Thursday, September 29, 2011

Basement Bathroom Project

We have a strange room in our basement.  It has two windows, one door, and is about 17 feet long and 5 and a half feet wide.  I'm not sure what it was intended for, but I think it's location and size are simply a function of the shape of the house, and the need to support floor joists with basement walls.  Although it has served as useful storage for the first few years we've lived here, it always impressed me as wasted space.  Until now.  Given our desire to add another full bathroom to the house, this awkward little room looked like the perfect location.

This is the way the room looked when we started tearing into it.  In this image the floor has been removed where the plumbing needs to be located, including a sewage ejector pit, and drain for a tub, toilet, and sink.  Note the conveniently placed drain pipe on the back wall that runs out into the septic tank in the front yard.  What better spot for a sewage ejector pit than right under the drain pipe?

Since we didn't really want the sewage ejector in the bathroom, we built a small room for that pump behind the bathroom, and added this doorway so the room could be accessed independent of the bathroom.

There was a good bit of rubble generated by the new door opening, and the floor removal.  Our neighbors blessed us by carrying this rubble out of the basement and using it as fill on their own property.

A couple weeks later we had walls framed, plumbing in place, and wires run.  The layout of the room is a little more apparent in this shot, as the tub will be placed across the room against the far wall, the toilet next to the tub, and the sink and vanity closest to the camera.  The long, thin shape of the room made this galley-type layout one of the few viable options.
This photo was taken from the tub end of the room looking back to the original door.  The room was just a little shy of the perfect width, in that the wall studs in the wall on the right were trimmed down a bit so the room width perfectly matched the length of the tub.  As you can see, we still had room for standard size electrical boxes, so the construction was not too "nonstandard."
The tub successfully fit where it was intended.

Meanwhile, behind the tub, the sewage ejector was partially plumbed to pump into the existing drain.  At this point, the project was starting to resemble a bathroom, and our hope of eventually enjoying its conveniences was growing stronger.  Next time we'll lay out more of the subsequent steps in this project -- you won't want to miss it!


  1. Wow, what a project! Are you doing this all by yourselves?
    My husband just took a long alcove in our basement and built walls shelves and double doors to make a nice big storage closet. That took quite a bit of time. I couldn't imagine tackling what's going on at your house. Can't wait to see the finished project.


  2. Victoria -- Yes, most of the work is being done by Karen's dad who has a near-perfect mix of time, skill, knowledge, and tools.

  3. Considering the size of the space, I think it may in fact have been a storage room. Maybe when the house was first built, it was meant to be a bathroom, but then the owners changed their minds. I’m glad you were able to find a much more functional use for the space though. I saw the finished product, and I think the bathroom looks really great! Great job!