From Start to Finish, a Basement Remodel Case Study (Completed in 2018)

Project Case Studies

Design Goals

Mike wanted to add livable space to his family’s 1940’s home by finishing their basement. The new space needed to include a family room with built in storage, an exit to the backyard, a 3-piece bathroom and a guest room with a large closet.

Troubleshooting the Layout

basement construction plans

 Gas meter closetDesigning a layout that worked around the existing mechanical took a bit of thought and creativity.  We lined walls up with bulk heads and sacrificed some head space in the shower to make things work.  As with any substantial renovation project in DC, we had to obtain our permitting from DCRA.  Relying on our expertise and knowledge of the building code and regulations, we were able to work effectively with DCRA and its inspectors, including problem-solving any trouble spots so that the project would go smoothly.





Functional Layout

basement media area

 The final layout included everything on Mike’s wish list. You walk down the stairs into an open family room, that it is used as a play area and media center. A custom door adds more light to the space and provides access to the back yard. At the entrance to the hallway is a wide custom built-in featuring lumber edge shelving. The private areas are around the corner created by the stair case. The bathroom helps to separate the living space from the bedroom. The layout also includes 3 closets, a pantry at the bottom of the stairs, a large closet under the stairs and a walk-in closet in the guest room.

basement family room

Design Details

The new LVT plank flooring was run throughout the entire basement. The seamless look helps the space feel larger and its light color keeps things bright. As an added bonus, it is also easy to clean. Another easy to maintain feature is the Kohler Choreograph shower stall. This is manufactured from Serica, a composite material designed to be durable.


The original staircase was acceptable for code but not very attractive. We refinished it, added a carpet runner and painted the balusters.

basement family room

With a tight budget, we only replaced 2 of the glass block windows. A slider was added to the bathroom and an egress casement window and well were added to the guest bedroom. To avoid a dreary space, we kept the walls light and added recessed fixtures in the family room.

Customer Satisfaction

We are pleased to have delivered on each of Mike’s design goals, and are over the moon at the kind words he shared on his Guild Quality survey. “I would give Merrick very high marks for workmanship, communication and follow-through. Their staff and subcontractors were highly professional and very skilled.”

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