How to add space to your house? Well, you can either build above the ground – add an extra floor or expand the surface of the existing one. Another option is to dig down and add a basement.
While it might sound almost impossible, it’s actually doable, but given the complexity of such modification, it’s gonna cost you some money. But sometimes, adding a basement is often the only option for those of us who are limited by the size of their lot or other limitations. And even if you could go after the other options, adding a basement instead of them is often the best solutions, especially of you dream of creating your own entertainment den or a wine cellar.
Moving or expanding?
With the property prices on the market, it’s often worth to consider enlarging your home than moving into a larger one. Plus adding a basement to your home will significantly up the price of your property – in fact, it can even double it in some cases, especially when you live in a highly coveted area of a big city like for example London. And if you’re at the beginning of the construction work while building a new house, don’t hesitate about building a basement – you have to dig anyways to create foundations, so you may as well dig a little deeper and make the entire property more attractive and functional.
Saving up on money
Opting for a basement will be better for your budget in the long term as they are easier to heat compared to the spaces above the ground level. Ground acts as a natural insulator – you don’t lose the heat through the windows or walls like in other floors of the house. Plus you can add some insulation under the flooring and to the walls to cut your energy bills even further. Sometimes even just using the basement is enough to keep a comfortable temperature in it, especially if you have lots of incandescent lighting in it.
What is the height of the basement that you should aim for? It should be at least a bit more than the height of the average door, which means you should aim for approximately 8 feet of height. You should prepare yourself for removing lots of soil as well as old concrete and placing a new concrete footing and slab floor.
Plan the lighting
Designing proper lighting in your space is crucial, especially when you don’t plan on incorporating too many windows in your new basement. You should opt for some lighting fixtures which will provide light for the entire basement – think recessed can lighting and pendant lighting. But as the basement is usually a very dark space, don’t forget to install some task lighting too which will make reading, doing some DIY work and any other activity much easier. And of course place the light switches in comfortable places – don’t forget about placing one right next to the entrance so you won’t need to look for it in the dark!
Don’t forget about the essentials
There are few things that you need to think about while building your basement.
One of them is creating an egress which you can use in case of an emergency. It can be a window big enough and placed low enough for a person to get out through it or it can be also a door leading straight to the outside.
Another thing that you need to decide about is where to put the stairs – even if you already have them, you can consider relocating them if you feel like they will be more functional in another location.
If you plan to use running water in your basement, you’ll need to find out at what depth your sewer line is placed as it will determine if you need a pump for draining the water out of if the gravity will do the work.
And last but not least you need to consult with your professional about the matters of heating the space as well as the best placement for the mechanical room.
Building a basement, especially if you don’t even have the tiniest one may seem like a big challenge, but it definitely is worth the effort. And how about you? Are you planning on digging down for some extra living space? Or maybe you already did and want to share your experiences?