The first thing you might envision when you think of the basement in a home is the vast amount of storage space it provides. But basements have several other advantages besides being a place to stow all your stuff (and saving you a bundle in storage facility fees.) Here are some of the more unique advantages of a basement home.
Increased energy efficiency
A house situated on a basement foundation has fewer directly exposed external walls. This improves the thermal efficiency of both the wall and floor insulation. The result is that the home does not heat up or cool down too fast, helping to keep a consistent, comfortable temperature inside. Your HVAC system will have an easier time keeping up, as will your wallet. That’s because you won’t have to use as much insulation compared to what’s required for a home built entirely above ground.
More bang for your buck
Compared to other parts of the home, a basement provides you with additional square footage at a much lower cost per square foot. Essentially, you are getting a ton more space for the same footprint of the equivalent above-ground built home.
Better site utilization
If you have to dig a deep foundation anyway on your chosen lot, it makes more economic sense to add a basement. Deeper foundations cost more, so turning that expense into usable space makes sense (and cents.) This is especially true for a sloping site. Rather than make the lot level, a basement can be poured to create a level foundation on which to build your new home.
Gain multi-purpose space
Whether finished or unfinished, today’s basements are not just for storage. There are so many possibilities now, such as a media room, game room, wine cellar, entertainment space, man cave, ladies lair, grandkids playroom, hobby room, or a separate living space with a kitchen, bath, and bedroom. That option is especially nice when you have guests or family visiting from out of town.
Enjoy seasonal living space
Whether you choose to make it climate-controlled or not, you can rest assured that your basement will remain comfortable with the changing seasons. Because it’s in the ground, the temperature doesn’t vary much. It will always stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. And if your air conditioning or furnace happens to break, it’s nice to know that you can still be quite comfortable in the basement.
Better accessibility to major systems
When you live on a slab, you’ll have no other option but to encase your plumbing in the concrete floor. You’ll also have to put your air ducts, wiring, and other utilities up in the attic. The basement, however, is a much better, more efficient space for those things. It’s ideal for your water heater, furnace, and other house equipment too — not only because it is more climate-controlled, but it also offers much easier access for maintenance and repairs. Also, if later on you wanted to add something like a bar or a butler’s pantry to your home, it wouldn’t be nearly as expensive to run a new water line in the basement because you won’t have to jackhammer the concrete to install it.
Creates a safe haven
On the rare occasion there is dangerous weather in the forecast, a basement offers well-protected space to wait out a storm. Most of the time, these occurrences turn into non-events. Well, other than the occasional, impromptu (yet fantastic) hurricane party with your neighbors who live on slabs.