Basement Foundation

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  #1  
Old 11-25-04, 11:11 AM
Mark R
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Basement Foundation

My wife and I are considering selling our house and buying land to have a house built. Our original idea was to go with a 3000 sq/ft house, but with rough estimates of 100 sq/ft to build out here, that could be to steep since we would still have to buy the land.

The land we are interested in is in the mountains and is fairly level. We thought that a 2000 sq/ft home with a 1000 sq/ft (roughly) basement might be a better way to go. Would a basement foundation reduce the costs at all? We would be open to leaving the basement unfinished if that would reduce the cost. Would a 2000 sq/ft 2 story home with the same size basement be a better option as far as saving money?

Any suggestions?
 
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Old 11-25-04, 04:22 PM
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Mark R,

You have to determine your budget first. If you know what they are charging, estimated only) per sq. ft. with a basement, then inquire what it would be without one in your area. Let's assume you have a crawl space area only under that 1000 sq.ft. portion, you will save money do it this way. A 2000 sq.ft. basement is allot of space so unsure what your "needs" are versus your "wants".

I am assuming that this is a ranch style you are considering.

Here is just a thought to reduce initial costs. You may want to do a smaller home with basement and in a 2- 5 years consider an addition with or without a basement. This may be good depending on the mortgage rates and you'll have acquired equity to assist in financing.

Just an added note, depending on who does your designs or if this provided by a builder, try and reduce the costs by phasing the project so that an addition will mold into the main original part of home.

Just an idea, does this help?
 
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Old 11-26-04, 12:05 AM
Mark R
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Thanks for the response Doug. The estimate of $100 sq/ft was without a basement. I was hoping that adding a basement would allow us to go with a smaller square footage on the main floor (still having a tradtional living room, Dining Room, etc.), while reducing the cost of the home with a basement foundation (to make the house seem bigger by using it as a Game/TV Room). Is the basement actaully included in the total Square footage of the home? Is adding a basement a way of reducing cost or is it just another way to build a home?

I do like your idea of going with a smaller home that we can add on to at a later date. That might be the best route for us.
 
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Old 11-26-04, 04:25 AM
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Doug is right. Set your budget then see what you can do from there.

In some areas of the country a basement is less expensive than others.

My house is built on a moderate hill so the difference between a crawl space and full basement was rather small. If you are building on a flat lot the difference may be greater.

In my part of NC $100 is a good general number for finished space and $30-$40 for totally unfinished basement or garage space. These numbers can vary a great deal so check the rates for your area. If you do go with a basement you may want to spend a little up front to have rough plumbing installed for a future bathroom. It's a little more money up front, but it saves you having to rip up a concrete floor later.

I'm not sure how popular/common basements are out in NV. It looks like most the houses are slab on grade. A basement may be more expensive because it is not as common. Also check on radon. If your soil glows in the dark you may have to install special (money $$$) ventilation for your basement.
 
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Old 11-26-04, 06:25 AM
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Mark R,

The basement square footage would count if it were finished square footage. This means adding an egress window for safety as well as future bedroom. As Pilot Dane mentioned, do a rough in for a basement bath - at least a 3/4 bath.

Adding a basement INCREASES the construction cost but if finished increases the value as well.

Crawl spaces just provide better warmth than slab on grade and allows for easier installation of heat ducts, plumbing, etc. if one does not use web floor trusses.

You have to assess your budget, immediate needs and go from there.

Hope this helps!
 
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Old 11-26-04, 11:23 AM
Mark R
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I appreciate the input. Dane your right that most homes are on a slab foundation out here (some crawl spaces, and very few basements). I have a feeling now that it will be cheaper to go with the slab versus the basement out here. I need to go take a look at some of the other houses in the area we are thinking of buying and see how those houses are laid out.

Doug's suggestion of building a smaller home now with an expansion in the future sounds like the way to go. Any suggestions on how the house should be set up for that? I know that is hard to say exactly, but what certain areas should be looked at to avoid major modifications in the future?
 
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Old 11-26-04, 11:32 AM
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Mark R,

I do this with many projects that I design due to finances. If you know what you need, now, and then what you can do later can be designed to make the home look like it was always there. No addition should like an "add-on".

If you want some ideas, send me an e-mail of what you are looking at doing. I can take some time to look at it and give suggestions. I will place my response within this Forum to ensure tht everyone knows what we are discussing.

Would this help?
 
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Old 11-26-04, 07:56 PM
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I built the house we are living in now. My financial position has changed (for the better) since I planned the house. Beleive it or not, but I listened to many peoples advice when planning the house. I developed a multi-staged expansion program.

First, I built as much square footage as I could afford, leaving out the frills. I got the max. square footage built and then as the money came I added the "goodies" like finishing off the basement, steam shower, claw foot tub... This stage is pretty easy, just spend money for fun stuff.

The second phase is to add additional square footage to the house. This stage requires planning and construction. If you think there is a chance you may add on make sure you plan for it. How will the house look before and after the addition. How will the floor plan work before and after the expansion. For me, this will most likely be additional garage space (toy car has pushed my work truck out into the cold).
 
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Old 11-28-04, 09:17 AM
Mark R
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I think a multi-staged expansion program is a great idea. We don't need everything done up front and this way we would get most of are "wants" eventually.

Doug I will email you later today about this.

Thanks for all the suggestions.
 
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Old 11-28-04, 10:53 AM
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Mark R,

No problem. I'm around.

I agaree with Pilot Dane mentioned, utilize the funds for what you really need but do "Plan Ahead" for further expansion or other amenities that you may desire. This would provide for intially lower house payments or other uses for funds now. Take time to gain equity and then add on accordingly. Nothing in this world all as to be done now, even though it may be nice but you have to determine what your lending institution has to offer you. Evaluate the overall scope of things, current and future endeavors and go from there.

Doug
 
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Old 12-12-04, 08:04 PM
ronni_e
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If you do choose to go with a basement I would recommend doing some checking into the soil conditions. In particular find out if there is alot of shrink swell clay where you intend on building. Depending on the type of dirt (clay) that is there and the moisture conditions of your area something like a french drain or another mechanism may need to be installed to prevent your basement from cracking.
 
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Old 12-12-04, 08:10 PM
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ronni_e,

That is a given. What happens is that the excavator will be the person responsible for this. Each municipality does have the "red" zones that they are aware of that may encounter issues of questionable soil conditions. When the permit is obtained for this part of the project, any questionable conditions will be tested to ensure sound base for foundation work.

I encounter this routinely.

This is common wherever you go.
 
 

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