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  1. #1

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    Default Add a basement to a house

    Does anyone have any experience or knowledge of the feasibility and cost of adding a basement to a house? It occurred to me that a basement would make the ideal listening room and HT. However, my house, as does many homes in CA, does not have a basement.

    The house sits on a concrete slab, so a basement would need to support it. On the other hand, that would really help to keep the noise of the world out, and keep the basement noise in the basement.

    For a rough cost estimate, let's say the basement will be 1000 square feet, with two rooms, a bathroom, an interior entrance, and outside entrance.

    While anything is possible if you throw enough money at it, let's say no more than 100K, or less. Is that reasonable or fantasy?

  2. #2

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    I think they would have to hoist up the house first
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    had a friend in idaho add a partial basement to his house. couldn't tell you the cost but it was done. i would say your first step would be to contact a contractor and go from there
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    Really?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lasareath View Post
    I think they would have to hoist up the house first
    I was hoping it could just be dug out while I continue to live there. Also, the cost was just getting an unfinished basement installed. The finishing comes later. I agree I need to talk with a contractor. My logic is that 100K for a basement is better than 700k for a new house that probably will not have a basement, but have another 1000 square feet of floor space.

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    I've seen it done on one of those home shows.

    They slide big ass timbers under the house and jacked up the house a little at a time and then they dug the hole, built up forms and poured the concrete walls, and eventually the lowered the house back down and reconnected the sewer and water lines.

    I can't remember if they needed to add floor joists.
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  7. #7

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    Here's a video. doesnt really show much

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  8. #8

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    However, my house, as does many homes in CA, does not have a basement.
    I've noticed that, why is it so?
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  9. #9

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    I think I better forget this fantasy, and concentrate on my winning the lottery fantasy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueFox View Post
    I think I better forget this fantasy, and concentrate on my winning the lottery fantasy.
    I agree completely.Name:  twothumbs.gif
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    I've noticed that, why is it so?
    I have no idea. I moved here from Maryland where it seemed everyone had a basement.

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    Frostline. Pipes in the northeast and Midwest need to be buried deeper. Basements became typical in these areas to keep pipes from freezing and for the storage of coal for the stove or boiler. Warmer areas of the country never needed basements so they never became common.

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    With all the clay and sand in the ground, Florida doesn't do basements either. Too much of a flood potential. Maybe Cali is similar?
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    Does your area have a high water table? That is another reason why some places dont have basements.
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    BlueFox, you can do what a family in our little berg did back in the day. After building a French-style chateau, Mr. Desloge decided that, darn it, a basement would be a swell idea. So they lifted the entire mansion on steel I-beams, dug him a basement, and then lowered it back down. He was happy.


    From the front:

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    From the rear:

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    Bluefox, Desloge was in the lead mining business. You might consider taking up lead mining. Although, when the locals started questioning how the heck he could afford to build his palace complex during the depression doing lead mining, he added, "Uhm ... oh, I do silver mining, too, out in Colorado". He didn't mention anything about smuggling booze from Canada down the river and unloading it on his property. You might need to consider smuggling booze, too. Raising a house isn't cheap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    I've noticed that, why is it so?
    No tornadoes in California.

    But we are known for our earthquakes.

    Do you really want to be in a hole in the ground when the earth starts to dance? Especially after your first and second floors come down to visit.

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    Yep, earthquakes. Also because of that situation, your bound to get cracks in the walls of a basement which will turn into water leakage. Sure, you can repair cracks but with the amount of tremors Cali has it would be a nonstop process of keeping those cracks sealed. Too costly in the end.

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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    I've noticed that, why is it so?
    because the earth is so unstable in CA hence "earthquake Valley" But nonetheless "I can dig it"!! get it?? Dig it??
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  19. #19

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    The first and most important thing that any owner of a basement that will be remodeled needs to do is to decide exactly what for the new space will be used for

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    I know to put a 1000-2000sqft house on stilts after hurricane Ike was 35-50k, so it would probably cost double that and that would exclude interior build out of basement.

    Reason why we don't have basements in south Texas is we are at or nearly at sea level and ground water is barely 18" at most parts.
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    if your home is built on a slab, it has no floor joists or sub-floor, no beams that support the joists and subfloor. So, there is no way to raise the house and be able to dig underneath the structure, at least an affordable option.

    I've been through a project on our first home where we had the house raised and replaced an existing foundation,never,never again. A HUGE PITA that was nothing short of a living nightmare. This was with a house that had a subfloor structure also, so it was fairly easy to raise.

    If you have the real estate, I would just build on a new room, insulate well and call it good, you will be much better off mentally and financially.
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  22. #22

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    No basements in CA...really do you think it might be because of all the EARTHQUAKES CA is always getting??? This isn't rocket science people! Maybe you just want an instant burial to save the time and expense of a funeral. And to want to do this just to add a HT? unbelievable.
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  23. #23

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    All you need is a village...it takes one to raise a house. Or is that a child to raise a village...
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  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by cfrizz View Post
    No basements in CA...really do you think it might be because of all the EARTHQUAKES CA is always getting??? This isn't rocket science people! Maybe you just want an instant burial to save the time and expense of a funeral. And to want to do this just to add a HT? unbelievable.
    That is probably a once in a 1000 year scenario. However, the ground constantly shifting, along with the micro cracks inevitably occurring, is a good source of potential problems. On the other hand, basements do exist. They just aren't standard as back east.

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    It would probably be cheaper to build a bunker / basement next to your house. Then have an access point / steps built into or on to the side your house.

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    Last I saw here in the Midwest was $25k for an 1100 foot house. Check the DIY chnel and look for "re-hab addict" and the gal staring in the show just did one in Minne appolis and it was pretty good footage. I think it is the best money spent on square footage plus it gives you a place to keep your spiders.
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  27. #27

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    Although I miss the storage, I really like NOT having a basement. I'm on a slab and have corkboard and hardwood floors. The slab gives the entire floor a very "solid" feel, and the corkboard feels a little softer to offset that. There are no creaks or sound as you walk across it. I'd keep the slab.
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  28. #28

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    Mepooooo reported

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    I know a guy who moves houses for a living and just to jack one up and put cribbing underneath while someone else does the basement costs about $10-1200. Its almost always cheaper to go up then it is down for extra square feet.

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    Bottom line- bad idea- move on.
    I don't have a basement either, and my understanding is it's a pretty bad idea
    in North Texas. The black clay expansion and contraction destroys them.
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