Even though our basement was unfinished with only basic plumbing rough-ins, the builder had a layout plan in mind for the basement. Based on where the plumbing rough-ins were, we were able to determine the builder’s intent for how to finish the basement. The builder’s vision, or lack there of, would have resulted in this layout for the bathroom and bedroom.
The builder is not always right! The above layout is not necessarily wrong, but it leaves a lot to be desired. The orientation of the bathroom severely impacts the size of the bedroom. Our builder also took the lazy way out with some plumbing pipes located in the future bedroom. The pipes come straight down the wall and then angle out into the floor. It is lazy because they should have cut the footer and had them go straight down, so they could be fully concealed in a future wall.
To leave the pipes as they were would have meant framing around them, further reducing the size of the bedroom. The bedroom would have ended up at 10 x 9 feet, at best. Considering the rest of the bedrooms in our home are 12 x 12 or larger, this bedroom would have stuck out as an afterthought.
I envisioned a layout that would allow for a larger bedroom, but I wasn’t sure if it could be done. I asked my contractor for advice. With his help understanding options to deal with the plumbing and layout issues, we were able to design a bedroom that will be nearly 10 x 16 feet total with a larger closet. The adjacent bathroom orientation changed from a long rectangular footprint to a similarly sized, but square footprint. We had the luxury of space to expand the bathroom in another direction to make more room for the bedroom.
The reality to implement this design involved a few days of concrete work and extra plumbing work. To make the pipes in the bedroom go straight down, they had to cutaway a large section of cement around the pipes and cut into the footer under the wall to make room for the pipes to go straight down. They also cut another large hole in the floor to bring up a water line for the bathroom and wet bar sinks.
Before the plumbing work was even finished, they got started on the framing. After the pipes were adjusted, they re-poured new cement to fill the cutouts. The cement cured over the next few days as they completed the framing work.
As a result of the additional plumbing and concrete work, we got the bedroom and bathroom layout we desired. The pipes in the bedroom can be framed into the wall to maximize the width of the bedroom. The new waterline for the bathroom vanity opposite the rough-ins for the toilet and shower, allowed us to reconfigure the bathroom to a better footprint for our layout. The waterline also tied in perfectly with our ideal location for the wet bar.
As I am able to walk through the framed up rooms now, I think the extra work was worth it in the design and planning phase. It is so important not to settle. If you think there is a change you want to make or you have an idea, it is worth asking for advice and an estimate to do it your way. It is your house and you know best. Of course, always be prepared to learn that the cost for something may outweigh the benefit. In our case the benefit of a larger bedroom (aka my future studio) far outweighed the couple extra days of labor. Here is a sneak peek at a more recent view of the bedroom and bathroom area:
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