Project Case Studies

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

Design Goals

Mike wanted to add livable space to his family’s 1940’s home by finishing their basement. However, this 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. First, we lined walls up with bulkheads. Next, we sacrificed some headspace in the shower to make things work. As with any substantial renovation project in DC, we had to obtain our permitting from DCRA. Because of our experience and knowledge of the building code regulations, we worked effectively with DCRA. Together we problem solved 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. Now, you walk down the stairs into an open family room that doubles as a play area and media center. A custom door adds more light to the basement 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 staircase. The bathroom helps to separate the living space from the bedroom. The layout also includes three 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 runs throughout the entire floor. The seamless look helps the basement feel more abundant, and its light color keeps things bright. Additionally, it is easy to clean. Another easy to maintain feature is the Kohler Choreograph shower stall. The shower stall is made of Serica, a composite material designed to be durable.


The original staircase was up to code but not very attractive. We refinished it and then added a carpet runner and painted the balusters.

basement family room

With a tight budget, we only replaced 2 of the glass block windows. In the bathroom, Merrick added a slider. We installed an egress casement window and well in the guest bedroom. Lastly, the walls got a light paint color to avoid darkening the room, and we 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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