Modern homes are all about adding more living space. Whether it is to rent or to welcome your guests in the most lavish way, walkout basements are a great addition to have. Home evaluators as well as interior designers have talked about turning your basements into an elegant independent unit instead of keeping it as a storage space for the junk you will never use. If you have been considering giving your home its very own independent basement, here is everything you need to know before you begin the construction process.
What Is a Walkout Basement?
Just like the name suggests, a walkout basement is a basement that has its own entry and exit independent from the main house. Which means that you don’t have to use the main entrance of the house to get into your basement. It is an independent unit which is still a part of your house. Along with that, it is a self-sustained space with its own doors and windows. It is a permanent entry space which is built into the concrete foundation of your home. It can be a door at the end of the stairs or an entire big door carved out from the ground.
Can I Make My Basement a Walkout?
If you already have a basement and want to turn it into a walkout unit, you can do so too. It is important to consult a professional at the very design stage and turning the basement into a walkout requires changes on the foundation level and a wrong design can threaten the whole structure of your house. A professional can also help you make the best use of the space and come up with ways to make your basement look and feel bigger and brighter.
There are many walkout basement advantages which makes it a popular choice among house owners. Following are a few reasons why it is a great thing to do with your basement:
1. More Emergency Exits
In case of a fire or any other emergency, you have an additional exit to evacuate from. This makes your house more secure.
2. Brighter Space as Compared to Other Basements
Unlike basements with common doorways to the main house, walkout basements are brighter as they have windows and doors that let natural light come in. If you add brighter blinds and go for a glass door in addition to the steel or fibreglass door, you can make this space a lot brighter and elegant.
3. Increased Privacy as Well as Access
Having an independent entrance allows the homeowner to have a private space which can be rented out, turned into a home office or a creative studio for personal passions. For homeowners who want to rent this space out or turn it into a business area, a private entryway gives better access to the tenants or clients. It also helps separate utilities and ensure that tenants can pay a fair amount. This requires proper HVAC system installation but helps provide better access to the utilities.
4. Increases the Value of Your Home
If your home is a long-term investment, it is good to add a walkout basement as it enhances the resale value of your house. It also makes your house a source of recurring income if you rent this area out or use it for at-home business like daycare or music school. Proper sound-proofing is advised for this endeavour.
There are also some walkout basement disadvantages that make homeowners want to stick to traditional attached basements or other options. Here are the ones you should know:
1. Prior Land Conditions
A walk-out basement is best suited when the land conditions allow. It is best if you live on a slope or a strategically uneven surface. You can also excavate the area to make it suitable for a walkout. However, you must check the laws in your area before doing so.
2. Extra Cost
It usually costs more to excavate the land and then build a walkout basement. It requires alterations in the structure of your house that has additional costs. There may be some permissions and applications that may cost extra. The additional costs also include the increased property tax.
A walkout basement is often confused with a daylight basement. While both these types of basements are better lit than regular basements, there is one important difference between the two. While walkout basements have direct door access, daylight basements share the same entrance as the main house.
Whether you need a sump-pump or not depends on the kind of house you live in. If you have not faced water leakage in the basement before, the sump pump would not be necessary. If your basement is partially in the ground, it is advised to have a sump pump if there isn’t one already.
Enhanced real estate value is one the most important benefits of walkout basements. While standard basements are evaluated as a part of the whole house, walkout ones are evaluated as an additional feature. These homes have a higher resale value than the homes with standard basement. Moreover, the ROI is much higher than the ROI of a standard basement.
The overall walkout basement cost depends on the design you go for. It is inclusive of the materials, the structural costs as well as the installation costs. In some cases, you also require permits that may be an additional cost. The square foot area of your basement also affects the overall of this basement. In most cases, there needs to be additional landscaping to ensure that the independent entrance is in place. The starting cost of a walkout basement ranges between $20,000 and $25000.