Are Walkout Basements Colder Than Regular Basements?

Walkout basements are an amazing and innovative take on regular basements. And because walkout basements have a significant difference in design, have you wondered if they are colder compared to regular basements? In this article, we have scoured the internet for answers and have found out which one is colder.

No; because walkout basements have more ventilation, more windows, and a door leading outside, they can get hotter -not colder- than regular basements. The heat coming from the sun can make your walkout basement hotter especially during summer compared to your regular closed space basement where minimal sunlight can come in and warm the room up.

Want to learn more about which basement is colder compared to the other one? Continue reading until the end to know more details about the temperature of walkouts and regular basements.

Chic walkout basement features a gray sectional facing a white built-in tv cabinet and wet bar mounted to a wall, Are Walkout Basements Colder Than Regular Basements?

Walkout Basement Vs. Regular Basement

As mentioned earlier, the key difference between a walkout basement compared to a regular basement is the access to the outside. A walkout basement has doors and windows like a regular room that leads outside, hence the term walkout basement.

While on the other hand, regular basements don't have doors and most of the time no windows that lead to the outside. They are closed, often cramped spaces of the house that are designated for storage or in some cases even shelter for tornadoes.

Both of the basements highly differ when it comes to usability. When talking about walkout basements, these are basements that are designed to be used by the owners as a place to hang out equipped with furniture and appliances in the room.

An unfinished walk out basement in a large two story or ranch house

Because of these key differences, regular basements are colder because they are far off from any exposure to sunlight, owners usually don't spend a lot of time in the basement, only occasionally. Compared to walkout basements where some leave the doors open during summer or during the day, which can significantly heat a room.

The amount of time someone also spends in the basement affects the temperature, humans produce body heat that can help warm a room up. You might even consider a fireplace for a walkout basement, that will surely help crank up the temperatures.

Luxury interior of renovated house in suburbs

Is the basement the coldest part of the house?

This area is usually the coldest part of the house, especially regular basements. This is especially true in countries that live in temperate climates. Aside from the fact that normal basements get the least amount of sunlight in your house, the rule of thermodynamics also plays a huge role in why your basements are as cold as they are.

Due to hot air being lighter than cold air, hot air rises while cold air sinks. Since basements are located under houses, all the cold air settles in your basement while hot air escapes it, and the fact that it is not getting any heat source just makes the temperatures drop even more.

We also mentioned that windows and doors can make a walkout basement warmer, this can also be a culprit in making your walkout basement colder. Drafts of cold wind through the windows can make the room breezy and cold, especially if left open.

Even though it gets sunlight, it still gets the least amount of it compared to other rooms because it is still the basement. It still gets the least amount of heat and is cooler compared to other rooms of the house.

But there are many remedies to this solution. if you have a basement but don't want to convert it to a walkout one, you can add a fireplace to it.

If the basement is small, underpinning it can be a solution as it opens a wide array of options to transform your regular basement. We have written an article about the cost of basement underpinning, go ahead and check it out.

How to keep my walkout basement warm during winter?

luxury walkout basement with living area and billiard

There are plenty of ways in warming your basement especially during the winter, one obvious answer is by shutting the doors and windows and not letting the cold inside. Installation of the fireplace is probably the most common way of heating your temperature.

Another way is decorating your walkout basement with dark shades. Dark colors like black, dark blue, and dark gray are examples of good retainers of heat. Compared to lighter colors that bounce off heat, dark colors absorb them, thus helping your place warm up.

So consider getting dark-colored drapes, dark-colored carpets, and dark-colored furniture to help you warm up your walkout basements.

Installing extra heating systems can also help you be warm and cozy on those cold winter days. Just make sure to get professionals to install them for you to get the best results out of them.

We have previously released an article about how cold basements get and eight ways to warm them down, so check it out for a more detailed and comprehensive guide on how to keep your basements toasty and comfortable during wintertime.

Can I convert my regular basement into a walkout one?

Stairs To Empty Basement Storage Room

Yes, you can convert your regular basement into a walkout basement, but it is not as simple as it seems. There are many factors to be considered when doing this to our basement.

One is the lay of the land where your house is located. The ideal land geography is on a hill or a slope if you will be converting your basement into a walkout one.

Consulting a professional like an engineer is very important as this is a type of project that requires a lot of manpower, special equipment, and heavy machinery. An undertaking like this also requires structural changes to your foundations, if done wrong the integrity of your house can be compromised.

Professionals also offer insights to help you maximize your design and help you choose the compatible modifications for your new walkout basements.

Many benefits come when converting your regular basement into a walkout one, it helps you raise the value of your house. Additional living space can also be achieved when adding a walkout basement.

Emergency exits in times of danger like fire or home invasions are another added safety feature to help you evacuate your house in times of crisis. Another added factor is the aesthetics that it contributes to your house.

It is worth noting that this type of project may require a hefty amount of money, especially if you will need to alter your yard because this type of basement best works on uneven land or slopes.

This will need additional structures and reinforced foundations for your house depending on the assessment of an engineer, you will also need permits and applications from your city hall to comply with the city code. With all this in mind, you should also expect an increase in property tax.


a luxurious walkout basement with wide-angle view showing the stairs leading up

There are many factors that make a walkout basement warmer compared to a regular basement, especially if the regular basement is just used for storage and not used as a lounge in your house. The important thing is if you are planning on converting your basement into a walkout one, plan it carefully and most of all have fun with it.

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