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It is time to start building your dream home. Your contractor has determined your lot is suitable for a basement, crawl space or slab foundation. There are several beneficial reasons for you to consider a basement foundation. Basements offer a variety of uses, and in the long run, can be cost effective. It is no secret that it is more costly and time consuming to build a basement foundation than it would be to build the alternative crawl space or slab, but the basement is the only one that can offer a great deal of possibilities and a return on your investments.
Planning ahead will help you obtain accurate bids and create a realistic building schedule. From day one, plan to build on a basement foundation ensuring that all bids and time line projections include costs for materials and time to pour the basement foundation. Making changes after bids have been written and a schedule agreed upon would incur extra costs and cause delays that you did not originally plan for when you began your home building project. So, plan ahead. Choose a basement. It will be well worth it.
First, think about the type of basement you desire. If your lot allows for it, consider a drive under garage. It would provide an added convenience. Maybe you have a sloping lot that will allow you to have a walkout basement with an atrium. Access to the outdoors on the lower level would be convenient if you were to entertain on a rear patio, or maybe you will enjoy a sunny window wall brightening your lower level. If your lot is not suitable for a drive under garage or a walkout basement, there are still plenty other benefits to think about with a standard basement.
Have you ever found yourself wondering how you accumulated so much "stuff?" A basement can be extremely beneficial if you are looking for extra storage space. It is quite simple to section off an area of the basement to store your "treasures." Install shelves for those boxes of memorabilia from your younger years and holiday decorations. Create a hanging space for out of season clothing that you do not want to keep in your closet. By having a designated storage space in the basement, you will be able to organize your stored items and find them quickly when you need them.
Basements also provide safety benefits. Have you ever watched the movie Twister or The Wizard of Oz? Planning to live in a region of the country that is prone to thunderstorms and tornados suggests a huge reason to build on a basement foundation. Basements provide more protection from these violent storms than a crawl space or slab could provide. Even better than that, you do not have to go outside hoping to make it to the storm cellar; you just need to head down the stairs.
Have you ever been without power on a particularly hot summer day and couldn't find a place to cool off? No doubt you would have found yourself in the basement if you had one. Because the basement is dug and built into the ground, the earth serves as a natural insulator. On hot days the basement will be cool and on cold days it will be warm. The natural climate control of a basement is beneficial helping you to save on heating and cooling costs.
As your family grows or your lifestyle changes, your basement can provide continued benefits. If a time comes that you realize you need more living space, you will be thankful that you chose a basement foundation. Rather than building costly room additions on the main floor, you will merely have to finish rooms on the lower level. For instance, your teenagers are looking for a place to hang out with friends on Friday nights. Rather than having an overcrowded family room full of energetic teens every week, finish a recreation room in the basement and send them downstairs. They can have a comfortable and safe place to socialize, while you relax watching your favorite TV show in the family room. Perhaps it is time for an elderly family member to move in with you. You may find it beneficial to move your oldest child to a lower level bedroom in order to give your new guest comfortable sleeping arrangements. Maybe you like to entertain, but the living room does not provide the relaxed atmosphere you want. Finish a lounge area in the basement and add a wet bar. This will create a comfortable space for entertaining. No matter what your reason is for more finished space, a basement can offer plenty of possibilities that can work for you. (See Saving on Your Building Budget.)
In a similar manner, maybe you are a movie buff or a video game fanatic. Perhaps you work out two times a day. Weather you like to turn the TV volume up or your exercise machines are a bit to loud and distracting, you can create a calm and quiet main level by moving the distractions to the lower level. Finish a media room or exercise room in the basement. Both those who like the quiet and those who want to continue their activities, will benefit from the possibilities a basement provides.
As you search for your dream home, keep a basement in mind. Even if you are not counting on finishing rooms in your basement right away, the opportunity will always be available. Now you know many of the benefits of building on a basement foundation and understand the possibilities it can offer in the future as your family grows and changes. If the time comes that you must sell your home, it is important to remember that basements offer one of the greatest returns for your investments. No matter what your reason may be for choosing a basement foundation, keep in mind the benefits are seemingly endless.
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