Winning Walkout Basement House Plans
The ideal answer to a steeply sloped lot, walkout basements offer extra finished living space with sliding glass doors that allow a seamless transition from the basement to the backyard. They fit most lot sizes and many kinds of architectural styles, so you can still build your dream home even if your lot has a steep hill on it. Try these design ideas to create the perfect walkout basement for your home.
Kitchenette or full bar: The classic basement bar and billiards table are old favorites for a reason. Far from old-fashioned, either one of these additions solidifies the basement's reputation as a place to unwind and entertain friends; if you plan to make entertainment the main focus of the basement, coordinate its design with your outdoor living area so that they flow naturally into each other. Opt for a kitchenette instead if you're making the basement into an extra bedroom or apartment.
Easy access to other floors: If you have a home with several floors or just want to ensure an easy transition into your golden years, think about putting in a home elevator. Mobility-challenged guests and your future joints will appreciate the ease of traveling between floors. This is especially useful if you plan to turn the walkout basement into a mother-in-law apartment for an elderly relative.
Back patio: If the slope outside the basement doors isn't too dramatic, a small patio is an easy way to make the back entrance more welcoming. Stones or cement give the patio a finished, yet understated look. For a steeper slope, consider stone or wood stairs that make the descent easier. Alternatively, expand the back patio into a largely covered version that serves as a continuation of the basement itself with inviting seating and outdoor cooking space.
Walk out to amenities: Add a pathway leading from your back door to a fire pit, pool or manmade lake. The smooth visual transition wraps the amenities into the overall look of the home rather than leaving them as a separate entity, and in the case of a pool, a paved walkway is handy for swimmers who don't want to walk in the grass.
Home entertainment: Comfortable seating and a large TV or projector turn your basement into a home movie theater. Consult an audiovisual expert to ensure your entertainment space has the best sound and video quality possible. A home theater also benefits from a kitchenette (or at least a refrigerator) for snacks and drinks, shelving for DVDs and games, and a couple of tables where people can set down refreshments.
In the end, the best walkout basement is the one that you'll use. Sit down and think about how you use your current living quarters and how you're most likely to use the new ones. A craft studio for that hobby you've always wanted to try would look great in your home, but might not get enough use. Prioritize what you need space for and why then sit down with a designer to go over the options for your lot and slope.