Have you taken the time investigate WHY your basement is wet? And what do
you mean by "wet"? Is it just constant dampness, or actual standing water?
If the latter, does it happen every time it rains, or only during the spring
My basement had standing water at certain times. The total cost to fix it
was roughly as follows:
$350 for 2 visits by a highly regarded home inspector. I was a new homeowner
and he helped me learn to observe what was going on, and to understand how
the drainage system worked in my home and my neighborhood. Priceless.
$100: The cost of a few flats of pachysandra, which I planted in shady
corners where nothing else would grow. My roof had a couple of odd spots
where no gutter in the world could prevent runoff during heavy rains. These
spots happened to be in the shady corners, so the problem was compounded by
the fact that it was hard to grow anything which would maintain a root
system. The pachysandra helped slow and disperse the flow of water into the
ground, which (and some people won't believe this) stopped the water problem
in the parts of the basement closest to the plantings.
$20 (a guess - it's been a long time): The cost of these cement fan-shaped
things which you place under your downspouts where they meet the ground, to
carry the water a foot or two away from the foundation. Home centers sell
them in the same departments as the brick and paving stones. There are
plastic ones, too, if you like tacky things in your flower beds.
Various costs: Bags of shredded bark mulch (not chunks), which, like some
plants, will slow the flow of water and allow it to disperse over a wider
area. It's good for your flower beds, so you should use it even if you don't
have a water problem.
Put a large house plant in your bathtub and water it. Wait an hour for the
soil to absorb as much water as it can. Now, water it 5 more times and watch
what happens. The water drains out the bottom (assuming the pot has a
drainage hole, as it should). A given amount of soil can only hold so much
water. After it reaches that point, the water passes right through (in a
potted plant or in some outdoor situations). Or you end up with a temporary
pond, as you'll notice in some farmers' fields, or poorly drained lawns.
Observe how your property behaves during wet weather and you'll figure out
how to deal with it.