Is it Necessary to have a Basement in a Private Home?

To be or not to be? This question is asked by many people prior to starting the construction of their own house. In this article we will try to clarify in which cases there is a real need to build a basement and in what circumstances it is simply a waste of time and money.



Where to start?

In order to make a decision on the construction of a basement, you should thoroughly analyze the correlation between the basement cost and its benefits. The geological survey of the land plot, i.e. the soil structure analysis should be conducted before you start any construction operations. It is important to find out the current level of groundwater and obtain a flood forecast (in autumn and spring), the soil filtration properties, and so on. The presence of groundwater on the land plot will make the construction of a basement more complicated, as it requires additional water insulation, heat insulation and strong walls that are able to support the heavy load. In turn, it may add up to 25% to your house cost.

In which cases is there a need for a basement and what for?

The basement is an ideal element in the houses located on small land plots – when it is impossible to find space for other structures due to the limited area. If a technical room is not provided for in the house plan, it can be arranged in the basement and house a boiler, filters and other equipment. If you decide to make a cellar for foodstuffs and preserves in the basement, you need to take into account that there is no heating to preserve the food — in turn, it might have some adverse effects on the house foundation. Another way is to combine the basement with the garage. This enables you to have a room where there is a car with all the necessary tools and materials for its repair.

What are the alternatives?

Constructing a semi-basement floor is a great alternative to the basement. The semi-basement floor is the lowest floor of the building where the floor line is below the ground level but not lower than ½ of the height of the rooms on this floor (if the embedment exceeds the half of the height – the floor is deemed to be a basement). The semi-basement floor adds some unique features to the house's architecture and allows you to extend the usable house space. In addition to this, the semi-basement floor is an ideal solution for rolling land plots. You will be able to make both a technical room and a recreational room with billiards or home cinema.

Our recommendations

One of the alternatives to a basement is an attic floor – it will help you save money on the construction process and you will get some additional living space or an excellent back room for your needs.