I was blessed with the resources to retire, move back to my native Oregon, and build our dream house. Our house has a full walkout (daylight) basement, most of which is available for the dream model railroad. The basement features a large clear-span space with a single support column. Most of the ceiling is 9'-6" high, with a slight dip for the main house support beam seen below.
Main Basement Room
A "back room" is connected via a passageway under the stairs.
Passageway Beneath Stairs
Basement Back Room
House mechanical and heating systems are located in the garage and on the upper floor, such that no "pesky" water heaters, etc., intrude upon the layout space.
Subsequent blog entries will describe the layout design concept , decisions and ultimate plan. The basement floor should be sealed this summer, after which construction may begin. For now, WELCOME!