The first step in designing a basement is to measure the basement walls. Once you know the dimensions of your basement, you can use computer software like Microsoft Visio to design the interior.
Computer assisted design simplifies the process of planning a basement layout. With programs like Microsoft Visio and Home Designer Essentials, you can place walls, doors and other features in your basement blueprints. Add walls to divide your basement area into different rooms; next, decide where the doors should go. Determine whether your doors will open to the left or the right.
Locate electrical switches, wall outlets and lighting fixtures in your design. Decide what kinds of plumbing fixtures would suit your basement plans. A wet bar with a sink is a good feature to have in a home bar; an extra bathroom adds value to the home. If you plan on adding an entertainment room or home theater to your basement, consider where to locate cable jacks and special outlets and include these in your blueprint.
BasementIdeas.com offers hundreds of free basement blueprint downloads that can give ideas for design options. The tool Google SketchUp is another online design option that enables users to create 3D models of blueprints. You can add furnishings and other objects to these models and see how your project may look when it is finished. However, expensive software is not necessary to create a plan. The simplest way to brainstorm ideas for a basement plan is to draw it out with pencil and paper.