Should You Build a Basement? Some Dos and Don’ts

Should you add a basement to the home you're building? Basements are an additional investment of time and money, but they can also be a great addition to a house. However, a basement may not always be a good idea. How can you decide what to do with your own house? Here are a few dos and don'ts for building a basement. 

Do Build a Basement If You Need to Spread Out

Basements add a lot of usable square footage to the home. And you often have nearly free rein about its shape, size, and usage. This can be a lifesaver for parents whose family is — or soon will be — growing. If you have a home business or an extensive hobby, you may also need the space. And if you have a plan in mind, you can tailor the basement to your family's needs. 

Don't Build a Basement If You Don't Have a Plan

Just because you can add a lot of space underneath the home doesn't mean you actually need it, though. Basements often seem like a good idea but end up vastly underutilized with little-used spaces like home theaters, bars, gyms, or hobby areas. Honestly assess how much you need this extra space and whether you can meet those needs without a basement. 

Do Build a Basement If You Face Limitations

Sometimes, your home-building plans are curtailed by limitations of the lot, ordinances, surrounding styles, and more. You may not be able to spread out on a small piece of property or build a second floor due to zoning limitations, for instance. In this case, your home designer may suggest a basement as a much simpler way to avoid headaches and maximize your space. 

Don't Build a Basement If You Can't Do It Right

Basements do have some inherent challenges. They can have moisture and rot issues. Natural lighting is difficult. They may need ongoing maintenance or waterproofing measures. And they may contribute to uneven temperatures within the entire house. These obstacles can be met, but you must be able to invest the necessary time, money, and energy into ensuring it's done right. If you can't, reconsider the basement. 

Start By Working With a Pro

Clearly, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of whether or not to add a basement to your house design. While they can solve problems for many homeowners, they may be a waste of money for others. The best way to make the right decision for your plans is to consult with an experienced home designer. They will work with you to analyze all the angles and make sure you choose the best options. 

To learn more about whether or not you need a basement, contact a new home designer today.