Written by Todd Fratzel.
Walkout Basements Add Value
Walkout basements are very popular in this part of the country. A walkout basement has many benefits but the biggest one is the ability to have normal doors and windows in the basement along some of the walls. Walkout basements are exactly what the title suggests, a basement that has an exit with the finished grade low enough that you can just walkout instead of being 8 feet below grade.
The new house that we’re building for a customer has a walkout basement. You can read more about the house in the Total House Construction Series – Foundation to Finish. Walkout basements work great on building lots that have elevation differences. More specifically you need a lot with 6 to 8 feet of elevation difference between the front and rear of the house.
As you can see in the photo we’ve stepped the foundation and framing as the grade drops from the front of the house to the rear. For this particular house there will be a 9×7 garage door and two small windows along the rear walkout wall. The customer wanted to be able to drive a small tractor into the basement for storage. In the last photo you can see the walkout basement that I have on my new house. For our house we have a large French Door with blinds and 4 large windows.
By building the walkout basement we’ll be able to finish our basement some day and have lots of light and ventilation. Typically the cost for building a walkout basement is little to nothing. This is because the money saved on concrete can be used to offset the wall framing and siding.
If you’re getting ready to build a new home and you have a building lot that has some elevation difference from front to back then consider building a walkout basement. A walkout basement will certainly raise the value of your home and make it much more use-able.
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