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Are Basements Important or Overrated? (The Pros and Cons)  

Basement or no basement? Check out this article ito learn all about the pros and cons of owning a home with a basement.

Basements have long been considered a critical feature of a home. However, many houses do not come with the basement already finished. Are you considering adding a basement to your home and are not sure if it is a good choice?

As a general rule, whether or not a basement is essential is directly related to the areas in which you live. For example, an area that is likely to flood is not always the best place to have a basement.

If you are interested in finding out more about if basements are important or overrated, this is the right article for you. We will discuss the pros and cons of basements in detail to help you determine if a basement is suitable for you.

Are Basements Necessary?

There are many factors that go into determining if a basement is necessary. These factors include climate, soil type, flood risk, and culture. While houses do not have to have a basement to be structurally sound, there are situations when it makes sense to have a basement. For example, there is a deeper frost line in the northern part of the U.S.

When a home is built, the foundation must be below the frost line. In the northern part of the country, the frost line is lower than in the south. As a result, the foundation of houses and buildings in the north must be deeper. A deep foundation makes a basement more practical during the building process.

What are Basements Good For?

When you purchase an established home, it may already come with a basement. However, just because a house has a basement does not mean it is finished. Some homes have a basement that is not finished but has rough-ins for electrical and plumbing so that it can quickly be finished. Other homes have fully finished basements that are ideal for being used as additional living space in your home.

When thinking about is a basement important, keep in mind that it provides you access to the major systems in your home. These systems include your ducts, pipes, and wires. Unfortunately, if your house is built on a concrete slab or crawl space, these systems are not easy to access.

In addition, a basement is an excellent place for water pressure tanks, water softeners, water heaters, and furnaces. When you have a basement, these appliances are much easier and more affordable to repair or replace.

A basement is excellent for having a portion of your house to rent. For example, if you are interested in a property as an investment, you could have renters in the basement and renters in the upstairs portion. You can also live upstairs and rent out the basement area. This is a great way to make additional income.

Disadvantages of No Basement

One of the most significant disadvantages to not having a basement is when you sell it. Basements tend to be a huge asset when selling your house. If you live in an area where basements are popular among buyers, it may be challenging to sell your home. This is especially true if there are many houses for sale and they have basements.

If your house does not already have a basement, it can be hard to retrofit it. It is possible, but it can be difficult and expensive. When you do not have a basement, you must put your washer and dryer near the kitchen or on the top level. Without a basement, you do not have excellent access to your plumbing and ductwork. You also need to have a closet for your utilities, like the HVAC unit.

When you do not have a basement, this means there is less livable space. If it is a smaller house, you have the potential for significantly less space without a basement. You also have less room for storage when you do not have a basement. In addition, any storage you have is closer to the living space of your house. This could make the house look cluttered.

Pros and Cons of Basements

You can have a fully functional and structurally sound house with and without a basement. However, unless you live in an area with sandy or clay soil or where the water table is high, there is no reason why you should not have a basement.

It often comes down to personal preference, budget, and deciding if a basement is important to you. Here are some pros and cons of having a basement.

Reasons to Have a Basement

1. Storage Space – regardless of whether you have a finished or unfinished basement, it gives you additional storage space. It allows you to create organized storage for all your items. For example, you could have a place to store holiday decorations, sports equipment, seasonal items, and much more. In addition, a basement allows you to store paper products and backup food, such as canned goods.

2. Additional Bed/Bathrooms – this is great if your family has grown more than expected or you would like a guest room. This allows you to provide a private space for those visiting your family that does not interfere with the household.

3. Increases Value – adding a finished basement to your home increases your livable space. When you have a basement that is not finished, it is counted as your livable space. Once it is finished, then it counts as livable space. Therefore, a basement increases your square footage and the resale value of your home.

4. Extra Space – a finished basement gives you a usable space away from the main part of your house. For example, you can create a playroom for your kids, an entertainment sports room, or an exercise room. Depending on the size of the space, you may be able to create multiple rooms in this space. For example, you can make a hobby room for woodworking, knitting, or crafting activities.

Reasons to Not Have a Basement

1. Construction Costs – if you already have a house that does not have a finished basement, you will have to pay for the construction to finish the basement. Of course, depending on how much work you want in your basement will dictate how much the construction costs.

2. Wet Space – a basement is prone to have a higher amount of moisture. There are limited doors and windows, making it easier for the areas to be damp. This can create the perfect environment for mold and mildew. Growing mold can be a health risk for many people, especially those with breathing conditions like asthma. In addition, a basement is susceptible to flooding, especially during or after a storm.

3. Not Much Light – one of the expected drawbacks to a basement is the lack of natural light. This lack of light means you need a good amount of light in the basement to keep it bright and welcoming.

4. Pests – a basement can be welcoming to pests because of its naturally damp and dark environment. Therefore, you should always check the basement for pest infestation problems.

5. Provide Safety and Security – a basement can provide a safe place to stay during an extreme and dangerous situation. This additional safety is ideal for areas prone to tornadoes.

Are Basements Good or Bad?

When asking if a basement is important, it is a matter of personal opinion. All basements have positives and negatives. It depends on your lifestyle, budget, and overall feeling about basements if they are good or bad for you and your family.