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Old 02-10-2009, 08:03 AM
194 posts, read 286,205 times
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My home in Maryland, Colorado had basements. My parents home in CA, in fact, none of the house I've seen in CA have basements. Just curious?
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Old 02-10-2009, 08:18 AM
Location: Jersey Shore
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I live in Florida and haven't come across a home here with a basement either. In NJ where I am originally from it all depended upon the location of the property and the water level. Maybe Florida and CA don't because of the soil?
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Old 02-10-2009, 08:30 AM
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A lot has to do with local trends.

Part of the reason in northern state you see a lot of basements is because it freezes in the winter. You have to put your foundation footings below the frost line which means they go down 4 or 5 feet. It's little extra expense to dig out the soil and put in a basement.

In CA, the footings are shallower since the ground doesn't freeze so it's not as cost effective to put in a basement.

More generally, most Californians I know hate basements and think they are creepy, while people in the north seem to like them more.
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Old 02-10-2009, 08:51 AM
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
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The water table is the most common reason in some areas.
Here in Colorado basements are popular. But not all homes are built with basements. Again in some areas it's due to the soil - but it's also a matter of price point, too.
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Old 02-10-2009, 08:52 AM
Location: Pawnee Nation
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Basements are rare in Oklahoma due to several reasons. First of all bedrock is pretty shallow. I recall putting in an oil change pit once where we had to jackhammer out the rock so we could get a 6' deep hole in the ground. Other places the water table is really high and sump pumps would have to run continuously. And the "frost line" is less than two feet deep. Why dig a hole when all you have to do is run a ditchwitch for a footing?
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:29 AM
Location: Barrington
39,729 posts, read 30,264,189 times
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In my area, most homes have basements. a basements was an options in some developments and some original owners opted out of the basement or went with a partial and crawl space to save money.

Homes without basements are challenging to sell in my area and do so at a substantial discount to a home, with a basement.

I once read that more than half of single family homes in the U.S. did not have basements. It's a regional thing.
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Old 02-10-2009, 10:19 AM
Location: Mokelumne Hill, CA & El Pescadero, BCS MX.
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I think basements were popular in the NE because of frostline considerations back in the days when the technology (or lack thereof) made it necessary to get the foundation below the frostline. Even in parts of CA where there are cold temperatures and resulting frost lines (above 4000' elevation), the frostline is rarely deeper than 18 inches. At that elevation and higher there is usually an insulating layer of snow. We also don't have the need to have a place to escape from tornados, although I'll grant you the earthquake situation
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Old 02-10-2009, 10:37 AM
Location: Salem, OR
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In Oregon the only homes with basements are older homes (ie 1900's) where the basements were used for storage of food before fridges, and we have many daylight basements on homes with slopes.

Otherwise it is too expensive to dig and pour all that concrete and our water table/moisture out here is too high that many of our basements would have continually running sumps pumps. Basement "seepage" where water literally eeks through the walls of the basement is really common. It makes many basements useless for storage unless you want fuzzy mold and mildew growing on things.

We do have some dry basements, and you can always tell by the smell.
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Old 02-10-2009, 10:43 AM
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Between NC and SC, I know of one or two houses that have basements. One in particular is my uncle's house, which sits on a little hill, being the highest elevation in the county.

Here at the coast, if you dig a few feet, you reach water. Not good conditions for a basement I suppose.
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Old 02-10-2009, 10:44 AM
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In WI, basements are a given and have been forever.
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