Original plan

Original plan

The location, dimensions, and layout of our basement mechanical room have shifted as we developed our plans and then those plans ran up against reality. The original plan our architect developed put the mechanical room in the back North corner of the basement, but this resulted in a twisting hallway and a lot of wasted space.

Early revision

Early revision

I started playing around with the design, moving the mechanical room over to the South corner, but while this plan worked and gave us a lot of room for storage, and kept the front area of the basement big, it didn’t work when it came time to install the boiler and water heater. Since we didn’t have the interior walls built when we needed to start installing equipment, everything needed to be on an exterior wall. The boiler and all the radiant equipment didn’t fit on one side of the window, which meant we needed to change the plan to make everything fit.

Later revision

Later revision

With everything shifted toward the front, the back room gets a lot bigger. The issue with this plan was that despite the back room being big, there was almost no wall space for storage shelves. The back corner has an electrical panel, and the top (North) wall is effectively the hallway because the door is along the wall. There’d be room for maybe two shelves. So I shifted the bathroom and door back from the top wall so that there would be more room.

Nearly final

Nearly final

This plan took some space from the mechanical room, but everything else seemed to work great. It could fit three shelves along the North wall, moved the utility sink from the laundry so we’d have a temporary kitchen when we moved to the basement, and I was sure this would be the final plan. Once again, reality intervened. When I installed the panel in the mechanical room I aligned the front edge with a floor joist so that the wall between the front room and bathroom/mechanical room could be along a floor joist. As a result it moved toward the front by almost a foot. Bath tubs are sold in convenient five-foot or six-foot sizes. Since the back wall aligned with the steel column, it meant that the nice simple rectangle for the bathroom needed to be adjusted to accommodate a five foot bath tub in an almost six foot wide room.

Final revision

Final revision

With this adjustment made I had to play a mental game of Tetris with the various items in the mechanical room, namely the ejector pit, sump pit, and hot water heater. The challenge is the existing sewer pipe under the ground prevents the sump or ejector from going in certain spots, the trench for the weeping system imposes additional challenges, the water heater already has piping, venting, and gas lines to its current location, and at the same time I need to allow sufficient clearance to get in and out of the room, including not just servicing but replacing equipment in the hopefully very distant future. I think I’ve accounted for everything and worked out the final locations so I can start digging some holes. The plumbers are supposed to start this week, so whatever plan is in place is the last plan we’ll have.

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