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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 12-30-2014, 03:38 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
45,063 posts, read 36,285,285 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scarecrow- View Post
You seem to be jelaous that you don't have a basement. I haven't been in a damp dreary basement before (not to say that there aren't any) but even those are good for storage, much like a dark dreary garage with spiderwebs.
LOL I'm not jealous. I've lived in homes with basements and homes without basements. Personally I don't care one way or the other if a home has a basement as long as that basement is spacious, light and dry. But if the home has plenty of storage elsewhere and fits my needs without a basement (and I've never had any issue finding one that does) then it's not at all necessary or even preferable to me.

Each house, each situation, each BASEMENT for that matter are all different. Would I want just any basement - in order to have a basement? Heck no. Would I want a nice, bright, dry basement? Possibly - but not if it meant the house didn't meet my other needs. See what I mean?

In my current house, which doesn't have a basement (hardly any homes around here do) I have four huge walk in closets. By "huge" I mean 9 x 10 closets - with ten foot ceilings. I also have a linen closet. I have a big, deep closet with shelves under my stairs. I have a walk in attic that has ten foot ceilings and is 8 feet wide (at the most narrow part) and thirty feet long - part of it is about 11 x 11. I also have ANOTHER attic over the garage that's tall enough to stand up in. Oh, and I have a very nice, finished out storage building/shop. Oh - and I almost forgot - I also have a big closet off the garage, as well as two walls of cabinets in the garage.

Oh, I nearly forgot this - I also have several areas of floor to ceiling built in shelves. AND my kitchen is large and it's full of cabinets.

My house is about average for home sizes in Texas (2600 square feet) so that amount of storage isn't unusual at all.

I already have so much storage I'm not using all of it. So see what I mean - I guess it would be fine if I found a house that ALSO had a basement but it's certainly not a requirement or a need. In fact, around here, due to the water levels and soil composition, a basement is considered an oddity and wouldn't generally be a selling point. And it's because they usually leak. OK, no problem - houses around here are built differently so we still have plenty of storage, game rooms, guest rooms, etc.

But that doesn't mean I wouldn't want one in a different situation. For instance, if I NEEDED the storage, or if every other house had one so it was considered a negative not to have one, or whatever. I'm sure nicely finished out basements are a great benefit - just as are nicely finished out bonus rooms above garages (something very common around here).

Last edited by KathrynAragon; 12-30-2014 at 04:14 PM..
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Old 12-31-2014, 08:44 AM
 
Location: Milwaukee
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Sounds like that 2,600 square feet is mostly walk-in closets and shelving to me
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Old 12-31-2014, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheese plate View Post
Sounds like that 2,600 square feet is mostly walk-in closets and shelving to me
Oh no, it's very well utilized space. The builder just made sure he maximized the storage space, and I appreciate that! But obviously I have no need for more storage, and with two living areas and two dining areas and two guest rooms...well, I guess you can see why a basement would be a bit superfluous.

Homes tend to be very spacious around here.
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Old 12-31-2014, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Pure Michigan!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
You're absolutely right about the frost line - and it also has to do with soil composition. For instance, clay soil really complicates building a basement so where clay soils are common, basements are uncommon.
As I said before, I really think that this is a non-issue, whether one prefers to have a basement or not, because we are all different people with different needs. However, I will say that I live in an area with very dense, hard, clay soil (digging our flower beds and planting shrubs was pure heck! ) and most homes here still have basements.

We live in a newer neighborhood where the oldest homes are seven years old. At least in my area, newly constructed homes without basements are considered sub-par, if you can even find one. It is just sort of understood that new homes will have basements unless they are pre-fab homes that are brought in on a truck and placed on the lot already constructed, and then they are at the cheaper end of the spectrum and sometimes do sit on a slab. Otherwise, whether the soil is composed of clay or sand or anything in between, it is just the norm to excavate and create a basement under a home or the desirability and potential for sale drops exponentially.

I'm not trying to imply that desirability or potential for sale in other parts of the country drop if a home doesn't have a basement, because as we discovered when we lived in AZ a few years ago, it just isn't practical or the norm to have a basement everywhere in the U.S. No big deal, to each their own, and you buy what's available. If you're the only one in your neighborhood with or without a basement, then that is a much bigger deal than if you live in an area where it is more uniform. I didn't care that we didn't have a basement in AZ because no one else did either and we would have been hard pressed to find a home with a basement had we insisted upon one. Sad to say, though, that the house that we bought there had over 2500 sq. ft. and still had very little storage space. If it had not had a three car garage, I don't know where we would have put all of our stuff. It seems that a lot of people in our neighborhood out there had overstuffed garages, lol.
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Old 12-31-2014, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canudigit View Post
As I said before, I really think that this is a non-issue, whether one prefers to have a basement or not, because we are all different people with different needs. However, I will say that I live in an area with very dense, hard, clay soil (digging our flower beds and planting shrubs was pure heck! ) and most homes here still have basements.

We live in a newer neighborhood where the oldest homes are seven years old. At least in my area, newly constructed homes without basements are considered sub-par, if you can even find one. It is just sort of understood that new homes will have basements unless they are pre-fab homes that are brought in on a truck and placed on the lot already constructed, and then they are at the cheaper end of the spectrum and sometimes do sit on a slab. Otherwise, whether the soil is composed of clay or sand or anything in between, it is just the norm to excavate and create a basement under a home or the desirability and potential for sale drops exponentially.

I'm not trying to imply that desirability or potential for sale in other parts of the country drop if a home doesn't have a basement, because as we discovered when we lived in AZ a few years ago, it just isn't practical or the norm to have a basement everywhere in the U.S. No big deal, to each their own, and you buy what's available. If you're the only one in your neighborhood with or without a basement, then that is a much bigger deal than if you live in an area where it is more uniform. I didn't care that we didn't have a basement in AZ because no one else did either and we would have been hard pressed to find a home with a basement had we insisted upon one. Sad to say, though, that the house that we bought there had over 2500 sq. ft. and still had very little storage space. If it had not had a three car garage, I don't know where we would have put all of our stuff. It seems that a lot of people in our neighborhood out there had overstuffed garages, lol.
I see what you're saying.

Not sure where you live but it's cumulative. I think it's not just ONE thing - it's multiple things that create a situation where basements become more trouble and more risk than they're worth - frost line, clay soil or striated soil, bedrock (explosives required in that case - and bedrock is very common through Tornado Alley, especially in OK), high water levels, etc.

In much of the south, several elements are present and that is why basements are less common throughout that region - it has nothing to do with building sub par housing or trying to go cheap or people just "not knowing what they're missing."

That's my point. They just do not make sense in some regions - there's a tipping point and at some point they become more drag than lift depending on various factors.

But you bring up an interesting point - three car garages. Three car garages are awesome! WHY WOULDN'T EVERYONE HAVE ONE? I mean, clearly, given the choice between having a one or two car garage and having a three car garage, wouldn't anyone prefer a three car garage?

Errr no - because they don't make sense in every scenario - for various reasons.

Not arguing with you, just expounding on my earlier points.

http://greekgeek.hubpages.com/hub/Wh...Have-Basements

http://www.weather.com/storms/tornad...ments-20130521
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Old 01-01-2015, 08:03 AM
 
Location: Pure Michigan!
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I live in southern Michigan and I am doubly blessed here because I have both a bright, dry, airy basement with large windows, and a three car garage. Tons of storage!
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Old 01-01-2015, 08:14 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
45,063 posts, read 36,285,285 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canudigit View Post
I live in southern Michigan and I am doubly blessed here because I have both a bright, dry, airy basement with large windows, and a three car garage. Tons of storage!
Yay!

Different homes fit different needs. My parents are elderly. For them, attic space or basement space would be practically useless because the last thing they want to do is try to navigate up or down stairs. So a big garage is perfect for them, as well as big closets, so that's what they have and all they want or need.

Some people live in areas where two or three story homes are common and actually desirable. Around here, it's considered a HUGE negative to have a house that doesn't have at least one bedroom on the main floor. A home's value drops significantly if all bedrooms are upstairs.

Different homes are more desirable in different regions - and that's OK. Terrain/soil types and available land space are huge factors.
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Old 01-01-2015, 08:31 AM
 
Location: Floribama
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My neighbor's house has a basement, but it's the only one in my town that I know about. I'm pretty sure it floods in heavy rain since the water table here is high, if it don't I bet it at least smells very musty.
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Old 01-01-2015, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Auburn, New York
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What about swampy places like Miami, New Orleans, Savannah, and parts of Eastern New Jersey? Do houses have basements there?
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Old 01-01-2015, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Pure Michigan!
4,348 posts, read 7,435,466 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawn.Davenport View Post
What about swampy places like Miami, New Orleans, Savannah, and parts of Eastern New Jersey? Do houses have basements there?
If I'm not mistaken, most coastal areas and pretty much the entire state of Florida don't have many basements because of the high water table and potential for flooding near the coast.
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