The owners of this house wanted to completely update their existing basement to create a gathering place for family and friends. The space had low ceilings, so in order to give the rooms an open feel, we increased the ceiling height by demolishing the existing basement slab and digging down to install a new lower slab. Once that major undertaking was complete, we were able to reconfigure the space to create a large living area with bar, a bedroom, full bathroom, and laundry/storage area.
BEFORE: Low ceilings and a disconnected stairway entry made the basement feel separate from the main floor of the home.
AFTER: Digging down the floor allowed us to raise the ceiling by 6-inches.
- The design includes a wider stairway from the first floor for a better connection to this new family-friendly room.
- We added two operable windows and window wells, one in the family area and one in the new bedroom, as required by code for egress. The egress window is visible on the right. There is a window well outside the egress window. Perimeter drainage and a sump pump keep the basement dry.
- We installed radiant heat under the durable wood-look ceramic tile flooring.
- The structural steel beams are set back/pocketed into the joists so they don’t disrupt the ceiling height too much.
AFTER: The white painted built-in cabinets hold books, photos, decorative items, and a flat screen television. The bar area has a microwave, refrigerator, and ice maker. A rear hallway leads to a door to the back yard.
AFTER The new bedroom is toward the back of the basement. An egress window (not shown) required by code replaces the original rear door from the basement to the back yard. The new bathroom is a “Jack and Jill” style so there is access from the bedroom and from the hallway.
The original stairs to the basement had a door. We removed the door and recessed a small area in the ceiling to increase head room.
BEFORE: The stairs were closed off and dark.
The new stairs and landing to the basement. We provided storage under the stairs, as well as a new laundry room in the basement.
DURING: Digging down 6-inches after removing the original slab.
DURING: Pouring the new slab
We began by digging down eight inches and pouring a new slab floor. This allowed us to increase the ceiling height by six inches, going from 7-feet to 7-feet 6-inches. We also took the opportunity to install rigid insulation below the slab. Due to the tight space and configuration of the underpinning, our crews and subcontractors had to dig and remove the soil one section at a time–definitely a tedious process!
DURING: Screeding the new slab.
BEFORE: Floor Plan
AFTER: Floor Plan