Remodeling and were stuck! Layout question ;)

hunterosxAugust 1, 2011

Hi, thanks for looking at this post! We have a 1922 brick bungalow in a Denver historic district. We are remodeling the inside to modernize it. The home is 1500 sq/ft up and the basement is 1500 sq/ft. Currently the home has two bedrooms upstairs on the main level and the basement is gutted.

Our question is regarding how many bedrooms to have upstairs on the main level. One set of plans has us turning the two bedrooms into one master bedroom and adding bedrooms in the basement. The other set of plans has us keeping the two bedrooms upstairs, turing one into a small master & bath, and adding a second small bathroom on the main level for guests.

What would you prefer to have in a home? We plan on staying here for some time, but not forever. We would like to know what's more practical for someone else moving in in the future. Thanks!!

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Adding bedrooms in a basement can be costly. You are required to have an egress window in any bedroom space. In many basements that can mean digging out around the foundation and installing new windows. It does help provide more light and is otherwise beneficial, but you are the one who has to decide on the cost vs benefit. You may also need to add water management to your list of basement projects. You want anything you do to be safe from flooding and the mold and mildew that inevitably follow.

I would definitely want a guest powder room on the main level, and I'd also prefer a master there. I don't have kids though, and parents of small children ma have a different opinion about basement vs main floor. If you do basement bedrooms, then you will need to add a bathroom down there as well. You always want at least one bathroom per floor.

Of course, adding basement bedrooms will be the most expensive project, but i think it gives you a more functional and spacious home.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 6:12PM
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A lot would depend on your local market . Would your most likely home buyer be a family with kids, or a single person who might have an adult room-mate that would want the basement level so as to have more privacy?

I would prefer 2 bedrooms upstairs and generally think basements are not where I would want any bedrooms. OK for office spaces, media room, hobby room, but not really for bedrooms.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 7:42PM
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I attended a meeting in my city last night to discuss the second year in a row of basement flooding/sewage backup that occurred after once in 100 and once in 50 year rains! Nearly 200 bungalows were impacted. Yes, some of us have overhead sewage systems and other remediation efforts in place. Some of those failed this time round.

We pulled the sheetrock out of our basement last year at this time and will never have sheetrock/wood framing down there again.

Our extra bedrooms are in the finished attic and we have 2 bedrooms on the main floor. I agree with the other comments as well.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 8:21AM
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Few people want to sleep underground. Some will use a basement for a media room or children's play area. If you want any living space in the basement, you'll need at least a powder room there.

I wouldn't improve the basement. Of the two plans, the bedrooms and additional bath up make the most sense. Can you go UP or OUT instead of DOWN? Do you need to move? (In most areas you can buy existing RE for less than you will pay to build or remodel.)

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 12:22PM
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Check to see whether basement bedrooms are allowed to be counted as part of your house's living area where you live. Living space below grade may not be recognized in appraisals, so you could end up with a house that a bank will view as a 1 bedroom when you go to sell or refinance (i.e., you may be dramatically destroying the value of your house).

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 3:54PM
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I prefer two bedrooms on the main floor. Our home has only one bedroom (master) on the main floor and we have three in the basement. I wish we had two bedrooms on the main floor. If we were young it would be a baby room. If we were old it would be for grand-babies or elderly parent. I'm not a basement person so I generally don't care for sleeping in a basement. That said, our basement doesn't seem like a basement. It has a 4' wide stairway that leads straight down (for ease of getting furniture in/out), we have nearly 9' ceilings and each bedroom has a really good sized window. The basement also has a double walk-out door which adds a lot of light.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 6:09PM
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