We (mostly I) had a lot of grandiose visions for the basement including a bar, a workout space, potentially a 'brew room' - my husband is into home brewing - a full bathroom, and a bedroom - or living room with pull out couch. I wanted to get this project at least mostly complete before we started procreating in the coming years- so winter was a great time for me to sit down with my 3D computer program (I am an engineer after all), and get our design ideas on "paper" and see what works.
Well, before I even really got started with idea generation, I started digging into building codes in the area and made a few phones calls to our local inspectors. I found out lots of useful information that put a damper on some of my plans. First, While our windows met egress standards for the year the home was built (1996), standards have changed. My local home depot man said we'd be OK since the code typically goes with the year the home was built. Unfortunately this wasn't true for us since it's a 'change of use' of the space (to habitable space - regardless of if it's a bedroom), and that requires NEW WINDOWS. Ugh, luckily I found some non-custom casement windows on home depot that we can 'pop in' to replace our current windows.
- Option 1: divide the two egress windows (that are within 3 feet of each other) with a partition wall to make two 'habitable spaces',
- Option 2: make 1 large open-concept room.
This was NOT originally the design goal but we realized that adding too many walls really chopped up the space so we went with Option #2 - callingIncome Property - anyone with me? anyone? So as you can see from the floor plan above we had to modify our original vision a bit (but really, not too much). We will still have a bar area - but it will be smaller than originally planned. We will still have a gym! Wahoo - my husband and I are really into P90X3 - love it by the way! We will have a living area with (maybe) a pull out couch - depends if we can get it through our stairs!! and finally, we will only have a half bath instead of a full bath.
So I took to Google Sketchup (really easy to use even if you're not that familiar with 3D programs) to get the design really started. Here's a few things that are great about doing this in a 3D program instead of by hand.
- Google Sketchup is FREEEEEEE!
- It's easy to change! I can just keep saving the file with new names and try new configurations
- In Google Sketchup you can easily download tables, bars, kitchens, and even art work from the Sketchup 3D Warehouse - super fun!
- It's easy to rearrange and make sure your furniture fits!
- There is a way for you to 'walk around' the space which makes it seem more real and gives you a better since of if it's a good design.
- There are lots of tutorials which makes it easier to learn!
So, I took some before pictures this weekend- which I'm typically terrible about because I think the before pictures needs to be pretty and everything should be picked up. Yeah - well - I'm over that. So... excuse my before pictures :).
- It's good to check form
- There is no window in this area so it will hopefully (fingers crossed) help displace lights.
You'll also notice there are two sets of doors. The first set is a closet that is underneath the stair landing and the french doors are to our furnace room/ storage. Never know when you'll need a new furnace ;).
The built in window seat will likely go through some revisions as well. The hubs wants it to look and feel like a bar so we left it all wood now - I had to remove the fabric covered cushion I had on it lol. More soon!
Luckily, the floor drain in the basement was not covered by a wall - this was totally happens chance - I forgot about it - but it made it into the furnace room lol. I'm able to get about 4 4' by 8' utility shelfs in the furnace room without violating the previous rules. AWESOME!
More soon- this project will go on for a while :).