If one has the available where with all & some time to arrange planning &
design of ones new home. Which would be the best option to consider & why?
Crawl Space with a clean concrete base & no rubble, or Basement Cellar which
gives additional room & space to the finished house?
Please state your reasons with any answers given.
A full basement without a doubt. You can convert it into livable space if
desired and increase the home value especially to families with lots of
storage needs. A crawlspace is useless for anything but accessing the
pipes. I have never seen a crawlspace over a finished slab, seems like a
waste. Basements are often cooler in the summer too, try chilling out in
Are you thinking you can store stuff in the crawl space. Why would you want
to crawl to your stuff when you can walk. You can use the attic for that.
Only advantage o a crawlspace I see is the lower cost since you do not need
to excavate so much.
Its up to your bud. Where a basement might flood though
it would not be the hot option. and a basement will run the
cost of the house up...but the extra space is a good deal
I like basements myself... if you are in a huricane area a
basement is good protection from huricanes if designed for it.
It is a no brainer, I just spent a small fortune digging out a dirt
semi crawlspace turning it into a real livable room. Crawlspaces are a
worthless moisture retaining waste of space suited for mice, rats. Plus
my taxes wont go up but I just added 1000 square ft of new house. To me
no basement is no home
Obviously, the clear winner is a basement. However, there "are" advantages
to a crawlspace.
1. Cost. Less excavation to do, far less concrete to pour (shorter walls,
no floor), no real waterproofing issues to worry about.
2. Ease of construction. If you're hiring out, this probably doesn't
matter. But if you're building yourself, a crawlspace is much faster and
easier to build.
3. Less depth. If you are building over a rock ledge or something, you can
potentially build right on top. A basement could require blasting or other
techniques to get the depth you need. And, if you have a high water table
or other constant exposure to water, you could have real ongoing water
4. No stairs (assuming single story home). Stairs consume square footage
that could be used for other purposes. And, when you are elderly, bound to
a wheelchair, or otherwise impaired, you may not be able to go up and down
the stairs to a basement (my father-in-law has Emphysema and runs out of
breath trying to go to his basement. So he never uses the space.).
5. Easier plumbing. Basements are often converted to finished space, so you
don't really want pipes and whatnot hanging down into the finished space
(though you can box around, or otherwise hide them). In a crawlspace you
can just hang pipes under the floor joists since the area will not be used
for living space.
6. Potentially easier maintenance. A basement will give you much easier
access to pipes, wires, etc. as long as it is unfinished space. However, if
you convert the basement to living space and install a ceiling, your access
to the space above becomes much more complicated. A crawlspace will always
remain easy to access, even if it means crawling in.
Having said all this, if you live in an area that has a deep frost depth,
you may need a crawlspace that is four feet or so deep anyway. Might as
well dig down a bit further and get the extra space. It would make great
storage, home office, rec room, or whatever for a minor difference in cost.
It's certainly one of the cheapest ways to get extra space.
In my area (Pacific NW) the frost depth, is only 12" or so. I just leveled
the site, poured the footings and crawlspace walls, and backfilled. No real
excavation was needed. With 2 foot walls and a 6-10" footing, my crawlspace
is about 32" high which is quite comfortable to move around in.
Thnak you to all those that took the trouble to reply & give me the chance
to see what the best choice & direction to take was at the construction
phase of things.
Now another question:- Will the basement add real estate value, when it
comes to marketing the house in the future, provided I've ironed out &
"engineered" out the problems like ground water seepage, the hard rock
foundations (actually they could make for a deeper sub-basement floor &
reduce the main construction costs, being self supporting in itself!), etc.
I await your learned opinion, gentlmen (& ladies, of course).
Location, location, ... :)
It will be a factor--in some areas "every" house has a basement, so one
w/o is at a disadvantage in the marketplace. Other places for various
reasons don't so it could, if trouble-free, be an advantage. The
advantage will be dependent on the competition more than the actual
inherent value. IMO, YMMV, $0.02, etc...
Sure it will add to the value if it is dry , comfortable and useable.
Basements make nice rec rooms, . I know of many houses with separate
baths, kitchens , bed rooms, jacussi, offices etc etc. Cheaper building
underground plus the tax assesor doesnt know. I just took my crap dirt
basement and made it a nice heated big room. My house value is up alot.
Basements for me are mandatory for storage , work areas and laundry.
I'd always go with the Basement, especially if the local sewer is of the
depth that you can "drain" any bathroom etc to the sewer without having to
Local codes here prevent basements unless the sewer is available (w/o
On our new house, I was quoted $ 40-50K to finish the 9 ft (1600sf)
basement (These guys call themselves "High End" builders)
I declined and have been DIY over the last couple of years (my retirement
project). I have 2 finished bedrooms, a 11' X 4' Wine cellar and a full
bath down there taking up 40% of the space. The remaining 60% is framed,
electrical in and drywalled with radius corners and a tray ceiling, waiting
for Spring to finish the game room, bar, media room and FP. So far I've got
about $ 3500 into it. Figure out to be well under $ 10K when I'm done.
This is the 3rd house I ve built so I do know what I'm doing.
BTW, our basement is of the "walk out" type..the lot is sloped about 30
degrees. At the front of the house, it appears as if the home is "on
grade", while at the rear, there is a 9' basement wall showing on that
level..almost all windows, which look at the lake. IMO, thats the most
important consideration when laying out a basement..window placement to get
the most available natural light into the lower level (and of course window
'egress' requirements if there are any bedrooms down there)
A basement is better because you can locate heating A/C equipment down there
as well as the water heater. Heat flows up so house floor will tend to be
warmer from the furnace. And the hot water pipes tend to stay warm.
And the best part, if you have an unfinished basement, is that there is easy
access to pipes and wiring. Say you need an extra wire to the TV area for
satellite or whatever, easy to drill up through the floor and run the wire
in the basement.
But if you are in an area with a high water table (dig a few feet down and
there is water), then a crawl space would be much better!
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