Should I Add A Basement To My House
Many people wonder whether adding a basement to their house offers any benefits. The fact of the matter is that it does. However, the process is expensive and time-consuming. Homes having a basement is popular in countries like the USA but not Britain. Therefore, we are going to discuss from the point of view of architects builders whether adding a basement will be worth the investment and all other things that come with it.
What Can Basements Be Used For?
Basements are usually buried in the dense subsoil. This makes them extremely sound absorbent. Therefore, you can hang out with your friends and family members without disturbing or spreading much noise. If you have a band that likes to come together on weekends, you should consider adding a basement.
On the other hand, some people come up with home theaters as well. If that is not an option, then you can turn it into an additional room for guests or storage. You can make a gym out of it or a swimming pool if the budget allows.
Can I Build A Basement?
As mentioned earlier, not every property can be extended to accommodate a basement. If you are doing so, it is suggested to extend above ground so that ventilation is possible and the natural light can enter as well. Plus, it is cheaper too.
Basements are mostly installed in high-end properties with high land values. This is primarily because it increases the overall value of the property and increases the features count. However, gardens in such properties tend to be comparatively smaller.
Adding a basement is a major exercise and requires thorough planning. The complexity of the process relies on the structure of the house. Contractors tend to go down from the outside of the property rather than going through the house, which is simpler and reduces the chances of damaging valuable items.
Moreover, adding a basement can also make your neighbors a bit nervous. Therefore, if possible, consider them and explain your plan in detail. This will ensure that the entire process will run safely.
Waterproofing & Ventilation
Waterproofing and ventilation is another important aspect of adding a basement. To prevent poorly drained ground and the consequences that come with it, the type of waterproofing will need to be chosen carefully. If there is water underground, it exerts pressure on the walls of the basement, which in turn exploits any flaws and weaknesses in the waterproofing. As a result, even a tiny defect will eventually turn into a large one due to constant pressure.
You can consider constructing a cavity within the wall to trap a significant amount of water that will make it run down the drain and be pumped away. On the other hand, basement rooms need to be properly ventilated as well. You need fresh air to make the area comfortable. Otherwise, smell and odors will make it a living hell.
Getting Natural Light Into Your Basement
Even though basements are where most people would like to spend their time, it should also feel natural. Therefore, you should plan window installation that allows sunlight in. During the winter season, basements can become quite cold. Therefore, you need something to warm up the area when the sun is out.
Converting A Cellar
The cellars in older houses feature lower ceilings and no waterproofing features since they were never built with the aim of accommodation. Since the existing level of the cellars is slightly higher than the foundations, it might not be a good idea to lower the floor to gain more headroom.
If that is the case, then the contractor might need to use a technique known as underpinning walls. It is a technique particularly used for basement extensions. However, careful analysis and investigation is needed to turn a cellar into a basement. Therefore, a professional who has plenty of experience with the special techniques required should only take up the task.
Concluding, adding a basement to your house depends on the structure and foundation. In most cases, adding a basement is not an option since the house is simply too old. However, if it is possible in your case, make sure that you are extremely careful while planning and handing over the task to a professional home addition builder DC. Basements if not done right can turn into nightmares.