Having a walkout basement is an excellent advantage for your home. Not only does it let in natural light and fresh air, but you also have easy access to go outside. It increases your property’s value, makes it more attractive to potential buyers, and simply looks great!
But, at the same time, there are a few things to take into account before deciding whether or not a walkout basement is the right choice for you.
In this blog post, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of building a walkout basement.
The Difference Between A Walkout Basement And A Normal One
When most people think of basements, they think of a large, unused space underneath their homes that can only be accessed from inside the home. It is below ground level and has a small window to allow some light and fresh air to enter.
A walk up basement does not have an area that opens out into the backyard.
A walkout basement is still a large space underneath your house, but one that offers easy access to the outdoor space via a type of door. They usually lead straight to a backyard or a walkout patio.
Walkout basements give you the option to enter the space from an exterior entrance.
Walkout Basement Preparation Cost
In Omaha, one of the main concerns homeowners have regarding a walkout basement is the total cost it’ll take to build one.
However, not every home can have a walkout basement, and if you really want one, you’ll have to spend quite some money to make the terrain suitable for it.
If there’s no naturally occurring slope, the only other way to build a basement would be to excavate one, which is what oftentimes makes the walkout basement a costly project.
According to homewyse, the cost to excavate land in 2022 was between $51.98 to $179.47 per cubic yard. Obviously, the site conditions, the weather, and your location will impact this cost.
The Cost Of A Walkout Basement In Omaha
A walkout basement usually costs around $20,000 to build– which is more expensive than a traditional basement. The extra money goes towards the excavation and grading needed for a sloped entrance to the lower level, as well as stronger framing materials and improved finishes.
Building a walkout basement is more expensive because you have to take extra measures to level the ground, whether there’s already a slope or not. Preparing the construction site takes more time and effort, which adds to the total cost of building a walkout basement.
Generally, walk-out basements are more expensive than a traditional basements for several reasons.
With that being said, a walkout basement can cost anywhere from $20k to over $50k, depending on the materials, size, and finishes you’re looking to get.
At the same time, the same walkout space will increase your home’s value and help you recoup a lot of your investment.
The Pros And Cons Of Walkout Basements
Yes, walkout basements are great additions, but to get to that point, you’ll have to get past several building challenges. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of having a walkout basement.
The Construction Process Of A Walkout Basement
Because a walkout basement is way more complicated to build than a traditional basement, you’ll need to work with reliable contractors to make sure this addition is safe and worth it.
First of all, you’ll need an architect and a designer to draw the walkout basement house plans and apply for a building permit. At HMC, we’re doing all the paperwork for you and you won’t have to move a finger to get the permits.
Next, the area for the walkout basement must be excavated down to where a foundation and stairs can be installed. This will also include putting in retaining walls to hold back the soil.
With the foundation finished, you can now construct the framing for the walls and roof. As you build, ensure that your chosen materials can support the anticipated weight of snowfall in order to avoid any accidents or damage during wintertime.
After the framing structure is built, you can install flooring, drywall, insulation, and electrical wiring. You’ll also need to add a window and exterior door along with plumbing for the bathroom.
Disadvantages Of Walk-Out Basements
Below are some of the most common walkout basement problems and how to fix them:
Homes in colder areas must be designed to face potential frost and its damage. When you excavate land for an expansion, you’re putting your home at a lower level than the surrounding area, which can lead to big problems that jeopardize the strength of your entire house.
The solution to this problem is quite simple: underpin the existing foundation or heavily insulate the walkout excavation with expanded polystyrene (EPS), extruded polystyrene (XPS), or polyisocyanurate (polyiso).
All of these are great options for ensuring that your basement remains warm and cozy.
To avoid disasters, you’ll want to put drains in the floor of your basement so that melting snow and rain don’t cause any water damage.
This can occur is if the ground is not graded enough away from the walkout. It’s most common in walkouts that are not sloped significantly because too much of the ground was excavated.
To resolve this problem, an exterior drain located near the walkout entrance is ideal. Although, ensure you don’t build the p-trap on the outside. Remember that this drain connects to your plumbing waste system, not the perimeter drainage.
Increased Property Taxes
Adding a walkout basement will also increase your property taxes. This happens whenever your home value increases (in this case, you’re adding more living square footage).
Unfortunately, you cannot avoid this outcome. If you want to build a walkout basement, you need to first get a permit from your municipality. However, once you do that, the renovation will automatically cause a re-evaluation of your home’s worth on the market.
After your house is renovated, it will be appraised at a higher value. The difference in the old tax rate and the new tax rate will be your increased taxes due to the renovation.
If you want to build a walkout basement, do your research first so you know what you’re getting into. This will help you figure out if it’s the right choice for your household.
Although the cons of walkout basements might convince you not to do this project, they won’t matter if you find the right contractor.
At Home Matters Construction, you’re getting a reliable team of workers that’ll build you a long-lasting, safe, and beautiful walkout basement.