Thursday, January 23, 2014

Is a crawlspace ok in a new home?


I’m looking to build a new home, but the land I’m looking at won’t allow me to build a full basement. Don’t I need a basement in my home?


Many new homes don’t have basements today. With the limited space and shrinking stock of land to build houses on people are being forced to build homes on less than ideal land. Because of this builders have had to invent ways to help people have their home without a basement and design it in a way that it doesn't affect the functionality of the home.

Crawl spaces today aren’t the damp dark things that people think about from 3 or 4 decades ago. Today crawl spaces are just like basements, modern day basements are warm and dry and are today's crawlspaces. Crawl spaces are also functional for what you require them to be.

One of the primary functions of a crawlspace is to house all the mechanical requirements that run your home; this eliminates the need for a mechanical room upstairs. With being able to put the mechanical in the crawlspace you keep the valuable square footage upstairs for the extra livable space you need when you don't have a basement.

Furnaces, water treatment, air handlers, sump pumps and water heating can all be done in the crawlspace. With the invention of flash boilers hot water tanks are no longer needed, this allows them to fit into smaller spaces. Audio/video controls, alarm and venting for gas fireplaces can also be located in the crawlspace.

To save even more space upstairs exterior entrances to the crawlspace are being installed on the outside of houses. These are commonly referred to as bilco doors. They allow access to the crawl space without having to enter through the house. This gives you more options to storing things in the crawlspace like canoes, skies or other things that wouldn’t fit down through a trap door or a small stair case inside the home.

When you design the home you need to keep in mind that you have limited storage options without a basement, so you have to be smart about how you organize the storage of your home and how you plan to use the storage space you have in the garage. Doing this will minimize the impact of not having a basement.

If you’re the kind of person that doesn’t require a lot of storage then building a home with a crawlspace instead of a basement will save you money, crawlspaces are far less than building a full height basement. The concrete walls aren’t as high and you don’t have to worry about finishing it. You can still use your crawl space for storage; it should function just fine for things like Christmas decorations or winter sports equipment.

So when you are looking at land for your new home don’t discount the ones that will not allow a basement, it could workout in your favor.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

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