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View Poll Results: How many of you have a basement?
Yes 54 68.35%
No 25 31.65%
Voters: 79. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-26-2014, 09:57 AM
chh
 
Location: West Michigan
418 posts, read 495,130 times
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In Michigan, I've never been in a home without a basement.
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Old 12-26-2014, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Milwaukee
3,451 posts, read 3,394,206 times
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A 20 x 20 "bonus room" on top of a garage (which exist all over the country, not just in places without many basements) is a nice thing to have, probably essential for most, but it comes nowhere near making up for the loss of a 1,200 square foot basement.

People who live on 100 acres out in the woods here have basements, it has zero to do with "having to build up or down" and merely has to do with what can and cannot be created regionally in regards to the local environment.
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Old 12-26-2014, 10:33 AM
Status: "Charlotte Checkers Calder Cup Champions!" (set 29 days ago)
 
Location: Planet Earth
7,217 posts, read 8,231,053 times
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In the piedmont of NC, it seems every other home has a basement. However the neighborhood I grew up in has about 120 homes, but only about 3 or 4 have basements.

We have family in Cary, NC and every home in that neighborhood that I know of has a basement. But then again, it sits on a hill.

Now east of Raleigh, I don't think you're going to find many homes with a basement.
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Old 12-26-2014, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
44,651 posts, read 36,106,549 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheese plate View Post
A 20 x 20 "bonus room" on top of a garage (which exist all over the country, not just in places without many basements) is a nice thing to have, probably essential for most, but it comes nowhere near making up for the loss of a 1,200 square foot basement.

People who live on 100 acres out in the woods here have basements, it has zero to do with "having to build up or down" and merely has to do with what can and cannot be created regionally in regards to the local environment.
It's not a "loss" if you never had it to begin with - and if a 2500 square foot home with a bonus room is affordable anyway. Why walk down a narrow flight of stairs to a low ceilinged room if you can have all the room you want on the main floor?

Personally I don't care one way or another about having a basement. I've lived in a home with a basement, and homes with a "walk out basement" (sort of a half basement) and homes with bonus rooms and homes with just plenty of room one way or the other on a single level, and two story homes.

My satisfaction in a home has nothing to do one way or the other with any one feature - it all depends on layout, functionality, good quality construction, and ambiance to me. Some basements are nice and some aren't. It's really not that complicated.
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Old 12-26-2014, 01:44 PM
 
9,701 posts, read 7,242,381 times
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In the Northeast and Midwest, basements are the norm. I would say 90% of single family homes in these areas have a basement.

The only homes I have been into in these areas that did not have a basement were cheaper manufactured home-type dwellings.
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Old 12-29-2014, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Milwaukee
3,451 posts, read 3,394,206 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
It's not a "loss" if you never had it to begin with - and if a 2500 square foot home with a bonus room is affordable anyway. Why walk down a narrow flight of stairs to a low ceilinged room if you can have all the room you want on the main floor?

Personally I don't care one way or another about having a basement. I've lived in a home with a basement, and homes with a "walk out basement" (sort of a half basement) and homes with bonus rooms and homes with just plenty of room one way or the other on a single level, and two story homes.

My satisfaction in a home has nothing to do one way or the other with any one feature - it all depends on layout, functionality, good quality construction, and ambiance to me. Some basements are nice and some aren't. It's really not that complicated.
For no more money, you gain 1,000-2,000 feet of square footage on top of what the rest of the house already boasts; you do not need to use any of your normal sq footage for storage. This is a decided advantage, and there is no way around it. Bonus square footage; for free; the end.

I have a wide flight of stairs (are you in your 80s?) leading to a basement with ceilings just as high as the rest of the house. The only difference between the basement and the rest of the house is the windows are long and wide and high up on the wall (because obviously windows to the dirt aren't very handy) and there is a walled room with the furnace (where's your furnace, next to the living room?). It's carpeted and used as a bar/lounge + extra bedroom. People love coming over for Packer games and hitting the bar

I swear, some people on here could make any logical disadvantage into a supposed advantage, no matter how completely ridiculous and transparent the point.
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Old 12-29-2014, 10:47 AM
 
Location: On the Great South Bay
7,130 posts, read 9,898,127 times
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Default Levittown

Quote:
Originally Posted by NOLA101 View Post
In the Northeast and Midwest, basements are the norm. I would say 90% of single family homes in these areas have a basement.

The only homes I have been into in these areas that did not have a basement were cheaper manufactured home-type dwellings.
From what I have seen, this is pretty much true. Most older homes and even most newer ones have basements. Of course here on Long Island, there are exceptions are for homes built near the water.

However, the other exception is something you mentioned, builders trying to build cheaper. Levittown, NY is a good example. The Levitts put pressure on the Town of Hempstead by packing Town Hall with 800 veterans until the Town Board eliminated the Town building code that required basements. They also did not want to use union labor.

Levittown: Building Levittown
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Old 12-30-2014, 02:29 AM
 
2,769 posts, read 2,492,503 times
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Here in Washington State, in the western part of the state, most of the basements I have seen are daylight basements(aka walk-out basements) due to the hilly terrain. I would say its about 60/40 split, with more people without than there are with. In the eastern and central part of the state, they are a lot more common and I see a lot of basements both finished and unfinished and both "walk out" and completely underground. I don't see it as much in the newer houses(more rare in homes built 1990s or onward) or the smaller houses, but most of the homes I have seen from the 1980s and earlier have a basement(smaller homes being the exception).
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Old 12-30-2014, 02:50 AM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
368 posts, read 397,933 times
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Growing up in Houston, no residential structures had basements. When I lived in Phoenix, I had seen several houses on the outskirts that did have basements, but they were rare. In my mother's hometown of Great Falls, Montana, everybody seemed to have basements. Also, split levels are common up there, something I had never seen down in Houston.
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Old 12-30-2014, 06:32 AM
 
Location: Pure Michigan!
4,342 posts, read 7,416,822 times
Reputation: 6775
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheese plate View Post
For no more money, you gain 1,000-2,000 feet of square footage on top of what the rest of the house already boasts; you do not need to use any of your normal sq footage for storage. This is a decided advantage, and there is no way around it. Bonus square footage; for free; the end.

I have a wide flight of stairs (are you in your 80s?) leading to a basement with ceilings just as high as the rest of the house. The only difference between the basement and the rest of the house is the windows are long and wide and high up on the wall (because obviously windows to the dirt aren't very handy) and there is a walled room with the furnace (where's your furnace, next to the living room?). It's carpeted and used as a bar/lounge + extra bedroom. People love coming over for Packer games and hitting the bar

I swear, some people on here could make any logical disadvantage into a supposed advantage, no matter how completely ridiculous and transparent the point.
I agree with all of this except for the part about "for no more money". At least here in Michigan, it costs more to build a house with a basement, as opposed to a crawl space or slab because of the excavation and extra materials, but a house with a basement will also be a lot easier to sell and bring more money than an identical house without a basement, since basements are considered a desirable feature on a house here.

Just logistically, it is much easier to work on plumbing, duct work, etc. in a house with a basement, plus, like you pointed out, you can tuck things like furnaces and water heaters out of sight. I would also feel much safer in a basement in the event of a tornado than curled up in a closet or in our bathtub on the main floor of the house, or wherever it is they tell people to go who don't have basements.

The stairs leading to our basement are just as wide as the stairs in the upstairs living space in our house and our basement has nine foot ceilings. As an added bonus, since our yard slopes down away from the house, we have a row of regular sized windows that let in a lot of light. Our basement adds some great storage and extra living space to our home. As I said before, we would never buy a house without a basement unless we lived in an area where basements are not common. We did live in the Phoenix area briefly several years ago and bought a house without a basement, but only because basements were uncommon there and it's all we could find.
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