Basement Project: Updates-a-plenty

This post will get everyone up to date with all the latest and greatest from the basement project. I’ve noticed a recurring scenario with my attitude towards this project. It goes like this:

“Hmm, concrete/electrical/whatever … I could probably do that but it would be quicker if I hired it out.”

Calls and gets a few quotes

“Holy moly… I’ll just do it myself!”

I’m working on a fairly tight budget on this project, so it’s been necessary to do most of the work myself. I’ve decided that I’m going to do everything but the plumbing. The benefit of going straight DIY is that I can take my time, research products and techniques, then tackle it when I feel comfortable. It’s the complete opposite of when we had our house built and felt like we were always under the gun to make a decision.

So… where are we?  I installed a 60-amp sub-panel for the basement circuits. I ended up using an Eaton and I’ve been very satisfied with it. I got it at Lowes for $36 and it came with five 20-amp breakers.  What a deal!  FYI – The panel is connected to my main via 6-gauge wiring.  After the panel was in, I wired the gym, bathroom, and storage area.  The gym has six 5″ cans installed using LED retrofit kits from Sunlite.   They’re controlled via a Lutron dimmer from HD.   The dimmer has a very nice feel to it.

In the bathroom, I spent a lot of time going back and forth on which type of fan I should use.  The other bathrooms in this house use those crummy Broan units.  I knew I didn’t want to use one of those on my project.  So I set out on the internet looking for the best product.  I settled on a Fantech unit from   It comes with a remote-mounted blower and a vent with LED light.  It wasn’t cheap, but I think it’s going to be one of the best decisions I’ve made during this project.  Believe me when I say this thing SUCKS.  🙂  I’m using 4″ insulated flexible ducting to connect the vent and blower.  In the spring I will pop a hole in the side of the house to connect the blower exhaust.  I’m not going to try that in the middle of winter!

What else?  Oh… I picked up some rubber flooring from for the gym.  I went with the 8mm material in black with grey specs.  Each roll is 4′ wide by 22′ long.  It feels substantial and I can’t wait to get it installed… I’m tired of working out on bare concrete.   The price was about $650 shipped as the rolls are pretty beefy (over 100 lbs each).

I’m sure I’ve done some other stuff, but I’ve lost track.  Here are some photos of the recent work.

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