A warning to the weak willed! A basement renovation can be trying to your patience, the patience of your co-dwellers, and that of your credit card! That said, it's also a whole lot of fun! After all, who wouldn't want to smash stuff with a giant hammer, fill a room with concrete dust, or paste huge sheets of styrofoam to the walls? Yeah, I couldn't think of anyone either.
This is a massive instructable, containing over 430 photos for your viewing pleasure. The different stages of the renovation will be separated by title pages, where you'll find a list of the tools you'll probably need, and materials you'll likely use. Feel free to use any or all of the different sections in your own renovation as required.
Now for the disclaimer: I am not a general contractor, nor do I have any construction training per se. However, I'm a very handy guy, I read a lot of books and how-to websites, and got plenty of help from my elders. The information presented in this instructable is as accurate as I could manage, and chances are nothing will go terribly wrong. If you're ever unsure of what you're doing, then stop, step back, and take a few minutes to think about it. Read instructions over again or find a second opinion.
Now, grab your sledge hammer and demolition saw, it's time to get started!
Planning and Permits
Repairs and Waterproofing
Baseboards and Trim
Final Steps and Conclusion
Step 1: Planning
OK, put the sledge and saw back down, you won't need them for a while. Instead, grab a tape measure, some graph paper and a pencil. It's time to make some plans.
First, draw a scale drawing of the space you're planning to renovate. Include the outside walls, interior supporting walls, existing doors and windows, existing ductwork, plumbing fixtures, and any other immovable objects in the room. You likely won't be touching these (and I won't tell you how!) so you'll have to plan around them.
Next you have to consider what the new space will be used for. Are you going to put in a bathroom? An extra bedroom? Perhaps a workshop or office... Take your time to really think about what you want to build down there. After all, it will be more or less permanent, so you want it to be a useful space for a long time. You should also resist the urge to carve up a basement space into a lot of small rooms - it will end up feeling like a dungeon.
Also remember that each type of room will have a few requirements stipulated by your local building code that you must follow. For instance, a bedroom will probably need a large window for egress (emergency exit) if there is no secondary exit in the basement. Take these requirements into consideration as you make your plans so that you don't get stuck later on (or worse yet, receive a failing grade from the building inspector!)
In this instructable I will be using my own renovation as an example. I started with an 11x22 foot space that was divided into two rooms, a workshop and an empty room. Well, empty aside from a rather quaint toilet stall!