What Is A Basement In a Construction
What Is A Basement In a Construction
A basement or cellar is a floor of a building that is located below the ground floor. It is typically used as a utility space for storing items such as the furnace and water heater, and can also be used as living space in cities with high property prices.
In British English, the word “basement” is commonly used for underground floors of department stores and “cellar” is used for the whole underground level or large underground rooms. The use of basements depends on factors such as climate, soil and building technology.
They are more common in areas with soft soils and temperate continental climates, but may be avoided in places with flooding, earthquakes, or compact soil. Adding a basement can also reduce heating and cooling costs and increase housing density.
The construction of basements has become easier with the use of large powered excavation machines. Historically, basements were mainly used as storage spaces, but in the 1950s, they began to be used as separate living spaces.
History Of Basements
During the Victorian and Edwardian eras, the abundance of cheap labor led to the widespread construction of basements in buildings. However, building rates dropped significantly during World War I.
Afterwards, as the number of households with servants decreased, the demand for additional living spaces, such as basements, declined.
In the 1920s and 1930s, advancements in public transportation made more building land accessible, resulting in a decrease in the necessity to construct basements.
The industrialization of home building has made it easier to construct basements, especially in developed countries, due to the use of large powered excavation machines.
In the past, basements were either simple cellars or contained rooms similar to the rest of the building, but the trend of using basements as a distinct space began with the rise of suburban homes in the 1950s and typically consisted of a large concrete-floored space accessed by indoor stairs with exposed columns and beams or concrete walls.
Types Of Basements
Basements can come in different types, such as English basements, walk-out basements, and subbasements.
An English basement also known as a daylight basement or lower ground floor, is a type of basement that has at least one portion of the floor above ground level, providing adequate space for windows. These basements can be used for various purposes such as living space, garages, and maintenance rooms. They tend to have higher appraisals than standard basements.
A walk-out basement is a basement that is partially underground but has an egress that leads directly outside, usually through a stairwell or a door. These basements can also be considered daylight basements and are often used as livable space.
A subbasement is a floor below the basement floor that is entirely below ground level and has no windows or outside doors. These basements are commonly used for storage and are more prevalent in larger structures such as commercial buildings and apartment buildings.
Building a subbasement is more difficult and costly than building a regular basement. They are also more susceptible to flooding and water damage. Some famous landmarks also have subbasements such as the US Capitol Building and the White House.
Advantages Of Having A Basement
Basements can offer a variety of advantages, such as:
- More floor space without expanding the building’s footprint or compromising outdoor space.
- A way to accommodate a growing family without having to move to a larger house.
- Utilizing sloped land by constructing a basement, which eliminates the need to level the site.
- The ability to add extra space in areas with strict development restrictions, such as areas of natural beauty.
- Improved energy efficiency due to fewer exposed external walls in the basement.
Disadvantages Of Having A Basement
Challenges in basement construction include high excavation costs, the difficulties of working in confined underground spaces, and ensuring proper waterproofing. Excavation work can also cause disruptions.
Adequate lighting, ventilation, drainage, access, and emergency exits can be hard to provide. Waterproofing may be prone to failure, which can be costly and difficult to repair.
Finding experienced consultants and contractors may also be difficult, as they may be hesitant due to the risk of future legal issues if the basement were to fail.
Tips For Building Or Renovating A Basement
If you’re considering building or renovating a basement, there are some important tips to keep in mind. Make sure the basement has adequate ventilation, as it can become damp and musty without proper airflow.
Consider the possibility of water leakage in your area and make sure appropriate measures are taken to prevent this from happening.
Consider using a sump pump or interior wall drain system if necessary. Be sure to include ample insulation, which is essential for keeping energy costs down and preventing unpredictable weather conditions from entering the basement.
Finally, ensure all electrical components are up to code and that any wiring is done safely and correctly. With these tips in mind, you will be well on your way to creating an enjoyable space in your basement!