The Key To D-I-Y Success: “Know Thyself”

Basement Rec Room

Found space in a basement is great for many purposes!

 How To Make A New Room Using Leftover Space

Classic, time-tested recipe to convert and remodel a leftover basement area, approximately 280 square feet, to be a multi-purpose bonus room for the entire family to enjoy.  One  corner of the area, approximately 24 square feet, can accommodate a powder room for occupants’ convenience.  An existing doorway accesses the rear garden for indoor-outdoor parties. Delicious possibilities for year-round entertaining!

The key to D-I-Y success is to be honest about what you can do yourself, and what you can’t do (i.e., hire others!)

Preparation time:

3 weeks – 6 months (variables include time available, help available)


4 to 20 occupants

Ingredients (*Items must not be substituted):

*One structural engineer

*One draftsperson (professional or DIY)

*Gallons of “sweat equity”

*2 ea. 4×10 Beams, 16 feet long

*1 ea. 4×6 Pressure-treated beam,  24 feet long

*18 ea. 2×8 Pressure-treated joists, 16 feet long

*30 ea. Joist hangers

*24 ea. 2×4 Studs, 8 feet long

*18 ea. 4×8 Plywood sheets (3/4″ thick)

Family members and friends (helpers)

Professional contractors and designers, as needed

. . . . plus at least 31 other ingredients!


  1. Prepare “as-built” and “proposed” plans of the area to be remodeled.
  2. Engage a structural engineer to prepare framing details and calculations.
  3. Submit the proposed plans, structural details and calculations to the local building department for homeowner remodeling permits.
  4. Purchase and store all products for the project (except vinyl flooring and carpeting).
  5. Follow the plans; call the engineer to approve any changes to the proposed remodeling.
  6. Schedule (and be prepared for) inspections of work progress.
  7. Hire specialty contractors, as needed, for framing, finish carpentry, electrical and plumbing help. Get referrals from building organizations. Check references, licensing, bonding, and insurance. Verify workmen’s compensation.
  8. Apply “sweat equity” until the remodeling project is finished.

This recipe will serve an entire family for many years, and it will guarantee a smoother sale when you decide to move.

Diane Plesset is a Kitchen-Bath Design Specialist with over 30 years of remodeling experience. Call Diane today, to talk about your home remodeling project: 503-632-8801, or send a message requesting more information.

© Copyright 2015 D. P. Design “See the Possibilities. Create a Positive Difference.”