The FLEX Space

This design feature is one of my favorite parts of the not-so-small-anymore-house.  As mentioned in my last post, it made me sad to choose a basement foundation because of the added square footage.  It felt like my “small house” vision was compromised.  However, out of this was borne an idea:  the FLEX space.

The main floor of the house is  940 sq feet – a 2 bedroom, 1 bath dwelling space with an open floor plan, lots of storage, lots of light and a view of the river.  Yum!  Perfect for the 1-2 person household, whom it was designed for by intention.

So what comes of the additional 600+sq feet in the basement — it will be a FLEX space.  This FLEX space is exactly what it sounds like — it is designed with enough flexibility to be used in multiple different ways.  Here is the current basement floor plan:

The FLEX Space

There a few key features which make it flexible:

a) its own separate entry from the garage

b) its own access to the yard from the large central space

c) access from the interior, and therefore from the upstairs main living space

d) plumbing and gas line installation to allow for future addition of a kitchenette if desired

e) several storage areas with 3 closets, as well as an open understaircase area

f)  this floor was built with appropriate fire-rated separation from upstairs so could easily be used as a legal separate unit.

There are so many options for this little space!  Here are a few of my ideas:

1)  Integrate into the main living space, so the house is a 2 story, 3bedroom/2bath house.  If a small house lifestyle isn’t your cup of tea, this space offers breathing room.  Plus, the resale value is higher for a larger house!

– note that the “Bedroom” and “Flex Room” can be used for anything you need.  They can be a musician’s den, artists’ work space, dance studio, home gym, home office, traditional family room, game room (with a pool table!!), crafting room, sewing room, playroom, — basically anything you want!

2)  A completely separate living space, so there is a 2 BR/1Ba unit upstairs, and a 1BR/1Ba unit downstairs.  The best part about this idea — it can easily be converted back to a single family house simply by removing the kitchenette!

– this separate unit also has multiple uses:  basement income suite, guest suite, separate living space for aging parents or boomerang kids, and in-home business suite.

– it allows for the 1-2 person household to grow — if you purchase this house as a swingin’ single, the basement can be used to pad your income by renting it out to a friend, for example.  However, fast forward a few years and now you’ve grown into a family with child — you’ve now grown into this space, can easily convert it back into a main part of the house, and you wouldn’t have to move into a larger house!

– By the way, having it built as a legal separate unit from the ground up is much easier and cheaper than converting an existing basement into one!

What do you guys think?  Is the FLEX space appealing?

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