for proper drainage away from the foundation. We added 3 coats of drylok to the inside foundation.

Egress and landscaping took a total of 70 hours. Hard labor. The egress labor wise was the hardest part of the install.

Egress Wellcraft System (100% USA made) from the Roof Center. Hand dug, with a bit of help from 1 man 8 inch auger. Block cut using gas powered 12 inch diamond saw. Tested water tight by SANDY with 10+ inches of rain in 30 hours. No leaks. (2014 winter was 200% snowfall no leaks)

Mixed with 12 cu feet of Peat Moss & the clay made decent fill. Four pickup truck loads were taken to the farm for fill. Landscaping with proper slope, sod, quick seed and straw for cover. Added 6 mill plastic 3 inch under topsoil out 3 feet from foundation to help control water.

Using R-10 2 inch rigid, ( R5 1 inch inside block walls) furring Strip attached with 4 inches 1/4 Tapcon concrete screws. Tyvek tape all seems. Using foam and furring requires the use of MC (metal clad) 14-3 (w,b,g). Two new circuits both arc fault as required by code. Will allow a bit of expansion.

HVAC wise on one duct into the basement, adding a wall, we added a new line to near the window, and cut into the return, too give good ventilation, the other vent will move down the stack 4 feet to the left. While open, the ducts were cleaned, the return was very dirty. Tape the joints on everything using the foil tape.

The electric code has changed since 2008, so updated reference materials were needed. Speaking of Electric code, ARC Fault detectors, now needed on new circuits 40$ + item. Needed tamper proof outlets, childproof.

Close up of MC wire, Tapcon Block screws (550 lbs shear, 350 lbs pull out x 5 ) 1/4 x 4

Circuits – 2 x 15 amp Arcfault   1-7 outlets  the other  1-4 outlets 3 lights.

Upgrade laundry to GFCI and outside rear to GFCI.

Box is Eaton cutler hammer  CH unit.

Electric – physics. Think capacity of the wire. For room 14 AWG (gauge). The gauge will determine capacity in this case 15 amps. 12 gauge is 20 amps. Bigger wire more amps.  The issue is heat or arc. The circuit breaker is designed to cut the power when a given AMP is reached. ie. Heat. Too much heat possible fire. What about the junction boxes? now your thinking. Each size of the box has a rating for how many wires. too many wires = too much heat = possible fire.  What about a spark? an ARC could occur if insulation or boxes are not installed correctly. CODES like how far the insulation needs to be in the box, How much insulation needs to be stripped, etc. BARE WIRE could lead to possible ARC. Boxes how they are attached and when to attach to building, etc. 

To date 30% complete. 70 hours

12/15 – Good day with 3.5 labor helpers. RotoZip does work wonders, but practice a few times first. We mark the floor for each stud/furring and outlet width (width of most drywall T square) and lower and upper (inches up wall)
January 2013 – Ceiling Insulation going in, mainly for sound. Getting the ceiling drywall installed. January 2013 – Center of room. Steel studs in for enclosure of the Heat Pump / Water Heater.  This point we stopped.
At 74% complete , 10 sheets of drywall, 4 doors, 1 more electric circuit , Mud, Prime and paint.
Should take 40 to 50 hours to finish.