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Re: basement or not
Old 01-10-2007, 01:44 PM   #41
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Re: basement or not

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Originally Posted by HaHa
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.
You must be able to hear about as well as an artillery sergeant.
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Re: basement or not
Old 01-10-2007, 01:57 PM   #42
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Re: basement or not

Quote:
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 can beat that. A pregnant rat came out of the crawl space and was nesting in a bunch of old boxes and paper DW had on a shelf in the back room. I couldn't figure out how to move her out so I duck taped a sharp double tonged barbecue fork to a hockey stick and speared her. That trapped her against the wall - but didn't finish the job so I propped a chair against the hockey stick to keep it in place and duck taped a couple of steel BBQ skewers to another hockey stick (I play roller hockey - thus the handy sticks). The second spear finally did the job. If I had a 22 I would have blasted her - but I am in DC with no 2nd amendment.

And that doesn't even compare to the post poison clean-up in the crawl space. We couldn't get any pest companies to deal with the problem. DW says she would have moved if I hadn't dealt with the it.
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Re: basement or not
Old 01-10-2007, 02:01 PM   #43
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Re: basement or not

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Originally Posted by donheff
I can beat that.
You are right, you beat my story. Way to go!

Ha
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Re: basement or not
Old 01-10-2007, 06:11 PM   #44
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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.
Easy problem to solve. First thing you need to store in your basement is a boat.

Then you can safely store everything you want down there that'll fit inside the boat.
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Re: basement or not
Old 01-10-2007, 06:31 PM   #45
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Re: basement or not

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Originally Posted by El Guapo
Easy problem to solve. First thing you need to store in your basement is a boat.

Then you can safely store everything you want down there that'll fit inside the boat.
I would prefer to store dirt in my basement. A pile about 30 feet by 70 feet by 7 feet.
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Re: basement or not
Old 01-10-2007, 08:39 PM   #46
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Re: basement or not

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Originally Posted by runchman
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.

- John
I live about 80 miles west of Chi, so we get pretty much the same weather as you do...just an hour or so sooner. Our cars sit outside because I have my woodshop/workshop in the garage, and my hobby room (model railroad) is in a LARGE addition on the end of the garage, and I have a good size garden building for all the lawn/garden tools and equuipment.

I had remote starts installed in both of our cars, so in the winter I just leave the defroster in the "ON" position in High, so in the morning about 10 or 15 minutes before I go out, I just push the button on my key-fob...and let 'em get toasty. When I go out...No frost...and I get in a warm car. (nice in the summer too, since I leave the A/C set to run)

So since taking backed-up/flooded basement calls for all these years, I still would NEVET have a basement.....but that's just me. 8)
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Re: basement or not
Old 01-10-2007, 10:07 PM   #47
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Re: basement or not

I have a large finished basement that has, for the most part, been very nice. It is dry and provides a lot of extra living space for hobbies, guests from out of town, storage, and coolness during extra hot summer days.

The only problem in the basement has been the sump pump. If the sump pump malfunctions or stops working for any reason, the natural ground water that accumulates during the rainy seasons will cause the water level to rise above the floor level and cause flooding. During the heavy windstorm last month, I had no power for 4 days. Without electricity my sump pump stopped working, which caused the water to rise about 1-1/2 inches above the floor level in one (sunken) room only. Had to get rid of all the sopping wet carpet and pad, dry it out with rented blower fans and dehumidifiers, and install new carpet. No fun at all, and it sort of put a big damper on my Christmas spirit. I have since purchased a generator and a back-up utility pump in case we get another power outage like this. Am still considering whether or not to buy a back-up sump pump that is battery operated.

If I ever buy another residence, it will not have a basement (especially not one that depends on a sump pump). And it will have only 1 level. I am beginning to like stairs less and less as I get older.
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Re: basement or not
Old 01-10-2007, 11:06 PM   #48
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Re: basement or not

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Originally Posted by Goonie
An acceptable, though less favorable option (and less reliable and higher maintenance option) is to have a "backflow" preventer installed on the house's sewer service just outside the foundation. It needs to be in a vault or pit that is accessible for maintenance, repair, and replacement. Depending on plumbing codes, this may require the hiring of a licensed plumber....$$$.
EVERY house should have a backflow preventer!!! I don't care if you have the highest house on a gravity system. This should be an item on every home inspection checklist.

Most current building codes require them BUT many plumbing contractors ignore the requirement and the building inspectors don't check. Also, make sure that the valve is stout and properly installed. Shortcuts to your detriment are not unknown.

If I sound a little anal on this issue, it is for good reason. Sometimes sewer lines have storm water infiltration. If your area is hit with a couple inches of rain storm water can back up in your line.

Commissioner, special purpose district . .
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Re: basement or not
Old 01-11-2007, 08:24 AM   #49
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Re: basement or not

Sounds like a great pick-up line: "Hey baby...I've got a stout and properly installed backflow preventer!"

Or maybe that'd be something better to have printed up on tee shirts before you enter prison...
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Re: basement or not
Old 01-11-2007, 08:26 AM   #50
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Re: basement or not

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Guapo
Or maybe that'd be something better to have printed up on tee shirts before you enter prison...
Tattooed on your lower back, perhaps?
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Re: basement or not
Old 01-11-2007, 09:15 AM   #51
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Re: basement or not

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goonie
I live about 80 miles west of Chi, so we get pretty much the same weather as you do...just an hour or so sooner. Our cars sit outside because I have my woodshop/workshop in the garage, and my hobby room (model railroad) is in a LARGE addition on the end of the garage, and I have a good size garden building for all the lawn/garden tools and equuipment.

I had remote starts installed in both of our cars, so in the winter I just leave the defroster in the "ON" position in High, so in the morning about 10 or 15 minutes before I go out, I just push the button on my key-fob...and let 'em get toasty. When I go out...No frost...and I get in a warm car. (nice in the summer too, since I leave the A/C set to run)

So since taking backed-up/flooded basement calls for all these years, I still would NEVET have a basement.....but that's just me. 8)
While the remote starting gear in the cars would help somewhat, it's hard to believe your situation isn't a huge downgrade from having the cars (still with remote starts) snuggled in an attached garage.
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Re: basement or not
Old 01-11-2007, 09:27 AM   #52
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Re: basement or not

Some company around here is now offering underground garages added to your home during construction. Store your cars AND maximize your house square footage even on californias popular "zero lot" homes!

Heated, with a stainless steel carousel that turns your car so you can drive straight out and never have to back the car up.

I think its official...we've now reached the epitome of maximum laziness.

The trifecta is complete. Having a vehicle that would take you to a destination hundreds of miles away, warm and in a soft chair wasnt enough.

#1: It had to be big enough to haul a soccer team, even though its usually driven by one person
#2: It has to have a little push button to maintain speed, beause pushing that little pedal is too much work
#3: I should never have to parallel park the vehicle or back up out of a parking space under my house
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Re: basement or not
Old 01-11-2007, 12:38 PM   #53
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Re: basement or not

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toejam

The only problem in the basement has been the sump pump. If the sump pump malfunctions or stops working for any reason, the natural ground water that accumulates during the rainy seasons will cause the water level to rise above the floor level and cause flooding. ...... Am still considering whether or not to buy a back-up sump pump that is battery operated.
toejam,

Do you live an area with city water? If so, a solution I have found is having a water-powered back-up pump. As long as there's pressure in the city water lines, the back-up pump will operate.

There are a couple of manufacturers of these. Here's a link to one:
http://www.do-it-yourself-pumps.com/homeguard.htm

I had mine installed about 8 years ago -- cost about $700 total (which I consider cheap insurance against another sump pump failure or prolonged electrical outage.)

It gives me a lot of peace of mind, especially when I am away from home during lengthy stormy/rainy periods.

HTH,

omni
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Re: basement or not
Old 01-11-2007, 02:13 PM   #54
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Re: basement or not

Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet
While the remote starting gear in the cars would help somewhat, it's hard to believe your situation isn't a huge downgrade from having the cars (still with remote starts) snuggled in an attached garage.
I don't have an attached garage...it's ~60 feet from the house. Also, we haven't used it to store the car since the mid-60s...it was always a PITA to clear the snow between the overhead-door and street, and get the gate open, etc. So they almost ALWAYS sat outside.

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Guapo
Heated, with a stainless steel carousel that turns your car so you can drive straight out and never have to back the car up.

I think its official...we've now reached the epitome of maximum laziness.
I remember from 30 some years ago when I read water meters, there was a big estate up on the bluff overlooking the city, that had a turntable in the garage! The house was built in the mid-1800's, and the garage was added in the VERY early 1900's. The home owner at the time, told me the year...something like 1906 or 07....it was something WAY ahead of it's time!!!
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Re: basement or not
Old 01-11-2007, 04:55 PM   #55
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Re: basement or not

Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet
While the remote starting gear in the cars would help somewhat, it's hard to believe your situation isn't a huge downgrade from having the cars (still with remote starts) snuggled in an attached garage.
You just make sure your remote starter open the garage door also so you don't die of carbon monoxide.
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Re: basement or not
Old 01-11-2007, 05:44 PM   #56
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Re: basement or not

I would definitely get a basement if you are buying a new construction home in an area where basements are feasible. As far as old houses (which are more likely to leak), depends on how much you need/want it.

I grew up in the midwest, and most every house in my neighborhood was built about a hundred years ago and had leaky basements. One of the best things about basements was that you could roller skate on the cement floors. Us neighborhood kids actually got written up in the paper once for our "subterranean skate club" that met in the basement. The paper sent out photographers to shoot us roller skating in the basement. Man talk about slow news day.

Now that I live in California, I actually appreciate the discipline of not having a basement. It forces you to throw stuff out. If you have a basement you always just throw something in the basement if there's any chance you'll need it, and then end up spending a lot of time searching through the basement for random items that you're not sure if you have.

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Re: basement or not
Old 01-11-2007, 05:53 PM   #57
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Re: basement or not

In my old neighborhood there was a beautiful tutor mansion with a full basement. The owner had three daughters. They and their friends regularly had roller skating parties in that wonderful open space.

Oh, for those of you who dissed my comments about back-flow (or back-check) valves: builders failed to install them properly in a couple homes in my area. There is no cleanup like a sewer-line backup. One had effluent almost knee deep.
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Re: basement or not
Old 01-11-2007, 09:08 PM   #58
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Re: basement or not

What about tornados? I've never had a basement, but I am going to move to "Tornado Alley" when I retire.

I have no need or desire for a basement for any other reason. It might seem a lot safer than an interior hallway when things get scary.
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Re: basement or not
Old 01-11-2007, 10:08 PM   #59
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Re: basement or not

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Originally Posted by Want2retire
What about tornados? I've never had a basement, but I am going to move to "Tornado Alley" when I retire.

I have no need or desire for a basement for any other reason. It might seem a lot safer than an interior hallway when things get scary.
If you are really in high tornado danger area, I would be satisfied with nothing less than a real storm shelter i.e. something with at least one entrance far enough away from the house that it would be unlikely that the house could cave in on it.

There are nice prefab designs on the web.

Ha
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Re: basement or not
Old 01-11-2007, 10:16 PM   #60
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Re: basement or not

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
If you are really in high tornado danger area, I would be satisfied with nothing less than a real storm shelter i.e. something with at least one entrance far enough away from the house that it would be unlikely that the house could cave in on it.

There are nice prefab designs on the web.
And if you're in the market for a manufactured home, be sure you get the optional roll bars.

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