Basement Progress: Measuring, Mockups and Making Final Checks

Having finally (mostly) cleared the deck in the basement I took a moment to revel in the bare walls, exposed floor joists overhead and swept-clean floor.  Then I got out my laser measure, a pair of tape measures, a sharpie and a roll of blue painters tape and marked the location of the new bathroom walls (and fixtures) on the basement floor.

I’ve always been a big believer in mockups.  When I’m designing a new or remodeled space, I used a variety of techniques to plan the new spaces – plans, perspective sketches, digital 3D models.  These are all great but a little more cerebral than spatial.  I always recommend that clients trying to visualize how they’ll like a new space try mockups of the new design to check out the new spatial arrangements cardboard box counters, blue tape lines on the walls and floors, etc.  I’m not blowing smoke – I use those methods myself and find them really useful.

In this case I was showing the bathroom layout not only to myself and my mother (who doesn’t like to read plans) but making everything clear for the plumber crew scheduled to come in the next day and take up the concrete slab and lay the new plumbing drain lines.  Below is the layout with the old plumbing elements – toilet and shower stall – still in place.

I don’t have all the skill of a professional framer in layout out walls – and I don’t use their speed tools (chalk lines) but with a little care and a lot of checking for square using measuring crossed diagonals and the good old 3-4-5 triangle I felt pretty good about my accuracy.  Instead of rolling out plans on the floor, I just brought my laptop down.

This shot is after the plumbing team from Stagecoach Plumbing zipped out the old fixtures.  The rectangle on the wall is the location of the vanity, the single mark is the centerline of the toilet.  I’m standing on the corner of the new shower stall location.  This (somewhat snug) bathroom layout is intended to maximize the space in the adjacent den without having to mess with the main plumbing stack and water meter locations.  Can’t wait for the jack hammers to show up tomorrow!

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