January 23, 2015 by Decorum DIYer
As Chris and I are chugging along with our basement remodel, we are encountering an impasse. Although we are attacking this renovation a little out of order (i.e. flooring before walls and ceiling), we do have a general plan. However, there are a few points of contention regarding the following items/areas:
- A happy home for my husband’s guitars and paraphernalia. He doesn’t want a bona fide studio, but a place to hang out and jam – which amounts to a large corner in the living area of the basement. I’m okay with this, but I need to know what he wants, so that I can plan around it.
- The pool table is staying, but can’t agree where to place it. Its current location works, but if it were turned perpendicular and to the left of its current location, we would have space for other seating/activities.
- Full bath vs. half bath. In addition, its exact location. I want a full bath, as we only have one full bath on the upper level for five people. Our master bath is only a three-quarter bath and quite tiny. I want the bathroom to include a window and my husband isn’t sold on having a bathroom on the lower level – even then he doesn’t think it needs a window.
- This is the biggest point of contention – I would like a home office. I have plans to start a business (furniture painting and possibly home staging) and my husband may be able to work from home in the coming years. He does not feel that a home office is necessary and if it were included in our plans, he thinks it should have the window I have earmarked for the full bath.
None of the above plans jeopardize the work that has gone into the basement thus far (painting cement block walls and installing flooring in the living area). Rather, with exception of furniture placement for the “rock star corner”, these future plans concern the other half of the basement. We just can’t come to an agreement. Below I have our current layout and then my suggested layout.
Here is our current layout:
Here is my proposed plan:
I would show you a proposed floor plan for Chris’ ideas, but he really doesn’t have one. That is part of the problem, he doesn’t know what he wants and he doesn’t understand my need to have a firm plan in place. What I do know is that he has a few issues with my plan:
- He doesn’t think a full bathroom is necessary. Maybe just a half bath?
- He isn’t sold on the need for a home office, but if we had one, he doesn’t like the idea of a windowless one. (I think the window is best suited for the full bathroom. Besides, that is where the plumbing is currently located.)
- He questions my need for a lovely laundry room, especially if we grow old here and eventually move the laundry back to the first floor (where it was when we moved here). I disagree, since I do most of the laundry. 😉
There are a few things I do know about how I want the basement to feel. I want it to feel like the upper level: full of light and cozy. I also want this basement to provide a ton of storage. I envision wall-to-wall cabinetry along the left wall of the living space to house our television/entertainment components, photographs, books, art supplies, board games, etc…. I also really would like to have a home office. Sure, it would be windowless and narrow, but I think it could work. Maybe something like this….
There are a few concerns that I have regarding my plan, too:
- Am I using the space effectively? I realize that I have a wide hallway down the center, but that is to allow large furniture pieces to move easily in and out of the workroom to the exterior basement door. It is also to allow large appliances, like the washer, dryer, and back-up freezer to be easily changed out; should we need to replace them.
- Am I accounting for utilities, such as plumbing and electrical access? Because it is below grade, we would need a pump or macerator to have a fully functioning bath. This could be a unit behind the toilet, or buried beneath the flooring (jack-hammering the concrete floor and repairing).
- How does this plan work for resale? I don’t see the point in squeezing out a 5th bedroom, but I think using the space for as many functions as possible makes sense for a four bedroom home, i.e. living area, second full bathroom (we only have one full bathroom upstairs), laundry room, workroom, playroom (which could also be used as storage when the children are older), and a home office.
- Am I making a floor plan that flows and that makes sense? I’ve checked my local codes and basically there are no guidelines with finishing a basement as to interior walls, other than obtaining permits and using professionals for electrical and plumbing work (within reason – changing a light fixture is okay).
I guess what I am asking you is, “What do you think?”. I feel as though there is a professional that could assist me with this, but what is that profession? An architect? An interior designer? A structural engineer? I guess I am just conflicted and need to know if my plans make sense. Or, alternatively, is there a professional I could hire to whip up a perfect floor plan that meets all of our needs (and agreed to by Chris and me) and which takes into consideration things we may not even be thinking about. Please feel free to give me your suggestions and/or point me in the right direction of what types of professionals oversee these design dilemmas.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts!