Sunday, 30 November 2014

Day 7 - Upper Shelf & Pine Panelling

Day 7,8,9 ish all merged into one post here.  With the push on I took a day of vacation to work on the basement (which turned into 3 hours vacation basement and 4.5 hours of office work, oh well), worked a few evenings, took a short day at the office to work on the basement to make up for the first vacation day, and wrapped it all up Saturday which was deadline day.


The usual disclaimers apply -- I'm not a professional and this is total Do It Yourself (DIY) project.  Seek professional input prior to attempting this project.  It is NOT an easy project and requires a significant amount of work, knowledge and capability.  Make sure you fully understand all relevant design, structural, and geotechnical aspects, including the building code and applicable bylaws prior to starting.  Any doubts, hire someone qualified :)  We've had good success (so far), but that isn't a prediction of success at other sites.

The top shelf was made differently than the bottom.  Inside of built in place, with 16" joists (and hangers) I built it like this:
  • Frame was built as complete as possible, than lifted the shelf into place.  By building ahead of time, it was much easier to use screws to fasten the joists and didn't need joist hangers.
  • Back 2x4 ledger was bolted to the wall.  
  • 24" centres were used for the joists as this shelf didn't need to hold a person nearly as often as the bottom shelf, nor will it have a washing machine or drier on it.
The top shelf became  the "use up the scrap wood" initiative.  I was tired of back and forth trips for lumber to Rona (thank's Dave for those gift cards!), and also tired of wood sitting is the garage for years.  I was laminating two, 1/2" pine pieces into 1" lumber for blocking, I used up a 2x4x12 cedar piece from the first Front Porch project, used up some PT from the Play Structure project, etc.  In terms of 2x4 off cuts, the biggest pieces at the end of this job left were a few 6" pieces, but more generally only 1-2" off-cuts.  I was quite proud! 

Once the frame was installed, 1/2" plywood was installed quickly.  I paid little attention to getting to perfectly lined up at the front as I just used a circular saw to cut the front flush at the end.

We found 5/16" x 4" v-board pine wall panel at lowes on sale.  This was great, since it was a fairly cheap wall covering, and meant no drywall, taping or mud!  For a little insight into my mind, here is costing out the drywall vs wood:

Wall height
wall length
sq feet





total sq footage
sq feet

drywall cost
$/sq foot

rona pine
$/sq foot

lowes pine (on sale)
$/sq foot


dry wall delivery

dry wall mud+tape

drywall cost

lowes pine

rona pine
$, assumes free truck use

extra cost to use rona pine

extra cost to use lowes pine

At $53 extra for wood, it was a no brainer for me to go with the pine.

If you haven't already, catch up with this project by reading about the other parts of this project (clicking will open the link in a new window):
Day 1 -  Chipping out a the sump
Day 2 - Chipping out the perimeter trenches
Day 3 - Placing the Waterguard and dimpled membrane
Day 4 - Plumbing the sump and taping the membrane
Day 5 - Pouring the concrete floor
Day 6 - Membrane and lower shelf

And now for the photos.

Here you can see building the upper shelf frame.  It did require a little creativity working around the jack posts.

Here are the front wall panels for the top shelf.

The photo below shows the top shelf ready for bolting to the wall, and the front wall ready to support the shelf.

All installed!  If you look closely you'll see the laser level line on the wall.  This project relied really heavily on the laser level, To keep the shelves and panels level across the basement, the laser level was pretty much on the whole time. Although the tripod on the level sucks, this Johnson laser level was well worth the $90.  Near the end after bashing my hands and head a few times, I ended up singing the merits of a laser level to "I will survive", by Gloria Gaynor (keep that tune in you mind well you sing this)

At first I scared
I was petrified
Making shelves square in a basement was a nightmare
but then I got a laser level
and everything worked out just fine
oh oh ya, i will survive.
And then I said, doesn't that look good,
man of man the shelves are great
da da da da da da da da daaaaaa

and on and on.

Top shelf all framed up:

Pine panels installed on the front of the shelves:

And now the pine is installed on the walls as well and the shelf is completed.  Here is the final shelf, with a before after to boot.  Quite an improvement we think.

Doesn't take long to fill up :)

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