Choosing Your House Plans: Pros and Cons of Basements
Some house plans have basements, and some do not. House plans with basements offer many benefits, but they also pose some liabilities. When deciding whether a basement is right for you, it’s helpful to consider some of the pros and cons of house plans with basements:
Storage. The first thing that comes to mind when you think of house plans with basements is storage. This is particularly true if you’re building small house plans. With basement storage, you have access to an entire extra level for stashing infrequently used items out of the way until you need them.
Frost line. If you live in a climate where it gets cold, the frost line measures how deep the ground freezes in the winter. House plans with basements are best if the structural footings can extend below the frost line in order to avoid damage from freezing and thawing.
Safe rooms. House plans with basements offer a safe haven in dangerous weather. These basements are more protected during tornadoes because they are built completely underground.
Cooler temperatures. If you live in a climate where it gets very hot, you might opt for a house plan with a basement to provide a space for cooling off.
Food storage. A basement provides a built-in area for storing items that need to stay consistently cool, such as wine.
More compact. Building on a smaller lot requires some creative thinking. A small house plan with basement storage
can allow you to build on a smaller footprint and preserve more of your valuable yard space.
Poor lighting. Even with a daylight basement, which has small windows near the top of a wall, basements generally will not have very good, if any, natural lighting on the lowest level.
Humidity. Basements can be humid and susceptible to mold and mildew growth. Flooding may also become an issue, depending on the location of and quality of drainage on your property. Be sure to equip your basement with a dehumidifier and moisture barrier.
Stairs. In most cases, your basement will be reached via stairs. If mobility becomes an issue, house plans with basements generally won’t provide you with full accessibility.
Be sure to consider these factors when looking at house plans with basements.
Note: The home shown above is The Godfrey House Plan 1146.