Monday, April 17, 2017

FLOOR PLAN - Basement Remodel

When we were looking at homes to buy we had our wish list, like most people. On that list Trevor wanted a garage and I wanted a master bedroom with a decent closet and preferably an en suite bathroom. This house had none of those things but we were sold almost immediately when we walked in. We could just tell it had good bones and even though it wasn't exactly what we wanted we felt like we could make it exactly what we wanted.

For a long time, probably about two and a half years after we moved in, I was convinced we needed to do an addition. That was going to be the only way we would get enough space for our family to grow. We had the existing basement that was mostly finished but I hated the set up and I could not think how to change it. We talked a lot on how we could make an addition work. We drew out countless plans like the ones below. We even had a few people come out and bid us on concrete work and excavation. I started to put together estimations on the cost of an addition.... it was going to be PRICEY! 

It wasn't until we had Darby and I was trying to figure out how to make our family of five fit into two bedrooms (because the basement was so dark, dingy, cold, and spidery I was not going to put my children who the oldest was 3.5 years old down there.) So Trevor and I thought, well maybe he and I could move downstairs and have the girls upstairs and spread out a little more so we could all sleep. At the time we were in such close proximity that when one person would wake up in the night everyone woke up. When I started to imagine myself downstairs living in that space I began to think what I would want to change with it. The carpet and the bathroom for starters and the windows for sure. 

The electrical was so bad in our basement that we knew we were going to need to replace most if not all of it. When we first moved in we kept tripping the breakers down there so I had an electrician come check it out. He told me that we had 17 outlets on one breaker, the max for code is 8.

Once we realized we could gut the entire basement and start from scratch, updating the electrical would be so much easier if we were down to the studs. So the sketch ups for the floor plans began again. How could we set up the basement to maximize the space we already had?

Because we were changing the specs of the home, adding more bedrooms etc. we knew we needed to apply for a building permit with our city. To do that you need to submit a floor plan that includes electrical, windows, closets, smoke detectors, etc. A bunch of people told us we were going to need to hire an architect to draw up our plans. I wanted to see what our floor plan would look like before we spent money on an architect. I knew about google sketch where you can draw up some plans on your own but it was proving to be too difficult for me because I couldn't do it on my phone and I didn't have the time to sit in front of a computer and tinker with it.

That's when I came across a FREE app called Stanley Floor Plans. This app is awesome!! It took me a little bit to figure out how to compile a bunch of rooms into a floor plan but because I had all the measurements of our basement I in essence just plugged in the numbers and voila! 
They even had the option to add furniture, plumbing, outlets and light switches, and even smoke detectors. It took me about 2 days of messing around with it here and there and ended up with the below floor plan. It looked so good and professional that we decided to pay the $3.99 to get the PDF and try submitting it to the city. Success!!! They accepted it within a week and we had our permit. We were even able to use this floor plan when getting bids from electricians, plumbers, framers, and HVAC (Trevor just drew in on a copy where we needed additional duct work.) Looks awesome, right??
I am constantly amazed at how easy and cost effective technology has made some aspects of life.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! This is awesome, April! Architects for a remodel cost a lot of money. Great review and tip. I will remember this for the future. Good luck with your plans!