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#1 of 45 Old 12-03-2008, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We are going to be moving a modular home onto our lot in the Spring. We were planning on not having a basement - just putting the house on some sort of crawlspace. It's a 1670 sq ft house with 4 bedrooms - we are a family of 4 (me, dh, ds(5) and dd(1)). My family seems to think that if we don't put it on a basement that we would regret it because of the extra storage space (we don't have much to store really) and a place for the kids to play. We have a double lot so there is lots of space outside to play when it's not too cold. We live on a flood plain although the river is well controlled by a dam and has not flooded for a long time. I just really don't think we need the extra space and I don't want to clean 3300 sq ft.

Does anyone not have basement and really wish that they had one? - any opinions would be great. I don't want to end up with a huge basement that we would never develop into anything because we would have no money to do that.
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#2 of 45 Old 12-03-2008, 06:16 PM
 
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I don't understand the point of basements. We've never had one and would never want one.

Sorry, that's not much help.

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#3 of 45 Old 12-03-2008, 06:30 PM
 
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A big concern for me would be resale value without the basement. It depends on the area you live in; are basements common or uncommon? If it's the latter, I owuldn't worry so much about resale. Only other concern for me would be how much more to heat the house if you had a basement. If you have land, you could always throw up a shed if you suddenly needed storage space.
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#4 of 45 Old 12-03-2008, 06:36 PM
 
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but, if I didn't have a basement, where would my husband store all his crap, i mean, valuables?

seriously, our basement is a "man cave" where he gets to be messy and cluttery and horde stuff that i won't allow in the rest of the house.

for me, i couldn't imagine not having the extra space b/c of hubby's pack rat mentality.

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#5 of 45 Old 12-03-2008, 06:42 PM
 
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I can't imagine not having a basement and I have never seen a house without one.

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#6 of 45 Old 12-03-2008, 06:47 PM
 
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I don't have a basement. I think a lot of new homes are built without basements. We have a two car garage that we use for storage (and only park one car in). And our house is small - 1200 sq ft. We also have nice closet space, and a pantry.

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#7 of 45 Old 12-03-2008, 06:48 PM
 
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Catubodua You obviously don't live in Louisiana!! Then I was confirmed when I saw Connecticut as your location. lol

To the OP, we don't have basements out here...it's rare that anyone has one (I know of one house that does). Everyone out here simply puts a shed up if they need extra storage. So, that's my vote.
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#8 of 45 Old 12-03-2008, 06:53 PM
 
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we (fam of four, 2br house) need a basement because dh and i each have a studio down there and it's the only place for laundry. the crap we store down there could be stored in the tiny crawlspaces at the side of the finished attic (br #2) and/or in the garage. in your circumstances, with the house you're describing, i think you would live happily without a basement!

eta: WE could happily live in that house without a basement as well, lol. dh could have the fourth bedroom for a studio and i would be happy doing my thing in the laundry room, if there was one, or taking over part of the kitchen/dining room. i think it sounds completely reasonable.
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#9 of 45 Old 12-03-2008, 07:07 PM
 
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I love basements. I grew up in the Midwest where everyone had a basement. I am in California now where it seems they are unheard of! :

My parents have their baesment divided- half is a finished basement that is the family/TV room. The rest of the basement is unfinished and separated by a wall and door. There is the laundry room, a room for storage, a place of all my dad's tools, etc. They also have an attic but that's for long term storage as it's a PITA to get up there, wicked hot in the summer, and freezing in the winter. Most of the basements I have been in are the same way- half is finished, and the other half is laundry/storage.

I just have a few closets right now and only a living room and would love a basement for the family room and the storage!

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#10 of 45 Old 12-03-2008, 07:07 PM
 
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We'd never live without a basement. Few houses are built without them.

Do you plan on living in the house longterm? IF so then you may want to build one. Yeah it's fine that you have a large lot for the kids to play in, but like you said what about when the weather doesn't cooperate. More importantly what about when they're teens & don't play outside but they have their friends over. Where do you plan on putting overnight guests. Do you live where there are tornados?
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#11 of 45 Old 12-03-2008, 07:11 PM
 
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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.

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#12 of 45 Old 12-03-2008, 07:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AprilDaisy View Post
Catubodua You obviously don't live in Louisiana!! Then I was confirmed when I saw Connecticut as your location. lol
sorry, this may be feeding into a sterotype, but... do you mean if i lived there hubby's treasures would be on the lawn or something?

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#13 of 45 Old 12-03-2008, 07:47 PM
 
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we don't have a basement, just a crawl. I wish we didn't even have that.. it's a pain in the butt to get down there, and it flooded and we ended up paying tons to have it cleaned, because there was no drainage/ventilation down there. Nearly every basement I've ever seen is just a storage place for junk, and when people do fix them up nice, they always end up getting ruined by floods.

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#14 of 45 Old 12-03-2008, 07:51 PM
 
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we don't have a basement, just a crawl. I wish we didn't even have that.. it's a pain in the butt to get down there, and it flooded and we ended up paying tons to have it cleaned, because there was no drainage/ventilation down there. Nearly every basement I've ever seen is just a storage place for junk, and when people do fix them up nice, they always end up getting ruined by floods.
Water damage worries can normally be alleviated by proper sealing and barriers on the outside of basement walls, properly sealed windows and installing a sump pump. Additionally, weeping tile and proper drainage away from the house will help the issue as well. Where we live, it is now in the building code for any new homes built to have a sump pump and weeping tile installed.

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#15 of 45 Old 12-03-2008, 08:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the replies. Most houses in the area have basements and pretty much all of them have been flooded at some point. I like the idea of having a space the kids can go to when they are teens. My dh really doesn't want a basement, I am undecided - I have always lived in a house with a basement. I know with this house we would have more then enough space for everyone and their stuff without a basement. I need to make a decision before we order the house in the next couple of weeks.

Thanks everyone, any other input is greatly appreciated.
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#16 of 45 Old 12-03-2008, 08:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by the_lissa View Post
I can't imagine not having a basement...
Ditto! I love my basement. But I live in an old house with no storage and no laundry. So my basement is essential. I mean I don't even have a coat closet, so we keep out only a few coats/jackets for the season and all the out of season items have to be stored in the basement. The other thing to consider is that fixing plumbing and electrical issues is easier with a basement. My ILs bought a house on a slab and I hate it. It feels like the house is sinking in the ground and there is no way to access the buried plumbing if they were to have any problems.
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#17 of 45 Old 12-03-2008, 10:16 PM
 
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I don't know anyone with a basement (I live in the PacNW). Everyone just has bigger houses, I suppose, so there's plenty of room above ground.

Now, in Indiana, where DH is from, everyone has basements (tornadoes, yikes!) and I would most definitely have a basement there.

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#18 of 45 Old 12-03-2008, 10:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Catubodua View Post
sorry, this may be feeding into a sterotype, but... do you mean if i lived there hubby's treasures would be on the lawn or something?
They'd be on the lawn...in a shed of some sort (usually handmade)...or leaning against the house. I'm not sure if it's stereotype or simply fact. I'll go with fact.

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Ditto! I love my basement. But I live in an old house with no storage and no laundry. So my basement is essential. I mean I don't even have a coat closet, so we keep out only a few coats/jackets for the season and all the out of season items have to be stored in the basement. The other thing to consider is that fixing plumbing and electrical issues is easier with a basement. My ILs bought a house on a slab and I hate it. It feels like the house is sinking in the ground and there is no way to access the buried plumbing if they were to have any problems.
Alot of the houses down here are on concrete pillars. I think this is the best way as it provides access to plumbing if needed.
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#19 of 45 Old 12-03-2008, 11:23 PM
 
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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.
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#20 of 45 Old 12-03-2008, 11:34 PM
 
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If you live in a place that gets frost in the ground you should have a basement or decent foundation or you have a greater danger of the house shifting with the temperature changes. Places in the south or sandy locations don't typically have basements due to flooding concerns.
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#21 of 45 Old 12-03-2008, 11:48 PM
 
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I lived in colorado my whole life and most homes there have basements. We had one growing up as did DH. He was a bit annoyed when we were looking for homes in NM and realized pretty much no one here has a basement. For us, it was going to be a place to soundproof and let him play his drums. For a lot of families the extra storage would be nice but we have a 3 car garage and at this point don't have near enough furniture to fill our house anyway.

After asking around it seems like basements are not common here because it's so sandy/dirt everywhere and it rarely snows.

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#22 of 45 Old 12-04-2008, 12:30 AM
 
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I don't understand the point of basements. We've never had one and would never want one.

Sorry, that's not much help.
We live in tornado valley and we love ours.

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#23 of 45 Old 12-04-2008, 02:20 AM
 
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Have you checked on how much home owners insurance and land taxes would increase if you added the basement, even if it were unfinished.

Something to consider if you add the basement is to add both an inside and outside entrance to it. When we looked at houses a couple got crossed off the list because the only way down there was through the house, not as usable in my hubby's opinion.
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#24 of 45 Old 12-04-2008, 11:23 AM
 
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We live in tornado valley and we love ours.
Nothing like spending half your day in a corner listening to all the sirens. Good family time.
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#25 of 45 Old 12-04-2008, 11:42 AM
 
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I hate my basement and it's finished (rec room, sewing room, spare bedroom, workshop, laundry, storage). We have 900 sq ft on the main and 900 in the basement. Nobody goes down there. If I was building, I'd have a single story house 1400-1500 sq ft. That's for the 4 that we are and the two more that I want.

I just find it a hassle to go down there with the kids when the kitchen and bathroom are upstairs. Plus since moving in to a place with a basement I've grown really paranoid that the top floor is going to cave in (stupid I know). The fact that the floors are so noisy doesn't help this.

Nobody needs a basement, it's just square footage and organization/storage that is needed. That can be had on one floor.

If you only have living room and no other rec space could you have the kids sleep in one room and play in the other? With 4 bedrooms you could have your bedroom, kids sleep room, kids playroom, guest bedroom (or another sleep room).
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#26 of 45 Old 12-04-2008, 11:52 AM
 
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We have a basement because of tornadoes. I wouldn't get a house without a basement in Kansas.

We really don't store anything there. Dd doesn't play there.
We have closets, attic, and garage for storage. Dd plays in the main living space or her bedroom. The laundry is in the basement and the cats hang out there. That is pretty much it.

At our previous home part of the basement was finished. Dd did play there. We didn't have a garage and attic and had minimal closets for storage. We used it quite a lot.

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#27 of 45 Old 12-04-2008, 12:42 PM
 
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A big concern for me would be resale value without the basement. It depends on the area you live in; are basements common or uncommon? If it's the latter, I owuldn't worry so much about resale.
Yep. In my region, nearly every house has a basement. I worked in RE appraisal and asssement for many years and houses without basements were much less desirable than ones with basements. Finished or not really didn't impact the house value but the lack of one in general did.

Placement of the mechanical systems should be considered. Will the HVAC, water heater and such take away usable space on the first floor?

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#28 of 45 Old 12-04-2008, 01:04 PM
 
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Nothing like spending half your day in a corner listening to all the sirens. Good family time.
Yep! The very first week we owned our home we had a terrible storm come through. The sirens were going off all night. We slept in the basement with the weather radio on. I couldn't imagine not having a safe place to go during storms.
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#29 of 45 Old 12-04-2008, 01:05 PM
 
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Placement of the mechanical systems should be considered. Will the HVAC, water heater and such take away usable space on the first floor?
Yes, that's another good point to consider.
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#30 of 45 Old 12-04-2008, 09:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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All good points. I live in southern saskatchewan (canada) and there has been tornados in the area before so it would be important to have a basement in case of that. The HVAC and water heater don't take up much room really - they fit in a closet in the utility room.
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