Do you need a basement? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 45 Old 12-04-2008, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by AngelBee View Post
We live in tornado valley and we love ours.
Totally understandable. The only thing we have here are earthquakes and I don't think the basement is the safest area for that, LOL.

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#32 of 45 Old 12-04-2008, 11:13 PM
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I live in Florida and they don't exist here so you can definitely live without a basement!

Mother of 3, welcomed a new baby girl July 2011

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#33 of 45 Old 12-04-2008, 11:20 PM
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I'm in my mid 40s and I've never lived in or even been in a house with a basement.
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#34 of 45 Old 12-04-2008, 11:25 PM
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I haven't read the other posts. I am guessing it depends on where you live.

Where we have always lived, tornadoes are an issue. We NEED a basement.

I feel safer with a basement.

No there are no guarantees you won't get trapped in your basement or the whole house won't fall in on you, but I'd still rather have a basement!

We had three apartments and then three houses before we finally got a basement in our fourth, fifth and now sixth house. When we had no basement I just always was a bit more nervous about tornado season...I knew where we should go in each place, but it was scary huddling in the hallway or in a closet under some stairs or in the bathtub in the bathroom with no window or no skylight...

If we lived someplace where tornadoes never came, then I'd be happy to be without a basement.

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#35 of 45 Old 12-05-2008, 03:18 AM
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Are you in an area where you could rent it and would you be willing to deal with a renter? Finish up a 1 bedroom, 1 bath, with a small kitchen-eating-living area. Could either help pay your morgage, or maybe find someone who wanted to trade work around your property for living there, or a comboination.
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#36 of 45 Old 12-05-2008, 07:27 PM
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We have a finished basement and I wish we didn't have it. It's square footage that we have to decorate, clean, take care of. Right now my DHs office is down there (he works from home), a guest room, and a laundry room. If we didn't have it, we'd have to scrunch up a little more, but I see that as a good thing. Right now we spread out more than we need to. And in my next house I won't be having a guest room - we rarely have overnight guests.

And to make matters worse, it flooded last year and we had to spend $4000 getting it fixed up.

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#37 of 45 Old 12-05-2008, 07:31 PM
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I can't imagine not having a basement. The basement is the playroom/mancave/home theatre. Home to the hot water heater/furnace and storage areas. The basement playroom is the best thing during the cold winter months.

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#38 of 45 Old 12-05-2008, 09:30 PM
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I'm glad people mentioned tornados. That was my first thought.
My basement is where the messy projects happen. We don't have a garage so all the power tools and the workbench are in the basement. My DH's buckets of homebrew bubble away down there. We intended to build a mini-kitchen down there so he could brew but never got around to it. One corner has all my sewing stuff. I've made glass beads and done pewter casting down there.
I wish my basement went the entire length of my house. The addition only has a crawl space. In my sister's shiny new McMansion the only thing I envy is the basement with 10 foot high ceilings. My DH has to duck to avoid ducts in our basement.
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#39 of 45 Old 12-05-2008, 10:59 PM
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You all are making me nostalgic for basements. We have a bi-level house, so we have a lower level that is like half underground, but it isn't really a basement. It is totally finished down there.

How much extra is it to put in the basement? If you want to maximize your resale value I would suggest putting it in, AND rough in the plumbing for a bathroom. You don't have to finish it at all, but it makes it a lot easier to do later if you change your mind.

Basements are placing to hide from your parents when you are 15 and your friends are over, play ball hockey when the weather is yucky, have weight machines, air out stinky hockey equipment (that is two hockey references... any guess that I am Canadian?), store Christmas decorations, etc. etc.

If you plan on being in your house long term, I would choose the insurance policy of knowing you can expand your living space without having to move. My house has three bedrooms upstairs, and two downstairs (but one is really small). When we moved here it was just me and DF, I wasn't pregnant yet, and we figured we could have a tonne of kids before we grew out of our house. Well, a year and a half later and those five rooms have become our master bedroom, baby room, guest room, play room, and office. Doesn't seem so big anymore!

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#40 of 45 Old 12-05-2008, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by elsie View Post
I think it is best to go with the norm for the area. I know people who don't have a basement where it is common to have one and they had the hardest time selling their home because of it. The basement doesn't even need to be finished. I would strongly suggest getting the basement built with the drainage system installed or don't bother with a basement at all. A wet basement is pretty useless.
That's what I was thinking. When dh & I lived In CA, we didn't think of this...but in MA, it's standard.

Resale is also important.

Do whatever is standard for your area.

Aside-- I hated not havng a basement in CA, and I love having one here in MA. It's a regional thing that will play into resale.
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#41 of 45 Old 12-06-2008, 02:23 AM
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Originally Posted by the_lissa View Post
Yeah, we plan on finishing our basement when our kids are older, so they have a place to hang out alone or with their friends if they want. Having a finished basement or an in law suite in your basement greatly increases the value of your house here.
and -- you will also find your home a little bit warmer.

also - if this is a long term plan -- a basement was very important to us as DS approached teen years ... allows you to set up a great place for the kids to meet - and most importantly you know where they are!!
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#42 of 45 Old 12-06-2008, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Peppermint Leaf View Post
and -- you will also find your home a little bit warmer.
That hadn't even occurred to me, but I can definitely see that being a big thing too. We heat with a wood pellet stove in the basement and since heat rises the floors aren't ever really cold at all. I would think that in cold weather the floors would be pretty cool with no heated space below. I looooooooooove our pellet stove for heating.
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#43 of 45 Old 12-07-2008, 07:45 PM
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I am in the suburbs of Chicago. Growing up our colonial style house did not have a basement. My parents being from the east coast didnt think anything of it, but anyone from this area would not think twice about having a basement. While looking at houses, DH would not even look at houses without basements. Resale is tougher around here if you do not have a bsmt.

We have a 2 story that used to be a ranch before a previous owner added 3 bedrooms on top. Since its a ranch, we have a large basement. It has an alcove for a "shop" area so DH has two workshops since the heated garage has his woodshop. It has a laundry area, a huge pantry plus a large great area. Right now, its set up with about a millon toys and work out area. Dh will not create a tv area or carpet it so we will "finish" it with a painted floor and walls etc. Then a carpet rolled out instead of wall to wall because of flooding. The kids play down there and can fit at least a dozen more while the adults are upstairs.

I have seen basements that need Peter walsh to come and rescue, basmements w home theatres, basements done up for kids, apartments styles and even kitchens.

When friends of ours moved to Seattle, the no basement thing blew their mind.

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#44 of 45 Old 12-09-2008, 02:38 PM
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I would never be without a basement. I also would never be in a low-lying lot. We are on a hill and have a nice, dry, not-smelly basement. That is in general the philosophy of my immediate family - high ground, with a basement.

The thing I have noticed about houses without basements is that they are cold. The floors are cold and often damp. When DH lived in Arizona, even there the floor was cold in the winter (but dry). I know of several people without basements who pulled up carpeting and found the padding all mildewed. Maybe there is something that was not done correctly in their homes. I'm not sure.

What is the norm in your area? What is your climate like?
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#45 of 45 Old 12-11-2008, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
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The norm here is basement - although most people in the area that I ask say not to do a basement. The winters are cold here but the new modular houses have really good insulation in the floor so I don't think the floor would be cold. We are pricing out what a basement would cost and are also looking at some houses that are 2000 sq ft - then we would definitely not do a basement. Thanks everyone for your advice.
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