Deciding how you will use your basement will determine how you approach design. "There's no right or wrong way to set up your space, but you do have to focus on what you want most," says David Schrock, owner of Basement Ideas. "Basement real estate is limited, so be prepared to make compromises."
You may have your heart set on a home gym, guest bedroom and office, but do you need separate rooms for all those functions? If your budget or space is tight, you'll need to decide what your highest priority is and work your way down.
Most homeowners like to create a large multipurpose media area rather than chop up a basement space into little rooms. Use these universal tips to get started:
These spaces tend to trip up homeowners. "You have to be careful if your basement has a lower ceiling or soffit because your exercise equipment may not fit," David says.
The first order of business is making sure the equipment can come down the stairs. "If it's welded together and your stairs make a 90-degree turn, it may not happen," says David. Measure the equipment first and make sure it's bolted together rather than welded so it can be disassembled.
Next, make sure you have the proper ceiling clearance in the basement. The important measurement is the equipment's height with you on it. Pull-up machines and treadmills are the biggest culprits because people forget to account for their own height above the machine.
This should ideally be the same size as a bedroom, but keep in mind that if you add a closet, it actually is a bedroom according to code and will need an egress window.
Because home offices don't have the same privacy needs as a bedroom, use a double set of French doors on basement offices to maximize light and keep a feeling of openness.
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