The Basement Design…Hmmm…dream, dream, dream! The design possibilities are virtually endless for the unfinished basement. You probably have a good idea of what you would like to materialize down there in that now empty space, so now it’s time to put all those ideas together and create the basement Floor Plan.
By forcing yourself to create a “working floor plan” from which to build from, you will be inadvertently gelling together all of the great ideas you have been planning for the new living space. During this Designing phase your finished basement comes to life right before your eyes!
You need a good design for the new basement space. A well though-out “flowing” floor plan is not only easier to build, it will also weed out most of the potential pit-falls and heartaches associated with a poorly thought-out floor plan!
Computer Generated Basement Designing!
The best way to design your new finished basement space is on your computer…hand’s down the very best way to “see” with your own two eyes exactly what your new space will look like when the project is 100% completed.
And guess what…? If you don’t like the design on the computer, you can just simply change it! If you just start building without a good plan, I can promise you…you will most likely be tearing things back out, wasting money, wasting time, and mostly…hating finishing your own basement!
It’s just a fact jack, you need to like your basement design and floor plan BEFORE you plug in the saw and radio!
You need to know if what you have in mind for your plan is going to FIT into the size of the spaces you have to actually work with.
Floor Plan View and Overhead View of one of my Designs using Home Designer Suite Software.
Example: Lets say you have a wet bar and a billiard table area planned for a certain section of the unfinished space. An 8′ length sit-down bar is going to eat-up traditionally 90 sq. ft of living space because you need 8′ of width and 11′ of depth to make it work correctly.
10′ to 11′ in depth! YEP! 2′ for cabinets behind the bar + 3′ of walk way behind the bar + 2′ to 3′ for the bar top + 2′ for the stool space! put that all together and you need 10′ to 11′ of depth for your bar. MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW THIS. And when I show em they are amazed at how much space a sit-down style bar eats-up in living space.
Now back to our plan for the wet bar and the billiard area being close together in that same area of the basement…It’s probably going to be a “tight squeeze” unless your basement is absolutely huge in this area, and let us not forget about the support columns that will undoubtedly be in the way is some shape or form!
Now…if your planning this basement space on the design software on your computer you would realize right away that this idea for the bar and the pool table is most likely NOT going to work, and you will need to re-figure your plan. But now your reconfiguring your plan with your computer mouse and design software NOT you claw hammer and your pry bar! Do you see where I’m going with this here?
So the formula goes like this…Computer Design It…Make Sure You Like It First…and then Build-it! The computer program will not lie to you. If it don’t work on the computer it ain’t going to work down in your basement!
- Is my bathroom big enough for a full size 6′ steam shower?
- Will all my exercise equipment fit in the home gym area?
- Is the bedroom big enough for a queen size bed and 2 dressers?
- Will the new furniture fit in the Home Theater?
- Will my 3 lane bowling alley fit beside my wave pool?
Which Design Software Should You Buy?
You get the picture! So what design software for basement finishing should I purchase I hear you asking?Well I’m glad you asked…I recommend my favorite old “design buddy” called Cheif Architect’s- “Home Designer Suite”. Simple to run, has Amazing graphics, easy on your wallet! I’m using the older 2012 version but the newer version is pretty much identical with a few new features .
The cost is right around $90 to $100, but for the aggravation and the peace of mind that this product is going to bring you in the Design Department it’s worth it’s weight in Gold. This product is available online and at most “Big-Box Electronic retailers.
Now…you could do this all on a sheet of graph paper and block it out. It works…but it’s in no way as convincing or as “real” as the computer generated 3D images you get with the Design softwareIf you have a half way decent computer, get this software and get those creative design juices flowing brother! Doing these designs using the computer program is really fun to do.
I have a video below that will give a quick tutorial on how this software works and the cool things it can do for your basement design and “working floor plan”.
Hope this helps you on your basement finishing journey.
Good luck with your basement design and floor plan. I’m always here if you have any questions about your basement project! Just leave me a comment below and respond the same day!