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Old 03-07-2008, 10:00 AM
 
Location: morrisville
336 posts, read 1,418,273 times
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i am hoping that our next house will have a basement. i can think of three positive aspects of having a basement. storage space galore, safety from bad weather, and the potential to add more living space. i am trying to weigh the pros and cons but can't come up with any negatives. i did read in a previous post about red clay not being conducive to basements and therefore leading to water problems in the basement? is this true?? thanks.
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Old 03-07-2008, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Blue Ridge Mtns of NC
5,661 posts, read 25,380,266 times
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To me, the biggest downside of basements is the additional excavation cost instead of just expanding the home's overall footprint to increase square footage, but folks who buy tiny building lots don't really have that luxury.
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Old 03-07-2008, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Earth
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If it ever floods around your house, your basement could possibly become a swimming pool.
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Old 03-07-2008, 11:28 AM
 
16,308 posts, read 26,137,237 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mm34b View Post
To me, the biggest downside of basements is the additional excavation cost instead of just expanding the home's overall footprint to increase square footage, but folks who buy tiny building lots don't really have that luxury.
There is a huge cost differential of building with a basement, or doubling the square footage by expanding the footprint. With todays construction, a basement can be completely waterproof.
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Old 03-07-2008, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Durham, NC
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Additional cost is the biggest negative. In NC's moist, humid environment, they can get rather dank if not properly dehumidified.

A huge positive to me is the fact that basements are built into the earth and thus there is much less variability in the temperatures. Finishing off a basement will add only a moderate load requirement for heating/cooling, while finishing off a comparable amount of attic/bonus room space would require significant heating/cooling loads.
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Old 03-07-2008, 01:19 PM
 
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Hmmm, as I sit in my basement office/computer room, I never notice, cause it is quite comfortable.
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Old 03-07-2008, 02:47 PM
 
Location: Wilmington, NC
261 posts, read 1,138,318 times
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Default Speaking from personal experience.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaof2 View Post
i am hoping that our next house will have a basement. i can think of three positive aspects of having a basement. storage space galore, safety from bad weather, and the potential to add more living space. i am trying to weigh the pros and cons but can't come up with any negatives. i did read in a previous post about red clay not being conducive to basements and therefore leading to water problems in the basement? is this true?? thanks.
My husband is from Detroit and grew up with an inground basement. I'm from the coast of NC, where basements are few and far between.

Now we live in Wake County. In 2002, we decided to build a new house with a walk out basement. Mostly because of my husband. I would rather have had the third floor finished.

Anyway, it turned out to be really great and I now am a fan of basements. That basement has 10' tall walls, which makes a huge difference when you finish the space. There are windows all allong the back wall, so it feels light and bright, especially since the ceilings are high.

We waited one year to finish the basement. Concrete is full of water which dries out over time. We ran the dehumidifier in the unfinished basement for almost a year. At first, we emptied the dehumidifier catch basin twice a day. By the end of the year, the basin took almost two days to fill.

Once the basement was finished, we had no issues with too much humidity or dampness.

We had a "panic" room too, down there. This room was approximately 7x12 and had concrete walls on 3 sides. We planned to use this as shelter in case of tornado or some other unlikely weather event

Instead of carpet, we installed cork flooring down there, which turned out to be a perfect choice. Very beautiful.

We've since sold that house and don't have a basement in the new house. I really miss it!
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Old 03-07-2008, 03:50 PM
 
245 posts, read 829,826 times
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i struggle with this too...we have a basement now in MI and my husband wants ones again in NC...

I will do two things (if the lot allows)

FROG - full room over garage (actually apt) and/or walkout basement...my basement now is wet every night becaus eof melting snow during the day...i dont think i can take a full basement again!
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Old 03-08-2008, 12:23 AM
 
Location: Wilmington, NC
261 posts, read 1,138,318 times
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Default Welcome to NC

As I mentioned in my first post, I'm from the coast of NC (Wilmington). FROG is a term you hear a lot there. Many homes in the Wilmington area don't have walk up attic storage, or basements, so finishing the space over the garage got to be very popular. Here in Wake County (Raleigh, Cary, etc), I almost never see that term used to describe that space. Many newer homes are incorporating bonus space into other areas of the floorplan, because the space over the garage often has sloping ceilings due to the gabled roof line over the garage.

Usually the FROG is not really an apartment as such, just a bonus room. Here in Wake County, most all basements are walk out basements. For that reason, you shouldn't get so many problems from ground water infiltration as you do with a full inground basement.

My Michigan in-laws have lived in their home for over 40 years. They've fought the water battle the entire time. Turns out there is a stream that runs under the corner of the house so the sump pump works 24/7. Also, the walls are not poured concrete, but are concrete block which is inherently more penetrable by ground water. They just payed big bucks for some sort of waterproofing system that finally alleviated the recurrent water issues.

The builder I work for sells lots of homes on poured concrete, walk out basements. Usually if there is a water issue it is due to improper sealing around the sewer pipe. The pipe exits the basement wall through a hole, so it stand to reason that if the hole around the pipe isn't sealed well, water will come in.

Third floor walk ups are fairly common in Wake County. That makes for great storage and/or finished space.

We do have predominately clay soil in Wake County. Clay soils can ruin any type of foundation, not just basements. I'm no expert on this, but seems like I've heard more issues with slab and crawl spaces being affected by the clay soil than basements. Also, the clay in parts of Durham County is more problematic than in Wake County. A soil scientist gave me an explanation of different clay types, which of course I can't remember much less repeat

Last edited by HappyNCGirl; 03-08-2008 at 12:24 AM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 04-02-2008, 08:06 PM
 
Location: Connecitcut
3 posts, read 11,360 times
Reputation: 10
As a contractor, i see lots of people with wet basements in the east side of the country. the best system out there now is basement systems. they have like 20 or more patents... i did some research online and found they company to be the best at this... [url=http://www.basementsystems.com]Basement Waterproofing & Wet Basement Repair | Basement Systems, Inc.[/url] is the company website... check out the waterguard system...

they have pump systems with 3 pumps in it... now that's cool
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