A Wise Choice?
Do you have the option of considering a basement foundation for your new home? If so, what value could it add to your desired lifestyle?
Would it increase the resale value of your green home?
These questions are important to ponder before the first shovelful of dirt is lifted to start your project.
You can begin by asking what options are available in your locale,
what your plan for your basement might include, and what potential current and future value a basement foundation might bring to you and your family.
Basement Foundation Options
First, you'll need to know if a basement foundation is feasible in your location. A local real estate agent can tell you if basements are common or uncommon in your area, and why.
You may also inquire about this by speaking to local builders as well as your area's housing and development agency.
Types of Basement Foundations
Once you have settled upon the likelihood of building a basement, what type will you choose? There are
* Crawl space basement
No matter which option you choose, consider installing a
radon mitigation system.
Planning ahead now can save you a lot of grief and expense later, should you discover a radon problem in your home.
The EPA recommends periodic testing for all homeowners using a
radon test kit
as radon levels can fluctuate.
A crawl space basement is simply a basement that you cannot stand up in - hence the name "crawl space".
This name might bring images of spidery earthen darkness under your house.
Indeed, some are constructed like this, but a crawl space may also be finished to be much like a traditional basement, with finished walls and floor.
Crawl spaces allow access to various house systems, such as HVAC and electrical systems, as well as the water heater and furnace, if desired. Pier-built homes may also include a crawl space basement.
A cellar is typically the name given to a basement foundation that is underneath the ground. This is accessed by walking down a flight of stairs from inside the home.
A cellar may have a typical ceiling height, or may be lower than adult human height in some cases. It may have earthen walls and floor, or be finished in a more traditional manner.
My grandparents had a cellar that was taller in some parts, and shorter in others. It was used for storing coal and firing up the coal furnace (I remember the truck dumping coal down the chute).
Another part of the cellar was where my grandfather started one of the very first mail-order businesses. He sold bulbs for
his magnificent peony flowers.
My grandparents also stored canned goods in the cellar that they harvested from their
large backyard garden. In addition, some folks may house a washer and dryer in the cellar. Cellars are a fairly typical basement foundation in many older homes.
A daylight or look-out basement is simply a foundation with some windows above ground level. This allows at least some daylight to
filter into the space.
A look-out basement may have outside access, typically a flight of stairs from outside the home.
There is also access from inside the home, via a separate flight of stairs.
Lighting considerations should be well-thought out in a daylight basement especially, since there is limited infiltration of natural light.
the various electrical, gas and water piping and systems, and may also have a laundry area with a washer and dryer. Read more about daylight basements
WALK OUT BASEMENT
Walk-out basements are becoming more and more popular for a variety of reasons. As with all of the basement types, a
walk-out basement may be finished or unfinished.
A walkout basement exits directly to the outdoors. It typically has a flight of stairs connecting to the first level of the home as well.
Walk out basements work especially well...
more about walk out basements
Are you concerned about how chemicals in your home (and basement) affect your health? Do you wish you knew of safer alternatives?
Do you have a problem with skyrocketing power bills and wonder how you can save energy and money?
Here's information that can help you as you Dream Green - in your current as well as your future home. It's free and super informative! Why go to a hundred sites searching for what you want to know? The Dream Green Bulletin will deliver it hassle-free, directly to your inbox.
This e-zine will help you:
Sign up for your Dream Green Bulletin right here!
- Get innovative home plan ideas that implement healthy, green principles
- Snag more energy and money saving ideas for your current or future home
- Keep up to speed on new products and innovations with the Green Review of the Month
Easy access to your house systems is a huge plus in owning a basement. Plus, many people appreciate basement foundations because you will usually know pretty quickly if there is a problem, and where it originates.
With a crawl space basement or
, problems may worsen before you realize an issue is brewing.
Besides the typical "extra storage" and HVAC, plumbing, and laundry areas in your basement, check out ideas for innovative basement living in this
dream list options for basements.
These work especially well for finished basements - whether you decide to finish now or in the future.
Also, check out these
and even more
basement finishing ideas.
If you have the option, seriously consider a basement foundation for your home. If it is well-built, dry and clean, the likelihood of a basement adding substantially to your personal enjoyment as well as to the resale value of your home is great.
ENJOY YOUR LOWER LEVEL LIVING!
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