How may rooms will my Basement allow?

greenhousemsSeptember 5, 2010

My unfinnished basement is 1250 sq ft.

I was hoping for a

Full Bathroom with Tub, shower toilet and vanity

A multipurpose den with space for a pull down Murphy Bed

A Laundry Room

A very basic Kitchenette

Do I have room for all this or am I 'pushing it'?

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Considering that a lot of homes are that size, it should be plenty. Is that the amount of finished space (after the exterior walls are framed out), or is that the footprint of the house? The actual finished space will be smaller. How much of that space has good headroom?

However, with basements, it's not simply a question of square footage. There are usually a lot of obstructions to work around. You'll probably need to use some of that space for utilities (boiler or furnace, hot water, water treatment, etc.). You may have one or more chimney bases that you won't be able to move. The stairway will not only take up space, but could limit your floorplan. Do you have, or will you add, a bulkhead or an exterior door? The placement of the support poles (which you probably will have to keep where they are) will also affect your floorplan, and will windows. Also, you'll need to have an egress window in the sleeping den.

There are really a lot of issues involved in planning a layout for a finished basement. Unfortunately, none of the books on refinishing basements that I've seen devotes ANY space to this topic.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 2:45PM
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I agree with everything dilanttante says.

My recommendation is to draw your entire space, to scale, on a piece of graph paper indicating all of the fixed features around which your space must be planned. Then, with masking tape, begin defining the individual rooms by marking the floor. Take about 6" off the exterior walls to allow for framing and you can get a pretty good idea of how the space will "live".

Here is our plan and we adhered to it quite closely when finishing the space. Good luck.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 6:46AM
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You can come up with a very usable three-piece bath in as little as 5'x6'.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 1:30PM
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Okay. That wasn't what you asked. Yes, you've got plenty of space. It just depends on how you want to apportion it.

Other bathroom layouts.

As dilettante mentions, there are a lot obstructions to deal with. The approach I use as a builder is to incorporate them into unseen space. Nothing irks me as much as those lally columns sticking up in the middle of basement rec rooms. If possible, do a layout that consigns them to walls and closet corners or service areas. Ditto for low hanging beams and ducts. A bathroom or just the shower alone looks fine with a lower ceiling than the rest of the basement.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 5:28PM
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Thank you all for the great suggestions. I will not be ready to start until 12 months from now, but there is nothing like getting prepared:)

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 8:55PM
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