U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > North Carolina
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Old 05-08-2006, 08:20 PM
Location: Blue Ridge Mtns of NC
5,661 posts, read 24,690,690 times
Reputation: 3808


Originally Posted by Homeless Bum
Thanks for the awesome replies.

That's really unfortunate because I think I really want a basement. NC may have just lost it's bid as my next state! I guess that means you all can feel safe again.
Why not build and get exactly what you need?
Quick reply to this message

Old 05-09-2006, 05:05 AM
27 posts, read 130,551 times
Reputation: 30
I'm a little worried about this basement issue.. We were offered a good price on a home and it has a walk-out basement.. Should we discard this home altogether?? Please advice.. I have never owned a home with a basement on it before..

Quick reply to this message
Old 05-09-2006, 05:59 AM
Location: North Carolina
2,657 posts, read 7,192,331 times
Reputation: 4297
Originally Posted by backfist
I had a realtor tell me that basements are scarce due to the red clay soil. But I think it has a little more to do with the cost involved. We have clay soil here in Colorado, and most houses are built with basements (we have our share of basement-related lawsuits, but whatchagonnado).
Two different kinds of clay. Here in NC, it's called "bull tallow clay", and is a mess to work with in the construction business, especially when it gets wet. I can't remember what the clay in Colorado was called, when we had a brief and (thankfully) abortive thought to move to the Denver area, the realtor warned us that we could not landscape around the foundation of the house, and had to surround it with rocks. Something about the clay soil, drainage, and something that would cause the foundation of the house to crack.... I forget what that was about. As someone who likes to putter in the garden, the other advice given to us: cover the yard in rocks because water is scarce out there, gave me the horrors of living in that part of the country
Quick reply to this message
Old 05-09-2006, 07:37 AM
26 posts, read 37,934 times
Reputation: 44
Red clay is the suck. (Unless you're a potter)
I've moved about 20 tons of it in my life time, and with a shovel.
Stains carpets and clothes really bad.... but I didnt know that it leads to leaky basements. Hmm...clay, that makes me think, are there also fire ants in the area?
Quick reply to this message
Old 05-09-2006, 08:15 AM
192 posts, read 593,760 times
Reputation: 439
I can't speak for the other regions of NC, but clay is not the reason we don't have many basements in the Coastal Plain region---it's the water table. Basements (and inground pools) are more rare, in eastern NC, particularly the lower Coastal Plain, due to the fact we have a very high water table. Our soil varies....some areas have clay, some are sandy & some are fertile black topsoil. We have drainage issues in our area, regardless of soil type, due to the water table. You see digging a basement, or pool, comes in as a low priority here, when the first priority is just finding a spot on your land to PERK.

We have a great abundance of fire ants.
Quick reply to this message
Old 05-09-2006, 08:58 AM
Location: Indianapolis Indiana
1,118 posts, read 3,241,560 times
Reputation: 856
You are looking in the wrong regions of NC. The vast majority of homes in this area have basements. Come have a look in the western part of the state.
It all has to do with the ground water level. In some areas the ground water level is so high that the houses are elevated off of the ground.
If you do have a look at this region do notice that all basements must have a walkout exit. I understand it is code unlike the basements in other areas which were justs holes in the ground under the house. Also notice how many houses take the unlevel topography and use it. Many houses have the garages in the basements. Some will even have a drive way and two garage doors in the basement and two more garage doors or a large carport on the other side of the house.
Quick reply to this message
Old 05-09-2006, 11:58 AM
Location: I temporarily live on Earth until my owners bring me back to Nephlon 12
8 posts, read 48,549 times
Reputation: 12
Thanks hap,

When you say walk-out basement, that means that it has doors that open up to a patio or something? Or can the walkout be a series of stairs that lead up to the outside?
Quick reply to this message
Old 05-09-2006, 12:14 PM
Location: Mebane, NC
143 posts, read 443,945 times
Reputation: 181
The reason that you can have a "daylight basement" or walk-out in this type of soil is because those homes are typically built on sloping terrain, allowing one side of the foundation 's base to be at ground level. That way, as rainwater percolates into the ground and travels around the foundation, it has an outlet on the open side (usually the back or one of the sides). Since you only have three sides under ground, it is relatively easy to put in gravel and drainage pipes to allow the water to easily move to the open (downslope) side and away from your basement.
Heavy-clay soil with a hole dug in it enclosing all four sides is going to tend to retain water (think: swimming pool). Since the hole will retain water, the water will try to go somewhere where it is not. That includes the space in the basement, via whatever little cracks, crevices and/or porosity that it finds.
I have seen -- inland at least -- that there are more older homes with basements than newer homes. Many of these had dirt floors and/or brick/block foundations. I would say that of these fully-enclosed ones, 98% of the ones I saw had evidence of recent leakage.
Quick reply to this message
Old 05-09-2006, 01:49 PM
Location: Indianapolis Indiana
1,118 posts, read 3,241,560 times
Reputation: 856
Most of the houses in the western part of the state have basements. Many have the garages in them. Some have garages in the basement on one side of the house then another up to on the other side. Bilevel or as bifoyers (you enter and to either up or down stairs) are common.
In NC basements must have a walkout exit.
The reason basements are uncommon further east is th higher ground water level. Note how some houses are raised above the ground. The crawl space is actually above ground level.
Quick reply to this message
Old 05-09-2006, 03:54 PM
Location: Wake Forest NC
1,611 posts, read 4,408,869 times
Reputation: 891
Basements up north are leaky also & have humidty problems. At first (1st model house we saw)I was put off re: no basement... where would the playroom & tool area be?
Then I went upstairs & saw the great room... wow, & 2 car garage. Problem solved, without a dehumidifier running 24/7 or a french drain or those teeny tiny windows. Nice!
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.

Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply

Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > North Carolina
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top