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MutableBuilder Basement. I highly recommend Twin State Basements. The crew was clean, quick, and detail oriented. Basement Waterproofing We fix wet basements without worrying about clogging from soils under the floor. Crawl Space Repair Controling the amount of moisture in your crawl space effects the health of your family.

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Click Here for a Free Estimate! In the homes that have subbasements, all of the basement can be used as part of the main home where people relax and do recreational things, while all of the subbasement can be used for storage. According to the international Oxford Dictionary of English , a finished fully underground cellar is a room below ground level in a house that is often used for the storage of wine or coal ; [5] it may also refer to the stock of wine itself.

Cellars are more common in the UK in older houses, with most terraced housing built during late 19th and early 20th centuries having cellars. These were important shelters from air raids during World War II. In parts of North America that are prone to tornadoes e. Tornado Alley , cellars still serve as shelter in the event of a direct hit on the house from a tornado or other storm damage caused by strong winds.


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Except for Britain, Australia and New Zealand, cellars are popular in most western countries. In the UK, almost all new homes built since the s have no cellar or basement due to the extra cost of digging down further into the sub-soil and a requirement for much deeper foundations and waterproof tanking. The reverse has recently become common, where the impact of smaller home-footprints has led to roof-space being utilised for further living space and now many new homes are built with third-floor living accommodation.

For this reason, especially where lofts have been converted into living space, people tend to use garages for the storage of food freezers, tools, bicycles, garden and outdoor equipment. The majority of continental European houses have cellars, [ citation needed ] although a large proportion of people live in apartments or flats rather than houses. In North America, cellars usually are found in rural or older homes on the coasts and in the South. However, full basements are commonplace in new houses in the Canadian and American Midwest and other areas subject to tornado activity or requiring foundations below the frost line.

Crawl spaces offer a convenient access to pipes, substructures and a variety of other areas that may be difficult or expensive to access otherwise. While a crawl space cannot be used as living space, it can be used as storage, often for infrequently used items. Health and safety issues must be considered when installing a crawl space. As air warms in a home, it rises and leaves through the upper regions of the house, much in the same way that air moves through a chimney. This phenomenon, called the "stack effect", causes the home to suck air up from the crawl space into the main area of the home.

Mould spores, decomposition odours, and fecal material from dust mites in the crawl space can come up with the air, aggravating asthma and other breathing problems, and creating a variety of health concerns.


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  5. It is usually desirable to finish a crawl space with a plastic vapour barrier that will not support mold growth or allow humidity from the earth into the crawl space. This helps insulate the crawl space and discourages the habitation of insects and vermin by breaking the ecological chain in which insects feed off the mould and vermin feed on the insects, as well as creating a physical inorganic barrier that deters entrance into the space.

    Vapour barriers can end at the wall or be run up the wall and fastened to provide even more protection against moisture infiltration. Some pest control agencies recommend against covering the walls, as it complicates their job of inspection and spraying. Almost unheard of as late as the s, vapour barriers are becoming increasingly popular in recent years. Structurally, for houses, the basement walls typically form the foundation. In warmer climates, some houses do not have basements because they are not necessary although many still prefer them. In colder climates, the foundation must be below the frost line.


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    6. Unless constructed in very cold climates, the frost line is not so deep as to justify an entire level below the ground, although it is usually deep enough that a basement is the assumed standard. Excavation using a backhoe or excavator is commonly used to dig a basement. If shelf rock is discovered, the need for blasting may be cost prohibitive. Basement walls may need to have the surrounding earth backfilled around them to return the soil to grade. A water stop, some gravel and a french drain may need to be used to prevent water from entering the basement at the bottom of the wall. Walls below grade may need to be sealed with an impervious coating such as tar to prevent water seepage.

      A polyethylene of about 6 mil visqueen serves as a water barrier underneath the basement. Some designs elect to simply leave a crawl space under the house, rather than a full basement due to structural challenges. Most other designs justify further excavations to create a full-height basement, sufficient for another level of living space.

      Modern builders offer higher basements as an option. The cost of the additional depth of excavation is usually quite expensive. Thus, houses almost certainly never have multi-storey basements though 9 feet 2. For large office or apartment buildings in prime locations, the cost of land may justify multi-storey basement parking garages. The concrete floor in most basements is structurally not part of the foundation; only the basement walls are. If there are posts supporting a main floor beam to form a post and beam system, these posts typically go right through the basement floor to a footing underneath the basement floor.

      It is the footing that supports the post and the footing is part of the house foundation. Load-bearing wood-stud walls rest directly on the concrete floor. Under the concrete floor is typically gravel or crushed stone to facilitate draining. The floor is typically sloped towards a drain point, in case of leaks.

      Modern construction for basement walls typically falls into one of two categories: they will be made of poured-in-place concrete using concrete forms with a concrete pump , or they will use concrete masonry units block walls. Rock may also be used, but is less common. In monolithic architecture , large parts of the building are made of concrete; in insulating concrete form construction, the concrete walls may be hidden with an exterior finish or siding.

      Inside the structure, a single Lally column , steel basement jack, wooden column or support post may hold up the floor above in a small basement. A series of these supports may be necessary for large basements; many basements have the support columns exposed. Since warm air rises, basements are typically cooler than the rest of the house. In summer, this makes basements damp, due to the higher relative humidity.

      Dehumidifiers are recommended. In winter, additional heating, such as a fireplace or baseboard heaters may be required. A well-defined central heating system may minimize this requirement. Heating ducts typically run in the ceiling of the basement since there is not an empty floor below to run the ducts. Ducts extending from the ceiling down to the floor help heat the cold floors of the basement. Older or cheaper systems may simply have the heating vent in the ceiling of the basement. The finished floor is typically raised off the concrete basement floor.

      In countries such as Canada, laminate flooring is an exception: It is typically separated from the concrete by only a thin foam underlay. Radiant heating systems may be embedded within the concrete floor. Even if unfinished and unoccupied, basements are heated in order to ensure relative warmth of the floor above, and to prevent water supply pipes, drains, etc.