Ready to start basement

bkwudzNovember 12, 2009

Well after reading this great forum for a while it is time to start the basement.

I have struggled with the layout for a while, so please feel free to comment on it, any help would be appreciated.

The plan in the TV area is 80-100" projection at this point. I don't have a lot of ceiling height, so that could change. But i can see the kids doing a lot of TV watching so i don't know if the projector is the best choice.

The center area will be open, maybe a pool table or air hockey, don't really know what to do with the space.

The area to the left is "man town" it will be able to be closed off from the main area because of the bar, i want to be able to keep the kids out as they get older when no one is home.

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It looks like you have a good start. Amazing how many get underway without a plan then wonder why things won't fit or flow. An unfinished basement can look so large when it is empty. I planned and did all the construction DIY in our basement. Devoted parts of 5 winters to complete, learned alot and gained respect for architects knowledge of space planning, especially standard sizes for installing things.
How are you going to use the basement - family, entertaining, kids space, man cave? Looking at your diagram, it seems that you have a conventional basement with an escapement window of about 1000 sq. ft. in size. Ours is very similar though your stairs divide the area whereas ours more closely hug a wall. If you haven't placed tape on the floor to mark out the various rooms, you might want to do so and "walk" the space before beginning your build. We ended up going with an open plan because we often have 20 or more guests and a divided space just wasn't right for us.

Your plan does not indicate electrical. I recommend lots of lights controlled by dimmers. Heat/cooling - don't know your location but in upper midwest auxulary heat is necessary for the spring/fall when the furnace is not running often. Cold air return(s) for sure. Can you change out the builders standard windows? In a cooler climate they can be a real heat stealer.

TV - speak with a knowledgeable dealer who can guide you toward the correct size for your space. I have a 46" with seating about 11 feet from the screen. Your room looks like a slightly larger screen would work but seating appears too close for the projection size you mention. No one wants to be in the front row of the theatre. Or, consider removing the storage area behind. You can build bookcases into a larger space and still accommodate a projection screen.

What flooring do you plan? As I believe sump pumps fail and water heaters eventually leak, install a pan below the water heater with discharge tubing leading to the floor drain and back-up pumps for both the sump and ejector pits. Double wall around the furnace to quiet the noise.

One more thought, could you install locks on the bar cabinets to keep the contents safe, then open the space for the pool table? I believe you need about 12' x 16' for a standard pool table. I've allowed room for a tournament size but most likely will never install one for my use.

I'm linking photos from our basement. They have been posted before so perhaps you have already viewed them. If they help you, great. Good luck and enjoy.

Here is a link that might be useful: Our Basement

    Bookmark   November 12, 2009 at 2:31PM
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I can attest to rethinking as the walls go. I am about to start my second 'season' and have changed things a few times. You would be suprised how much room a ping pon and pool table take up. Your basement looks like its got a noce layout though. We have similar areas to your, though a bit smaller. We are not doing any baths or bars though...its amazing how much work there is just trying to get a few walls and ceiling up!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2009 at 3:10PM
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Looks good except for one thing: no bathroom! At least, put in a half-bath. You've got plenty of space.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2009 at 8:17PM
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I spent a long time sitting in my unfinished basement and have a reason for everything thing I've done to finish it so far. Please take my questions in that spirit.

Why the door behind the bar? I'd rather have the wall space for shelving/cabinets.

Why the closet in a room that's clearly not a bedroom when you have so much other "storage"?

Why no doors to hide the storage areas?

You need a bathroom down there. Is it stubbed?

Are all the walls load bearing?

I understand wanting to close off the bar but that looks like the only door to the outside.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2009 at 2:21PM
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Hi, I'm back with a update and fine tuned layout:
A 1/2 bath has been added, existing door behind bar will be blocked off, door to storage area has been moved from TV room to the middle room next to the closet. Soory about the crappy pics

New door has been cut in the wall

the beam has been built up and the column removed

and framing has started

    Bookmark   January 5, 2010 at 12:03PM
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Looks like you're nicely underway. The new layout should be much better, the half-bath a HUGE improvement. Did you have a structural engineer sign off on the beam replacing a post? Just wouldn't want to create a problem if the support for the house is no longer sufficient.

Best of luck.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2010 at 1:36PM
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Earlier suggestion about dimmers may require reconsideration. Most fluorescents do not work with dimmers. And incandescent lamps will be much harder to find after 2012.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2010 at 9:41PM
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