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Basements give a home a significant amount of functionality. Basements may also provide excellent returns on investment with the right setup. But take note that each basement has unique features and characteristics. So what are the types of basements to choose? We've consulted with real estate professionals, and here’s the information they have to share.
There are generally 6 types of basements, which include:
- Walkout basement
- Walk-up basement
- Full basement
- Half basement
Some basements may work better than others depending on the property. If you still have some questions about the different types of basements, don't worry. In this guide, we'll tackle the 6 different types of basements in more detail. Without further ado, let's get into it.
What are the Different Types of Basements?
Basements come in different sizes, shapes, and even locations. These types can generally be divided into different categories as follows:
A basement crawlspace is a hollow location typically built under the floor. Some properties may also choose to build their crawlspaces between the subterranean ground and the first floor. The addition of a crawlspace may give the home extra height above ground.
Crawlspaces can be a better option for sloped lots than flat properties since flat lots tend to only allow a minimum excavation for the concrete slab to pour. On the other hand, if the property has a slope, it requires less excavation than usual since workers will only need to dig for walls and not the entire slab.
But crawlspaces tend to require more care and maintenance than slab foundations. The walls in crawlspace basements are generally more likely to need structural improvements and repairs over time.
Properties on top of the soil with high clay content can put additional pressure on crawlspace walls. As the substance expands, it increases the risks of cracks and foundation shifts.
2. Walkout Basement
A walkout basement has one or more of its walls above grade. This type of space tends to be in properties where parts of their slopes are above grade while most of these areas are below.
Although sloped properties tend to have more walkout spaces than flat lots, engineers may still fit walkout basements in flat lots if the land allows.
There are several benefits to walkout basements. For instance, it can increase the livable space in a home, considering that household owners and guests can walk in and out directly from the basement.
However, property owners on a tight budget might not want to add walkout basements in their homes. Adding this particular space can be quite expensive with $6,250 being the average cost.
3. Walk-Up Basement
Unlike its walk-out counterpart, walk-up basements are below-grade underground spaces generally accessible by a flight of stairs.
The term "walk-up" refers to the fact that one must walk up the stairs to get out of the area.
Walk-up basements are also generally more common in hillside properties rather than flat lots since the slopes may provide better angles for stairs. But these slopes may also invite risks to basement flooding since water from the upper levels can flow down into the underground area.
You can reduce this risk by installing anti-basement flooding systems such as downspout extensions and backwater valves. For more information about that particular topic, you can also read this post: Water Leaking Into The Basement After Heavy Rain – What To Do?
4. Full Basement
A full basement means that the subterranean space takes up the entire area underneath the house. Don’t confuse it with a finished basement, for being finished means that the area has a similar living setup to the upstairs areas.
For example, a full basement may not have furniture, heating, or an electrical system, but a finished basement can have these amenities.
Homeowners can take advantage of the large space provided by a full basement. Therefore, if you have a 1,500 square foot house, a full basement will have the same surface area for different amenities, such as a bedroom, bathroom, and a children’s play area.
Still, having more space means additional maintenance requirements. It would take more time to clean and maintain a full basement than other types of underground spaces with smaller dimensions.
5. Half Basement
Also called a partial basement or semi-basement, a half-basement takes up a half or portion of the lot as compared to a full basement This model can be ideal for a fairly small home. Some examples that can make use of half-basement setups are laundry rooms, storage areas, or home offices.
This type of basement is also great for property owners following a fairly tight budget. Since the surface area required to build the partial basement isn’t as costly as building a full basement, homeowners can save more money.
On the downside, this lack of space might not be ideal for homeowners that want to turn these spaces into living areas.
For example, a tiny house, which generally stands on a lot that is less than 400 square feet, may have a 200-square foot basement or smaller. You can still transform this location into a bedroom or guest room, but the person living in that space might find it more cramped than average.
A subbasement is like a second floor for the first underground floor. It is space beneath the main basement to serve different purposes, such as a boiler room or extra storage.
Commercial spaces may incorporate subbasements into their establishments to make way for extra parking spaces or swimming pools.
Lot owners thinking of adding subbasements to their properties need to ensure that their residential or commercial establishments are in locations with dry climates.
This is due to the fact that the lower-than-average locations might make these spaces more susceptible to water damage, particularly in humid and tropical regions.
If built correctly, subbasements offer extra storage and protection for certain items in need of additional security.
What Is A Michigan Basement?
The Michigan building glossary mentions that the state’s basement is a dug-out crawl space with a typical depth of 5 to 7 feet.
Moreover, the entrance to this area tends to start about 2 feet from the existing property’s walls. This distinct design helps preserve the structural integrity of the existing foundation.
What Is A Yankee Basement?
A Yankee basement is a root cellar. The name for the space comes from the dugout in baseball, which is the area where teams have their benches located in foul territory.
This basement matches or is similar to the design used in baseball, wherein household owners and guests can crawl into an accessible subterranean space. This location is usually accessible through the garage stairways or a floored attic space.
What Is A Texas Basement?
A Texas basement is a floored space in the attic, which is unlike the typical subterranean space. This type of basement is generally accessible through a second-floor closet or hallway. Certain homes have their Texas basements accessible through their garages.
The reason for this quirky real estate design might stem from Texas having various property issues if homes choose to build subterranean spaces.
For instance, building an underground basement in some parts of the state may cause damp clay soil to push into basement walls, increasing the risks of cracks. Moreover, certain Texan locations are flood-prone areas, making them unsuitable for basements.
Does A Basement Add Square Footage To A Home?
Generally, property appraisers and real estate agents don’t count a finished basement to the area’s overall square footage. However, professionals in the property management industry might include the square footage of a basement, depending on the state.
Some local county laws may require appraisers and agents to include the basement space as part of the gross living area.
How Much Value Does A Basement Add To A Home?
The value added to a home from the addition of a basement can depend on the amount spent for the construction and remodeling of the space. In 2017, Remodeling Magazine highlights a 70 percent additional value to a home with the addition of a basement.
The report mentions that the inclusion of the extra space contains elements like electrical wiring, recessed ceiling light fixtures, a standard toilet, and a bar area, among others.
If you’re curious about adding a basement into your home, read through this post: Can You Build A Basement Under An Existing House?
Property owners can choose between 6 different types of basements to add to their living spaces. These models include crawlspaces, full basements, half basements, and walkouts.
Take note that each kind of basement will have distinct advantages and disadvantages. You may consult with a property appraiser or real estate agent to help you choose which basement fits your lot the best.