Investing/Investing in Real Estate



The Benefits Of Basements To Home Owners And Home Building Contractors


Being a man, I always envied people especially men who have man caves or workshops. Living in a standard house, with no such spaces, I always feel that the house that I live in is not complete.

Sure, there are people who have turned one of their vacant rooms into man caves or workshops, but not many people have spare rooms. The standard houses of today, at least in Australia and in some countries I know is two to three bedrooms.

This is basically just enough for a room for the parents and one or two children. With these two or three room houses also comes a garage which is usually enough for one or two cars. For the lucky ones who have garages for two cars, they usually convert a part of their garage into a workshop.

Then there are still the lucky few who live in a house with a basement. I say they’re lucky because not too many people get to live in a house with a basement. I have been to numerous houses and as far as I’m concerned they all don’t have a basement.


THE ADVANTAGE OF A BASEMENT

We all know what a basement is. It’s the room beneath your house which usually contains your household weather equipment like a boiler and hot water. Of course, people who live in countries that don’t have snows won’t be as familiar with this.

But if you have ever watched an American television show with a home setting, there is a big chance that you are familiar with a basement, at least American basements. Usually, they’re depicted as grimy and gloomy, dark lit places full of the house occupant’s excess belongings.

But, as many American disaster and action movies have shown, they are a place of refuge. In case there’s a hurricane, people hide in them. I guess the reason there are American homes with basements is to protect them from the regular hurricanes that ravage parts of America.

In the case of a home invasion or a threat of violence against the occupants, they can use the basement again as a safe room. Since basements can usually only be accessed via one door and the rest of the walls are covered with hard soil, the occupants are reasonably safe.

Noisy home appliances like a washing machine and dryer are also usually placed on basements. Since the walls of the basement are insulated by hard soil, not much noise escapes it, making it ideal for noisy appliances.


THE EXTRA ROOM

Of course, the most glaring advantage of a basement is that it creates an extra room in the house. There are people who sometimes insult middle aged and even teenaged people who are unemployed and still living with their parents.

They would usually say: “Are you still sleeping in your mother’s basement?” I’ve heard these words in many movies and while it is degrading, it does serve to illustrate the importance of having a basement as an extra room in the house.

Of course, not all households have inadequate space for their children. Usually, the basement is used by the children and even the adults as a secondary living room or hangout place. Young people who are into bands for example, can benefit from the sound insulation of a basement.

Basements are also used as guest rooms or emergency living spaces. There have been people who have turned their basements into bunkers in readiness for any catastrophe that may occur like natural calamities, civil unrest and even a nuclear emergency.

And lastly, the basement can be used as a bedroom for your children in case you run out of bedrooms for your children. I could imagine that sleeping in the basement can be uncomfortable and even scary, but at least it’s an extra room where one can have privacy.


THE OUTRAGEOUS BASEMENTS IN BRITAIN

For many people, a basement is just the room beneath your house, but there are people who have turned their basements into real house extensions. In Britain for example, well heeled home owners have been adding basements with several levels because they want more space.

I recommend you watch a few YouTube videos just to get an idea of how elaborate and expensive these basements can be. Some even have a mini bowling alley, dance floor and even a swimming pool and waterfall installed.

You can use the YouTube search keyword: “outrageous basements in Britain” for example to watch a few of these videos. I’m not really acquainted with London’s building laws, but as far as I know, the reason these basements are being expanded is because it is allowed by law.

Apparently, in London or for the rest of Britain for that matter, there are laws which prohibits a home owner from building their home way too high or way too wide. So, they circumvent or rather get creative and expand their basement instead.

And apparently, for those with money, this trend is getting popular. It is a well known fact that real estate prices in London are one of the most expensive in the world. A single level basement can already add a lot of value to a home’s valuation, maybe even in the millions.


A BASEMENT WITH SEVERAL LEVELS?

There is no argument that a basement with several levels is possible, but how deep exactly can you dig? One good answer I found in Quora is from a building contractor. He says that technically, there is no limit on how deep you can dig until you encounter bedrock.

The answer is perfectly logical. I don’t think there is any law which sets a limit on how deep you can dig, but if you reach bedrock, you are now limited by nature’s law. Bedrock is nature’s way of telling you: “This is your limit.”

Should you try to circumvent or go above nature’s rules, be prepared to use industrial mining digging tools to clear away bedrock. And I don’t think a lot of people have access to such tools nor will their neighbors allow them to use such tools.

It also goes without saying that you cannot also dig beyond the boundaries of your property which would inevitably cause a conflict between you and your neighbors. You may accidentally dig their water or sewage lines among others.

And it’s not entirely impossible that you can be digging on your neighbor’s own basement. When this happens, you could already be compromising the structural integrity of your neighbor’s house.


A HOME RENOVATION PROJECT?

If you don’t have deep pockets to pay a home building company, can you build your own basement? Of course. I don’t like to use criminals, more importantly drug runners as examples, but they set the example when it comes to dedication.

If you do a YouTube search for “underground drug tunnels,” you would come across a few videos which shows the creativity and dedication of these criminals to secretly dig and construct long tunnels along the US-Mexico border.

I’m not advising that we applaud these criminals, but at least we can see thru their examples that it is possible to create your own underground tunnels and basements using the most crude methods.

I don’t know how long these tunnels were dug, but they were done nonetheless. Imagine if you set your mind into digging your own basement. If you have a job, you can treat creating your basement as a hobby and devote one or two hours of your time to it everyday.

Maybe it would take a couple of months. I knew of professional treasure hunters who were able to dig very deep and wide holes in the ground in less than a month using only shovels. I recommend pacing yourself so you can throw the soil you dig gradually as well.


AS A SERVICE

The first few paragraphs of this article already elaborated some of the advantages of having a basement. If you are a home building or a renovation contractor or has a permit to do such jobs, you can offer this service to your clients.

Home owners that are living in densely populated areas would make great potential clients especially if the price of their real estate is high. What you can offer does not have to be a strictly basement sized construction.

It can be a small one of whatever size. If your client already has a basement, you can offer to expand their basement not one level deeper, but a piece of their basement floor, one block deeper. You can offer to expand this block when your client deems it fit to be expanded.

Digging soil is not a very technical job. Anyone with enough endurance can do the job. I see this as an ideal job for anyone who needs money and doesn’t mind or even enjoy doing a very physical job.

But it doesn’t have to be strictly home owners, you can offer this service to any company that may want extra room space for their business. A grocery store needing more warehouse space for example can use the ground beneath their parking lot as a warehouse basement space.


SMALL SCALE

As I have said, there’s no job too small or too big for a basement digging service. There are many households who lack room for either other members of the family or their other belongings.

Let us say there’s a home owner who sells or collects wine or who happens to grow mushrooms? The darkness and the stable temperature of a small basement would be ideal for this.

What about a one garage house and the home owners happen to have two or even more cars? This frequently happens nowadays as more and more households have way too many cars than their garage can handle.

The preceding two examples are not basement sized projects and can be done with not much complexity like a dedicated plumbing and sewage installation. Again, the service just entails digging a big rectangular hole in the ground.

The service can be as small as digging a trunk-sized hole in the ground. This especially applies to households who use a lot of big tools for home maintenance like small water heater tanks who take up a lot of space but is accessed very rarely, if ever.


CONCLUSION

There is a lot of advantages to be had if you have a basement. Mainly, it gives you the extra room space you need for the extra inhabitants in your house or for the extra belongings and lifestyle you have.

With the prices of real estate going higher and higher, more and more home owners would consider having a basement not only to have extra room space, but to also increase the valuation of their house. Offering to build them could be a good service to offer if you are a home building contractor or have a permit to build them.




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