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Re: basement or not
Old 01-09-2007, 08:40 PM   #21
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Re: basement or not

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Originally Posted by jazz4cash
As most have indicated, it is primarily a regional issue. A basement is the least expensive square footage you get in a house. If most of the homes in an area have one, it is desireable for resale if nothing else.

Agreed. In an area with basements not having one cuts 50 to 70% of buyers out of your market on resale. If you get it really cheap though maybe its worth it as you can discount it when you sell.
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Re: basement or not
Old 01-09-2007, 08:59 PM   #22
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Re: basement or not

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Originally Posted by Goonie
as a full bathroom (complete with wallmount urinal).
Well thank goodness they have a garage door, too.

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Re: basement or not
Old 01-09-2007, 09:20 PM   #23
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Re: basement or not

Hi,

Condensed version. Can expand if anyone really care.

Water is my nemisis. Never do the basement thing again.

I got a headache. Sorry no spell check or reread even. Probaly lots of errors but kinda cranky reliving all this..

1. Grew up on Hospital Hill in Quincy south of Boston. Highest elevationfor many miles. Spring somewhere near by. Had a 12 ft row boat in the basement incase rain over ran the sump pump. Eventually put 2 sumps in to alleviate. Still floods massively. God forbid power falure.

2. Moved North of Boston. Nice garrison Walk out basement. No prob for several years. BIG rain spent 24 hours with shop vac saving now finished basement. Jack hammered up inside perimeter of 50% of basement floor. French drain sump. All great for several years. BIG rain. Shop Vac UGHHHH! Sold in 2002. All fine til spring this year new owner had to replace carpets and I DID IT UP RIGHT..

3. Next bought a Condo in basement of a renovated old nursing home. 4000+ sq ft. Master bedroom 60ft x 24ft. Walk in closet the size of a garage. 6 person hot tub, Pool table, wet bar, 60 inch Samsung home theater. Turned out to be like styles of th Drunk and Stupid. Day we closed. LITERALLY. Flood. Builder claimed rag from plummer stuck in pipe caused it even though it happened to be raining. OK. FIXED? NOt! Next rain they dig up Masterbedroom floor put in french drain. OK. Wief concerned about stains in grout on tile in both bathrooms. Kind of comes in goes...... BIG rain. Wife steps in 3 inches of water in Master Bath. Wake up in the morning put rubber boots on that we left next to the bed so we wouldn't die. Water all gone. Look behind the wall and discover 50 moldy sheets of sheetrock and tons of exposed dirt. Remove all all sheet rock grade it. Research on line and put down 8mil plastic vapor barrier. (anyone with a crawl space beneath theeir house needs to do this. 90% humidity goes to 20% in literally minutes. Ask if you want info). Working days and days in skanky humidity reults in Pneumonia and 4 week illness. Builder thinks I am Anal and buys it back. LITERALLY AND I MEAN LITERALLY 2 hours after we close I go to turn the key over and it is raining buckets. NO hard feelings in the condo I physically hand the key over to the builders foremen. Met me there to be sure I was Anal. I hand over the key, have a beer. Foreman says waht the F%%&&, Carpet getting dark. Rips open access panel where vapor baror is and sump pump ( failed to mentinon pump earlier). Water is 6 inches over the slab, leaking through the dry wall. I leave and immediatley buy a sum pump to replace the old one in my new house. Closed on it the day before. Being hot **** I bring old pump back to the condo. Shop vacs a plenty going non stop. . Builder is now there. Toilet is off and as the water rolls across the floor the builder is pushing it down the toilet stack. I grab a shop Vac and for 2 hours suck up 100's (LITERALLY) 100's of gallons of water until the builders helpers showed up.... THE DAY I CLOSED>....

4. Get to new house. Somethng is strange. Sump pump dry but water running in the basement window. Down the wall and someone has cut a slot beneath the basement window. Water goes in and away. Sump pump is 2 FEET. YES 2 FeEET from the slot and not a drop of water in it. Builder new there was issue per neighbhor and pu many feet of stone ubder the house. I have a pool table I love for the basement as a result of a 4000 sq ft condo. I dig a french drain around the house into a 10 by 10 by 12 ft pit with 6 55 gallon drums to fix the problem. Lived ther e2 years to the da and FIRE to Myrtle Beach,

END of BASEMENT Stories (written with breviity in mind)....

5. NO BASEMENT. Yeah! BUT.......I spent 3 hours yesterday helping my contractor fix the drainage system he screwed up to alleviate shitload of water pooling around the house. I HATE Water. (throw arms up like mini Jim Cary in the Grinch). Design review board had him put it where I did not want it and I was away for the Holiday. He shot it with a transient level.. eah but water won't flow up hill. Sorry SIR I don't know what could've gone wrong. Ripped it all out and back in.

BUT.

Outside, the water is outside. It is, it really is......

New house has closets, closets, pantries, storage.

Screw the Basement. Below Grade sucks.

I can be more blunt and give more detail if it will help.

UGH!

AGAIN. I got a headache. Sorry no spell check or reread even. Probaly lots of errors but kinda cranky reliving all this..

Going to throw up or to bed

W


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Re: basement or not
Old 01-09-2007, 09:23 PM   #24
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Re: basement or not

For us, the basement is for much more than storage - it's been a wonderful "anything goes" playroom for the kids over the years: wood shop, art studio, dodgeball games, sleepovers, making tents, etc

If you can get a "walkout" basement (sliding door to outside) you get a fair amount of natural light in basement and easy in/out.

Our local building code requires "french drains" around the inside perimeter - I don't know what that means, but the room has been dry for 20 years.
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Re: basement or not
Old 01-10-2007, 09:05 AM   #25
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Re: basement or not

The basement in my townhouse is dry as a bone. A nice, cozy space to watch the large screen TV. One downside - the basement doesn't extend all the way back. The area under the kitchen is a crawl space floored in dirt. My experience dealing with rats nesting there is hair raising -- uuugh. The joys of city life - still beats the sticks.
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Re: basement or not
Old 01-10-2007, 09:15 AM   #26
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Re: basement or not

No basement? Blasphemy for a hobby guy like myself. Where would I put my lathe, milling machine, welder and tablesaw if I didn't have a basement?

And don't say garage, I live in Chicagoland, during a good part of the year it is approximately a million degrees below zero outside. My car has to live in the garage, no way am I scraping frost off my windows every morning and then getting into a car that is at absolute zero.

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Re: basement or not
Old 01-10-2007, 09:19 AM   #27
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Re: basement or not

If you can get a basement that stays dry, which is most new construction, then it is just added sq footage that you can use for anything.
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Re: basement or not
Old 01-10-2007, 09:49 AM   #28
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Re: basement or not

Wally, your stories are horrifying. I feel sympathetic to the headache too as I get migraines on occassion.


There are some people who say that in my part of the country no one should finish off their basement because it will never be truly dry enough.

Our basement on our 100+ year old building is made of sandstone. No leaks or running water but always damp. Hate it. Can't store anything there that you care about. It is just one oversized laundry room and mechanical room.
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Re: basement or not
Old 01-10-2007, 09:56 AM   #29
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Re: basement or not

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Originally Posted by Martha
Our basement on our 100+ year old building is made of sandstone. No leaks or running water but always damp. Hate it. Can't store anything there that you care about. It is just one oversized laundry room and mechanical room.
Have you tried a dehumidifer? My basement was always damp, mostly in the summer. I have dehumidifer that keeps my humidity level around 40%. Down from 75%. It runs 24/7 and drains into my sump pump.
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Re: basement or not
Old 01-10-2007, 09:58 AM   #30
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Re: basement or not

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Originally Posted by JohnDoe
Have you tried a dehumidifer? My basement was always damp, mostly in the summer. I have dehumidifer that keeps my humidity level around 40%. Down from 75%. It runs 24/7 and drains into my sump pump.
Yeah. Have one in the laundry room running all summer.
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Re: basement or not
Old 01-10-2007, 10:17 AM   #31
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Re: basement or not

Every mad scientist needs a basement laboratory.

That's pronounced lab-BOR-a-tory, BTW.
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Re: basement or not
Old 01-10-2007, 10:23 AM   #32
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Re: basement or not

First job after college I lived in rented rooms (couldn't afford apartment). One place was a basement. In NJ, they don't put floor drains in basements.

After one heavy rain in November, I got out of bed and stepped into about 3 inches of cold water (no sewage fortunately). I opened the sliding door to let it drain out ( walk out basement).
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Re: basement or not
Old 01-10-2007, 10:34 AM   #33
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Re: basement or not

I always liked having a basement, but having a large shop in the backyard is the best, providing you've got a heater/air conditioner in it.

You can do much louder and smellier things in a shop than you can in a basement. And its way more trouble for the wife to come out of the house and yell "what the hell was that?" than to toodle over to the basement door.
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Re: basement or not
Old 01-10-2007, 10:37 AM   #34
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Re: basement or not

I'm in the property/casualty insurance business and I would lean away from ever having a finished basement. I've seen homes nearly destroyed by water & sewer backup, even if they're on a hill. I've also seen finished basements severely damaged by plumbing leaks.

I have an unfinished basement now, which is used for the mechanical room and unfinished living space. It's too cool to use months of the year and it does get damp, but not wet. It's not real comfortable for living space.

If I ever built a house (which I doubt I will) it would be all on one level from the garage on. It would be hanci-capped accessable from the moment you get out of your vehilce. It would have no basement or crawlspace, it would be a poured slab. It would have in-floor radiant heat, including the 4 car semi-finished garage (two doors, each two cars deep). As far as storage goes, if I don't need it upstairs I don't want to store it anyway.

I think having a completely handi-capped accessible home would make it even more attractive in the resale market.

I would include a small storm shelter though, we do get a tornado from time to time.
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Re: basement or not
Old 01-10-2007, 10:39 AM   #35
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Re: basement or not

Having framed, drywalled, and generally finished three basements in the last five years (NONE OF THEM MINE) I am NOT a big fan of basements.

The Marine Corps ruined my ankles, the Bureau of Prisons claimed my knees, karate claimed a hip, and the BOP double-dipped to get a shoulder too. Needless to say, I'm not even a big fan of stairs anymore.
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Re: basement or not
Old 01-10-2007, 11:26 AM   #36
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Re: basement or not

We found the best solution was to have a basement yet plan the main floor to accomodate everything so that utilizing the basement space is optional. The incremental cost during construction was negligible.

We did make one exception.......the HVAC system and water heater are down there since we wanted to use the space those things would have occupied on the first floor for a larger kitchen.

It was a great place for the kids and their neighborhood pals to roughhouse during long, cold winters. And eventually I did wall off a workshop and build some storage shelves.

Our local soil conditions are favorable for a dry basement so we've had no issues in that regard. We don't have to be down there and could easily nail the door shut........with the exception of the furnace and water heater. Yet, it's a huge room that has been extremely handy over the years and cost almost nothing.

Plan you main floor, garage and outbuildings as though you were not going to have a basement, then if local ground conditions are favorable, have the basement put in.

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Re: basement or not
Old 01-10-2007, 12:09 PM   #37
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Re: basement or not

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
Our basement on our 100+ year old building is made of sandstone. No leaks or running water but always damp. Hate it. Can't store anything there that you care about. It is just one oversized laundry room and mechanical room.
Martha, you guys would be perfect for a six-week special series on "This Old House". They're working on a Boston house these days that would make yours seem like a vacation.

I can see Tommy Silva & Richard Trethewey standing in your basement right now, chuckling and rubbing their hands together at the engineering challenges they're gonna have to overcome...

After you let Greg out of the basement, you should e-mail TOH a few photos and see if they're interested.
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Re: basement or not
Old 01-10-2007, 12:23 PM   #38
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Re: basement or not

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Originally Posted by donheff
The basement in my townhouse is dry as a bone. A nice, cozy space to watch the large screen TV. One downside - the basement doesn't extend all the way back. The area under the kitchen is a crawl space floored in dirt. My experience dealing with rats nesting there is hair raising -- uuugh. The joys of city life - still beats the sticks.
This reminds me of my experience in my parents house when I was a boy. I would sit in the semi-dark basement, and shoot rats with my .22 when they came into the closed in part from the crawl space. Then I would cremate them in our old coal fired furnace- sometimes 3 or 4 a night.

I never even bothered to look for how they got in, because I enjoyed the practice.

Ha
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Re: basement or not
Old 01-10-2007, 01:31 PM   #39
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Re: basement or not

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Originally Posted by HaHa
This reminds me of my experience in my parents house when I was a boy. I would sit in the semi-dark basement, and shoot rats with my .22 when they came into the closed in part from the crawl space. Then I would cremate them in our old coal fired furnace- sometimes 3 or 4 a night.
I never even bothered to look for how they got in, because I enjoyed the practice.
Ha, I give up. You've rendered me wordless in the non-sequitur competition...
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Re: basement or not
Old 01-10-2007, 01:39 PM   #40
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Re: basement or not

You have one way of boring people; I have another.

Face it, pretty much everything on topic that is going to be said here has been said already, what's left but non sequiters?

Ha
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