I realize how much I like basements.
Basements came about in the olden days because it balanced out a house to “float” a house to help prevent some settling.
The old basements just had a dirt floor. It was the root cellar. Much of the time you had to go outside to go into the basement.
As time passed the furnace, burning something or other to keep the house warm. Stairs, over time, migrated inside the house. The basement was becoming the place for the utilities. The coal or oil was kept there for the boiler. Piping became more common for water. Pipes and wires had easy access to the house from down there. The workshop, if you had one, would find itself planted there too.
Then, in the 50’s and 60’s basements became the place for the rumpus room. The basements started to get “finished.” You had the finished side for extra living space. The unfinished side had the utilities and the workshop and whatnot.
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Now, when we’re looking at houses here in Seattle, the basements are mostly, if defectively, “finished.”
A bedroom in a room that has a closet and a window you can climb out of.
The number of bedrooms, in many ways, determines the bracket that the house falls into. If you up the number of bedrooms you get a bump in the price of the house. So, wanting to sell your house for more money, you “finish” the basement and add two or three bedrooms to the basement you have.
Et voilà, more money!
Of course, these rooms are crap for sleeping in. I know I wouldn’t want to sleep in them.
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Now, though, when you build a house in Seattle, you don’t build a basement. I don’t get why. If the land is the expensive part, what’s the problem with bringing in a back-hoe and digging a hole?
I heard the water table is high here.
But, what of the old houses with basements? The houses with dry basements?
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I guess a hard limit for us is we need a basement. We need the storage. We need a workshop.
When we’re looking for a house one of the things we’re looking for is a basement. Bonus if it’s not finished!