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How a Basement Can Do Wonders For Your Home

The Pros and Cons of Adding a Basement to Your Home
Mikkie Mills Dec 06, 2019
If you are building or remodeling your house, you may be considering different types of foundations. Each type of foundation – slab, crawl space and basement – has benefits and drawbacks, and this story will focus on the benefits and costs of adding a basement to your home.

Basements Protect the Mechanics of the House

A basement is generally more temperature controlled than a crawlspace or attic, making it a great place to put plumbing, water heaters and wiring.
This can be especially useful in regions that have severely cold winters because your plumbing is less likely to freeze, which can result in a burst pipe, then if it were in a part of the house subject to extreme temperatures. Additionally, it is easier for repairs to be made on these items when they are in an easily accessible part of the house.

Creating More Space

Basements are appealing because they add to the square footage of the house, meaning you can add more rooms to the house and increase the value of your home if ever you want to sell it.
It can be a great place for an additional bedroom, an office, an in-home gym, a playroom for kids and a cool space to create a movie room with a movie theater ambiance. As you can see, the uses of a basement are versatile. However, if you are using a basement space, be sure to consider safety.
It is a good idea to install basement egress windows, which some states require in basements that are utilized, as a fire escape.

Protection From the Weather

If you live in an area with inclement weather, a basement is something to strongly consider. Because basements are below ground and have concrete walls, they offer protection from extreme weather occurrences such as tornadoes. They are also well-insulated by the ground, and can offer a relief from the heat in the summer and a warm getaway in the winter.

Humidity & Moisture

It is no secret that soil gets moist. Rainfall, flooding or proximity to a body of water can saturate the soil with water, which in turn can leak into your basement. Even without those moisture occurrences a basement can be damp, which can lead to mold and mildew.
Be sure to install proper drainage, such as slanted floors and drains, for any potential water leaks or flooding.
To decrease dampness in your basement, install a dehumidifier and opt for concrete walls instead of cinder blocks because the latter is more prone to leaks, cracking and water damage while the former is more likely to hold up against water issues.
Since it is below ground it can be difficult to get natural light into a basement unless it is a walkout basement, which generally features unobstructed windows.
Though natural light is a challenge in an underground space, extra lighting fixtures can be added to make it brighter and more welcoming. Also, egress windows can add natural light as opposed to no windows or small rectangular windows near the ceiling of the basement.

Consider Your Budget

Though basements have many benefits, they are more expensive compared to slabs and crawl spaces. Consider if the benefits will save you money in the long run and outweigh the immediate expense.
Ask how much value to the house the extra square footage adds, if it would save you money in repair costs for any of the mechanics of the house, if your piping and water heater are safer in a basement from damage and what the added space would mean to you as the person who lives there.
Will it make the house more welcoming? Will it add space you enjoy using? If the long-term benefits outweigh the short-term cost, a basement is worth considering.
Which foundation you choose will be based on your budget and your personal needs and preferences. If you decide a basement fits your criteria and budget, it can be a valuable addition to your home.