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Is There A Better Use For Your Basement?

Aug 17, 2007
Basements are the base of a structure: they are the room formed by the foundation, and are, as a rule, always underground. There are several different styles of basements.

Cellars:

Cellar style basements are very common in older houses and are designed to keep perishable good cool throughout the year. People often store wine and preserves in such a basement. This style of basement was especially prolific during WWII, and they became make-shift bomb shelters all throughout Europe.

Crawlspaces:

A crawlspace style basement is exactly what it sounds like: a room through which one is forced to crawl or crouch. These are often only a foot tall, and claustrophobics are generally advised to keep away from them. This is the rarest type of basement, as they are innately more dangerous than other styles, and also expose the house to a higher termite risk, as well as other problems.

Daylight Basements:

This style of basement is also referred to as a walk out basement, and is used in houses that are situated on slopes. This style of basement is only half underground, but allows an occupant to exit through the basement out of a back door. The design for daylight basements is decidedly modern: the complexity of building a house on an uneven foundation makes it difficult to ensure that the foundation is below the frost level, even in places where the basement is above grade.

Lookout Basements:

These basements are the exact opposite of crawlspaces: they extend further above grade than other styles of basements, adding the benefit of above-ground windows. While these first came into being as a result of slightly uneven construction sites, the design was so popular that people would implement it even when their home was to be built on level ground. This sort of basement is also the most economical, as it helps reduce excavation costs.

Walk-up Basements:

Any basement with a staircase leading outside is referred to as a walkup basement. This design often features angled doors, which helps keep the weather off of the stairwell. Generally speaking, the basement is the largest room in the house. Scarcely decorated and often containing the water heater, washer and drier, basements can still be turned into the best room in the house.

Carpeting can be applied, but many basements feature a septic drain that must be topped off with some sort of liquid in order to prevent sewer gasses from seeping up into the house. If you are mindful of where these liquids migrate, carpeting will not be a problem. Even without carpeting, one can furnish a basement with all the necessities of a good workshop, a raucous game room, or even a cozy bedroom nook. All it takes is a little elbow grease.
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