Big Ideas for Our Little Basement

After a hiatus for the holidays and a couple long trips for S, we're finally moving forward with our basement renovation plans. The first step is to have a few contractors over to give us an idea of how much it will cost to have the work done to various degrees of "finished." At the very least we want someone else to do the rough-ins for the bathroom plumbing, but we'd also like to know how much it would cost to have the entire basement finished with an ideal layout.

Currently half of our basement is a utility room, which is basically our entire household storage and laundry room. When you enter through the door from the den straight ahead is our freezer, where we have at least a month or two worth of meals frozen for those days when we just don't feel like cooking.
To the right is our stacking washer and dryer and the utility sink. I absolutely love the utility sink, but I'm starting to accept that we'll need to downsize when we renovate. We never use the right side, so I think I can handle a sink half its size.
It is the perfect sink for washing our paint brushes, which I have hanging from the Ikea Gorm shelves on the left, where we keep cleaning supplies, painting goodies, and paint.
Just to right right of the washer and dryer is a half door that leads to a storage area under the stairs. I won't show you inside the door, but it's just a bunch of blue rubbermaid totes stuffed with everything we don't want to store in the shed and stacked to maximize the use of the storage space.
To the left of the entry door we have more Ikea Gorm shelves wrapped around our furnace. We use the shelves closest to the door as our pantry and the shelves after the 90 degree turn hold some household storage stuff like flower pots, vases and lamp shades, some of our etsy supplies like giant sails, and just a few tools at the end.
We still have access to the furnace behind the shelves where we left a two foot wide walkway and the exterior door that we replaced in December is at the end of this long row of shelves. Across from the big set of shelves (and to the left of the freezer) we have even more Gorm shelves where we keep all of our serving dishes, baking pans and all sorts of goodies you'd find in the huge, fancy kitchen I dream of owning some day.
Now that you have an idea of how we use our utility room, what we'd really like have in the same area is a bathroom, a utility sink area, a bed room and a furnace room/utility room with a space for a pantry inside of it. (Actually I'd really like to add a pantry in the den where S has his desk, but that's going to take some serious convincing.)

We're open to suggestions from the contractors that we're having over, but our layout thoughts right now are that we'll remove the door from the den and have a slightly wider opening that will lead to a hallway. When you enter to the right will still be the half door leading to the under-stair storage, just updated with some trim to make the door pretty. To the left would be a door to the furnace/utility/pantry room. Straight ahead and to the left would be a door to a bedroom, which would have the exterior door as its code-required egress window. Unless we get rid of a lot of stuff, we would likely use the bedroom as a storage room for the time being, but want to have the option to sell our house some day as a four bedroom house.

Straight ahead and to the right of the bedroom door would be a second door to the new bathroom where we would likely have all the usual bathroom goods, a stand-up shower, ideally with a glass door, and our stacked washer and dryer, which we'd move from their current space. Where the washer and dryer are currently stacked would be outside of the bathroom and just to the right of the new bathroom door. We would use that space as a utility area with a smaller utility sink and cabinets hanging from the wall where we'd store our paint and painting supplies. Confused? We are too. But we're super excited to meet the first contractor tonight and hear what he has to say about our ideas.

Stumble This


  1. Anonymous2/17/2011

    It's almost like looking in a mirror of our basement! We also live outside DC, and your basement and IKEA shelving, two-side utility sink, etc. are just about the same as ours. We're considering redoing ours as well. I'll be curious to see how your makeover goes. Do you not have to deal with water issues? That's our biggest hangup right now. It's an old house, so hard to eliminate it totally. Have fun plotting and planning!

  2. Thanks for stopping by! We're actually really fortunate that we have a very dry basement, knock on wood! We do run a dehumidifier in the den, but it rarely comes on. A far cry from the ledge with a spring-time stream running through it that my parents' 200 year old house is built on.

  3. I can't wait to see the plans for this. sounds like you have some great ideas!

  4. Sounds great! I know in some states though, you can't call something a "bedroom" if its below grade. So you can use it as one, but you can't say its a 4 bedroom house. But maybe not in your state:)

  5. Hi Mary - we're definitely looking into the requirements for our county. Most of the houses around here have at least one basement bedroom, it just needs to have an egress window, which we have with the door (it has a window in it). We were shocked to find that the room doesn't even need to have a closet to be considered a bedroom! That was definitely not the case in our old house. Our closets are small enough, I can't imagine a bedroom without any closet!


Thanks for stopping by, your comments make our day!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...