What we learned it that it is widespread at least in Minnesota. Very
few of our soils are qualified to have a basement according to the
soil scientists. Almost all older homes are build with basements
anyway since no soil test is required for a basement to be built.
Sump pums and dry wells are routine.
A basement is desireable for a house in a cold climate for obvious
reasons. A basement can be built anywhere and waterproofing has
improved a lot. That does not mean that a soil scientist will agree
or approve. There are few dry basements in Minnesota in older houses
and I suspect newer houses will leak given enough time.
I will agree that a specialist in soils is likely to have a rather
conservative view when asked to put his reputation on the line. That
does not make their opinions less valid just conservative.
Builders need to make money too. In the lower end 2-story-and-slap
subdivisions, they have to cut corners to make money. Basement and
large lots are the first things to go, followed by cheap materials and
sloppy work. :-)
What people want is one thing. What they can afford is another.
For people who can afford it, yes, there are subdivisions with large
lot, basement, and one-story.
I've built quite a few buildings in Indianapolis and they won't leak
when built and waterproofed properly such as the 30' square tunnel that
runs under lilly's corporate center, dry as a bone building 47 is
totally underground with 8' of dirt on top with trees planted on top of
a 10" concrete lid
Yes, I know, our thoughts too a few years ago. After talking to other
people in the market they agreed with us, we wanted to see more single
levels with basements. Evidently a lot of people thought that way, that
is all they are building in our area now. The last builder expo/open
house had 12 of 16 being ranches with basements!
Basements require proper techniques to keep them dry and many builders
won't go to those lengths and/or don't have skilled crews to do the
work. If you look at older homes, it seems some got the basement
right and some didn't. A common complaint in new homes now is water
in the basement. There are many products that seem designed to keep
it out temporarily, but long term, it comes down to a building co's
skill and attention to detail.
I had a realestate agent come to look over my property, not for
immediate sale, but because I wanted to make sure the changes I make
don't divert too radically from the marketplace. The problem with the
industry is that everything is reduced to a "national market" where
everyone is presummed to have the same tastes and preferences. All
buyer personalities are reduced to a uniform corporate mold. Also,
the realestate computer listing system seems to favor new homes and
recently developed neighborhoods. The search criteria is really
crude, and so property values favor the newer over the old, it seems
to me. The realestate agent doesn't seem to have professional skills
in terms of matching buyers with sellers, really, it seems from my
observation. Builders do their best to reduce costs, which means a
slab foundation, 2 story building, on a tiny lot. I agree with you
though, none of these things are what I want in my house. I like a
raised foundation, single story, and large lot. In the long run, I'm
pretty sure my tastes will better the average marketplace profit, as
we have purchased a large lot on the waterfront with deep water
access, and a single story ranch style house, which I'm currently
fixing up. One thing is for sure though, now is NOT the time to sell.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.