Naturally cool and quiet, a basement bedroom can be one of the most inviting retreats in the house for you, other family members, or guest. Whether you choose to have your master bedroom located in your finished basement or have a guest suite for your visitors –with good lighting, inviting design, and comfortable temperatures, you can create an inviting lower level basement bedroom. The finished basement can be the perfect spot to provide privacy for teens who want independency and plenty of space to call their own.
Before you implement your basement finishing idea and create a cozy, private basement bedroom, there are some basic requirements your basement has to meet.
Your first consideration when planning a basement bedroom should be size – make the room large enough to house the bed, dresser, and other necessary furnishings, and provide enough closet space. Although the minimum size required is only 80 square feet, a good size basement bedroom to accommodate a double bed is a minimum of 125 square feet and 150 square feet for two twin beds. If you plan to have a self contained basement for rental purposes, then consider a room with two twin beds.
Always address code requirements to ensure the safety of your basement bedroom. A wall-mounted light switch, immediately inside the door, often is required by code. Once you decide to have a basement bedroom, you must provide direct access to the outside in case of fire or other emergency. This requirement, called egress, specifies a window or door that opens from the inside and has an unobstructed opening of at least 5 square feet. If your basement is not a walkout, then planning for an egress window or door is a primary consideration.
Basements tend to stay cool in the summer, so air conditioning may be unnecessary. However, there should be a source of heat. Electric space heaters, wall heaters, and baseboard units are all easily installed and provide heat sources. However, in most newly finished homes the air conditioning and heat source is already installed. If necessary to install gas fired or kerosene appliances, you have to make sure that they meet local code requirements and should not be used if they don’t comply. These heat appliances must be installed by licensed professional installers. Install a smoke alarm outside the bedroom door and another over the stairway. If your furnace and water heater are in the basement, be sure to install a carbon monoxide alarm, too.
To create a comfortable basement bedroom environment, you should completely finish the walls, floor, and ceiling. A fully insulated floor may not be necessary, but covering the concrete with carpet or laminate floors will greatly increase the room’s comfort. Fiberglass insulation between ceiling joints quiets the sound of footsteps overhead. Shrubbery or a fence in front of windows screens the view from the outdoors.
Consider to locate a bathroom near – or even adjoining – the bedroom as an added convenience (with a luxurious tub and two sinks for a master suite).
Tip: Before selecting a mattress consider who will use the bed and for how long. For occasional overnight guests, an inexpensive, yet comfortable mattress should suffice. If a family member will us the bed as a primary sleeping space, chose the mattress as if it’s your own bed.
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