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Old 07-03-2008, 09:21 AM
 
Location: los angeles
5,031 posts, read 8,022,847 times
Reputation: 1351
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cattknap View Post
Well, we have a 635 sf basement (with 8 foot ceilings) and live in Long Beach less than 5 miles from the beach. The basement is permitted and inspected and was put in before we moved in 25 years ago - today, basements would not be allowed to be built this close to the ocean.

Our garage holds tools, lawn and garden care products, etc. with lots of open shelving.

In the basement there is one large room and one large storage room with floor to ceiling shelving and a built in desk at one end. Over the years, the large basement room has been a bedroom for one of our sons, a guest room and a storage room.

When our youngest son was finishing up at UCLA before he went to law school, he and his wife moved in with us for 18 months. All of their furniture fit in our basement along with the things we store there.

Our seasonal clothing is kept there. We have about 2,000 vintage 1920 to 1958 Christmas ornaments - they are organized in marked and stacked tupperware bins. We have a large artificial Christmas tree that we never take down - just cover and sit in the basement storage room. A file cabinet holds important documents and records. I have a large group of shelves in the storage room is devoted to floral supplies and vases. Dishes and glassware for entertainment and seasonal changes are in the basement. Built-in bookshelves hold lots of our books. When the grandchildren visit, their bedding, pillows, blankets and towels are stored in marked bins in the basement - tubs of toys are down there too.

Quite frankly I don't think I could live without a basement - they are so very useful and wonderful to have. Our basement isn't elegant, but it is clean, in good repair, utilitarian and organized. Clean air is pumped into the basement twice a day to keep the cool air fresh. The basement is completely dry even in the worst of storms.

We sold our home a few weeks ago and escrow closes in less than 2 weeks...the buyers are thrilled to have our basement. Our home was built in 1950 and all of the homes in our area are sadly lacking in storage....actually, we know of no home in our area that has even half the storage we do.

We are relocating to Kentucky where it is almost certain we will have a nice, large basement - many of the homes have walk-out basements - we can't wait.

What I don't understand is if putting in a basement is relatively cheap why don't more developers add basements? I do have a basement of sorts. On steep hillsides your street level floor is above a lower floor partially cut into hill and open out to balconies. Itís the coolest place in the house during summer.

With space at a premium it seems more people would want basements. Don't think I would want to be in a basement during an earthquake, though.
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Old 07-03-2008, 09:26 AM
 
Location: Prospect, KY
5,241 posts, read 11,320,968 times
Reputation: 6207
Basements in residential homes are no longer permitted in Long Beach - I think that the underground high water level might have something to do with that. We have experienced many earthquakes while living in this house over the last 25 years. There are been numerous cracks in the ceilings in the main house that had to be repaired, cracked bricks in the chimney, etc....but absolutely no cracks or damage to the basement. To me that makes sense - the extra thick block walls are fully insulated and supported with earth all around them while the house borders on air - I'm not an engineer but I'd love to know the physics of why the basement withstands earthquakes so well.

Last edited by Cattknap; 07-03-2008 at 09:39 AM..
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Old 07-03-2008, 10:01 AM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
6,769 posts, read 16,467,080 times
Reputation: 2526
I've seen some old Victorians in the big old Bay Area cities that have basements. Oakland in particular. I know I'll be hurting for space in my little 652 sf house, and I wish I had one!
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Old 07-03-2008, 11:06 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
54 posts, read 130,991 times
Reputation: 16
Most older houses have basements
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Old 07-03-2008, 01:50 PM
 
Location: los angeles
5,031 posts, read 8,022,847 times
Reputation: 1351
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cattknap View Post
Basements in residential homes are no longer permitted in Long Beach - I think that the underground high water level might have something to do with that. We have experienced many earthquakes while living in this house over the last 25 years. There are been numerous cracks in the ceilings in the main house that had to be repaired, cracked bricks in the chimney, etc....but absolutely no cracks or damage to the basement. To me that makes sense - the extra thick block walls are fully insulated and supported with earth all around them while the house borders on air - I'm not an engineer but I'd love to know the physics of why the basement withstands earthquakes so well.
I agree that the structure & being underground would make a basement safe during earthquakes. I was thinking that if the house totally collapsed the basement might be a trap. But most wood-frame structures just slide off the foundation rather than collapse inward. Yeah, I think you are right that a basement would be fairly safe during earthquakes. Is there a law that homes must have two exits from basements?
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Old 07-03-2008, 02:13 PM
 
Location: Prospect, KY
5,241 posts, read 11,320,968 times
Reputation: 6207
Happ - no there isn't a law like that. To be considered in the legal square footage, a basement must have a door outside, i.e. a walkout basement. We have 4 just-above-ground-level windows that theoretically, if you didn't have a bit tummy, you could climb out of, but not easily. We have a door down to the basement that is literally inches from one of the back doors - so it is close to an exit once you go up the stairs.

Theoretically, during severe earthquakes that occur where there is a high water table (near the beach mainly), liquifaction can occur - simply put - liquifaction is where the water, sand and dirt mix to become a mushy sink hole and buildings can literally sink down into the ground. This has not happened to any great degree here that I know of.
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Old 09-18-2008, 08:09 PM
 
45 posts, read 128,627 times
Reputation: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sorcerer68 View Post
I hate clutter. I can't understand why ANYONE would want a garage or a basement FULL of junk. I'm a minimalist.
Well I have kids and therefore have Easter, Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Valentines decorations. Doesn't anyone in California decorate for the seasons and holidays????? Although I cannot imagine where the stuff would get stored. For the home prices in California you'd think there would be nice, finished walkout basements.
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Old 09-18-2008, 08:13 PM
 
45 posts, read 128,627 times
Reputation: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenchili View Post
Basements give me the creeps. Yay for NONE here in beautiful CA

Greenchili
Well then you haven't seen any done right.....fully finished with fireplace, bathroom, bar, media room walking out to a pool....what could be better?? You people in California have pools and what?? the kids walk into the kitchen or family room in their wet suits????? Where we live if people parked their cars in the streets of our neighborhood there would be an uproar.
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Old 09-30-2008, 01:07 PM
 
15 posts, read 39,253 times
Reputation: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by oliver6323 View Post
Well I have kids and therefore have Easter, Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Valentines decorations. Doesn't anyone in California decorate for the seasons and holidays????? Although I cannot imagine where the stuff would get stored. For the home prices in California you'd think there would be nice, finished walkout basements.
We have kids and holidays too, that's why we park in the driveway. We have an attic, but it's more like a creepy crawl space. Dark, dusty, hot, and probably filled with black widows. I bet if someone were to specialize in cleaning and debugging attics they would make a fortune. :::shiver::::
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Old 09-30-2008, 08:01 PM
 
Location: Along The I-5
58 posts, read 100,031 times
Reputation: 14
Growing up in SoCal, I never saw a basement until I was 7 and we visited my grandma's in Minnesota. It was smelly and dark and creepy and full of spiders and...
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