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Old 03-02-2017, 12:18 PM
 
1,965 posts, read 1,445,831 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOverdog View Post
The answer of why no basements in Texas is and only that the houses are too spread out and cheap for digging underground to make sense. As the buildings get closer together and more expensive as more people move to TX, new homes will have basements. Maybe not this year, but in 10? Yeah.
This was also my understanding -- land is so cheap and plentiful in most of Texas, why spend money on a basement when you can just spread out horizontally?
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Old 03-02-2017, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
12,065 posts, read 10,752,672 times
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Basements are needed up north because the pipes going into the house up there have to be below the freeze line.

The ground never freezes here so we don't need them.

Why pay for something you don't need?
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Old 03-07-2017, 06:38 AM
Status: "Tell your loved ones you love them." (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Wonderland
54,552 posts, read 42,722,960 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cram View Post
Hello everyone,
I just wanted to make an update to my previous comments. We have lived in East Texas now for 20 years and have noticed some things. As a general rule, many of the newly built houses here are made for show and not focused on quality. 2x4 walls leave little room for insulation (to keep hot or cold out or in). 24 inch centers on roof lumbar is another cheap shortcut (instead of 16 oc). I could go on and on. Basements do add to the cost of the house, however you can make that into living space, game room, storage for utilities such as washer, dryer, utility sink, small workshop etc. etc. The water heater can go downstairs instead of the attic so when it leaks it does not damage every floor it drips down through. This does not even mention gobs of storage space. I hear many people say that basements are not needed but its those same people who must pay rent to storage facilities every month. Its those same people that cannot park in their garage because it is full of stuff. I think the belief in common myths about water table and shifting soil along with ignorance on how to build them is the major factor in the rarity of basements. Yes you must run a dehumidifier. You must have proper drainage outside the house. In the south, the frost line has nothing to do with anything regarding basements. So the argument about depth is nonsense. If you have a basement, you don't want to crawl into it. That is why you have it tall enough to walk in. My basement is 9 feet high and that leaves me room for plumbing and floor rafters and plenty of room for shelves or whatever else I want to put there.
Yada yada yada - the frost line and the type of soil ARE the main reasons why most homes in East Texas don't have basements. It really doesn't matter whether or not you believe that.
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Old 03-11-2017, 03:18 PM
 
9 posts, read 5,191 times
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Hello everyone,
Man, I did not mean to stir up a hornets nest of bad feelings and snide remarks. I just think it is sad that people are not open to new ideas regarding use of your own property when building a new structure. I guess cars had their fair share of naysayers when they were first introduced. I am assuming those dissing basement have never built or even had one.
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Old 03-11-2017, 05:15 PM
Status: "Tell your loved ones you love them." (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Wonderland
54,552 posts, read 42,722,960 times
Reputation: 76074
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cram View Post
Hello everyone,
Man, I did not mean to stir up a hornets nest of bad feelings and snide remarks. I just think it is sad that people are not open to new ideas regarding use of your own property when building a new structure. I guess cars had their fair share of naysayers when they were first introduced. I am assuming those dissing basement have never built or even had one.
Well, for someone who isn't interested in bad feeling and snide remarks, you sure do keep stirring the pot.

And your assumption would be wrong, by the way.

I've had basements. I understand why basements are not the norm in northeast Texas where I live, whether you understand it or not. It has nothing to do with being a naysayer or not being "open to new ideas." My gosh, a basement is not a new idea to me, and I wish they could be built without so many issues here, but unfortunately that's not the case.

Tell you what - you build a house with a basement in NE Texas and let us know how happy you are with it in about five years.
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Old 03-04-2018, 11:38 AM
 
1 posts, read 703 times
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Having grown up in NY state, basements were pretty much a fact of life. As one poster mentioned, the frost line was a major consideration, even when just pouring a slab. Living in East Texas now, I do see a major issue with slab foundations, but I believe it is because the footings are not deep enough, and the movement of the ground from soaking or evaporation may play a part in that. What is most relevant here though is again the lazy construction habits and poor oversight from building inspectors (if any) Because of the availability of cheap labor, contractors have maximized profits, and minimized expenses by cutting corners. One question I asked a framing contractor is why they were shooting nails into the bottom sill, instead of having the foundation people install hold down bolts...his answer,"cheaper to shoot em in with a Hilti". In a state that has a potential for major tornado seasons, i do not wonder why so many houses fall down. I am purchasing some land on a lake,and building a stable foundation is a major consideration. I would love a basement, but obviously that may be an issue. However building a stable pier and beam requires just as much depth as building footers out of block, for my money having a secure deep footer incorporating proper drainage around the perimeter and across the center that is reinforced with re bar would create a more stable monolithic structure, and incorporating adjustable jack posts would allow for future adjustment and shimming...barring any major flooding or earthquake, I cant see why this would not be feasible the other benefit would be that I can bring my water main in at a lower depth and what comes up through the ground is sheltered from the elements better.
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Old 03-04-2018, 08:41 PM
 
8,747 posts, read 4,048,166 times
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Two points:

1) If you've got to have frost depth perimeter walls anyway, you are at least part of the way to having a basement.

2) After extensively searching real estate in New England, I can tell you that most basements here have some degree of water ingress too. If you can smell that moldy musty smell, there's been water sometime, somehow.
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Old 06-24-2018, 07:12 AM
 
1 posts, read 730 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cram View Post
Hello everyone,
Man, I did not mean to stir up a hornets nest of bad feelings and snide remarks. I just think it is sad that people are not open to new ideas regarding use of your own property when building a new structure. I guess cars had their fair share of naysayers when they were first introduced. I am assuming those dissing basement have never built or even had one.
Cram,

Hi! I was raised in Kansas and my parents were from up north. In all of our Kansas houses, there were basements. We were very glad when a tornado went down our street and we had a place to go. That was also where laundry was done and sometimes the boys would use the basement for their crazy shenanigans.

We are moving to the Marshall/Longview area and I’m very keen to have a basement. One of the ways we’ve considered is to dig - say 4-6 feet - in the ground and then have an elevated house. My husband wants a crawl space big enough to walk in, not crawl and I just want a basement for storage. We’re als interested in geothermal.

You said you’ve done this twice successfully, I would love an opportunity to pick your brain. Thanks!
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Old 06-24-2018, 04:15 PM
Status: "Tell your loved ones you love them." (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Wonderland
54,552 posts, read 42,722,960 times
Reputation: 76074
Good luck with all that.

There are very good reasons that basements are not common around here, and none of them have anything to do with anyone being "closed minded" or "not aware" that there are these really cool things called "basements."

In a nutshell, the reasons are:

1. Frost line
2. Soil type
3. The water table
4. The bedrock of limestone

As has been discussed multiple times on this thread, I'll repeat by giving a few sources as to why there are not generally basements built in East Texas:
4 Reasons Why Homes in Texas Don
https://dengarden.com/basements/Why-...Have-Basements
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Old 06-25-2018, 01:04 PM
 
4,331 posts, read 4,581,298 times
Reputation: 4928
Quote:
what is truly preventing me getting a basement?
Again, nothing other than cost. Plenty of the older buildings built in DFW area had basements, most of the historical ones did. Plenty of expensive homes in Highland Park also have basements.
My waterline on my house which doesn't have a basement goes into my house 4 feet underground, so the frost line isn't a consideration either. Digging a deeper trench 20-30 linear feet across a yard is not at all comparable cost-wise to digging a 30X30 foot or larger basement, so anyone who says its because of the frost line has no idea what they are talking about.
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