I just wanted one small wall. Honestly I had no intention of finishing my own basement. The house was only about five years old and for the most part it had all of the space we needed. As most home improvement projects do, it started off with a very small desire. If you want to learn how to finish a basement, this is a great first step.
I wanted a place to organize some tools and paint supplies. Specifically, I wanted to put up a piece of peg board so that I could then put all those cool hooks and stuff on there and just be captain organized.
That idea sort of swam around in my brain for several months. Each time I went to the basement to get something I reminded myself that I really did want to get this stuff organized. I suppose I just didn't have a real flash point.
My New Dewalt Miter Saw
Then along came my DeWalt 10" miter saw. For Christmas, I half jokingly said that I'd like a power saw as my present, sometimes more commonly referred to as a chop saw or a miter saw.
Up until then I only had a hand saw. I had been watching a million home repair shows and if there's one awesome thing that they do it's cut wood, really, really fast.
Wouldn't you know it, my loving and caring wife bought me a power saw. A shiny yellow implement of construction. Problem was, I had little idea of how to actually use it and was at a loss as to how to get started on my peg board wall.
The saw sat in our basement for about a month completely untouched. I still didn't have what I needed to build one small wall.
Instructions... Yes, you need to read them!
You see, what I was missing was an instruction book, or two or three. Yes, I'd seen the home improvement TV shows. No, those do not prepare you in any way to actually do what they are doing. In fact, the stuff you really have to do is glossed over in a about 5 seconds. They are all about the emotion of the homeowner and the reveal and the ooooh and the aaaaah.
So I went to the book store near my office during lunch, browsed around, and viola… a book about building a wall stared me right in the face. I bought it on the spot. Okay, so now I have the book on framing a wall and I have the following tools and supplies:
- I have the book (I setup an Amazon store so you can buy the same basement finishing books I bought)
- My shiny new Dewalt 10" mitre saw
- I have a drill and some drill bits
- I have some screws.
- I have the wood (2 x 4s) and a tape measure
I had bought the wood earlier in the day, which is a whole other blog post "how to buy lumber" but a very important one. So I go down to the basement on a cold January weekend, shouting to my very pregnant wife, "Going to the basement, going to cut up some wood and build a wall". Saying this out-loud made me laugh. I honestly had zero idea of what to do. Having the book and the tools is one thing, actually doing it is another.
My First Wall
I did end up building a very small and rudimentary wall that weekend. Yes, it took me all weekend. You can read the gory details in my upcoming post on wall building. The wall was stable enough to hold my peg board. "And the boy was happy." But, as the story goes, "the boy was not happy for long".
I was proudly showing off my new wall and peg board accomplishment to my wife while our two kids were playing with a small soccer ball. Their ball kept accidentally hitting against our heater and hot water tank.
Wheels turned, light bulbs went off. What this problem needed was something I was itching to do again, build a wall!
You can probably start to see where this is now headed. I did build that second wall to "protect the furnace" from errant play. By then I had started to figure out walls so I thought I might as well just build a small room for the HVAC equipment.
Since I had that done, I thought I'd go ahead and wall off the storage area and expand my original peg board wall into a full blow manly workroom, I mean... craft and present wrapping room.
The rest is history. Once I started in with getting permits and electrical I decided I have to do the whole thing. It makes perfect sense to finish my own basement! Building one small test wall is a great first step.
Just start already
Don't worry about having all of the right tools or even knowing exactly what to do. Just go to Home Depot, buy some 2x4s and some screws, and go home and build a small wall. Then put some shelves up or some peg board. It's a "test" wall, so don't worry about messing up.
Are you about to frame your very first wall? Do you have a question?
Leave a comment below. Or email me directly.