Double basements are useful for homes that need to expand without the option of building up or sideways. Multi-level basements offer better privacy and considerably increase home value.
Double basements are rare, but they exist. The rich are sometimes seen as the sole homeowners who build double-level basements. However, you can have them in your home as well, if local regulation allows them.
Multi-level basements are typically associated with commercial buildings such as shopping malls, warehouses, hotels, and public parking lots. However, they are increasingly popular in residential use over the past few years.
10 Uses of Double Basements for a House
The usefulness of double basements can be categorized in long lists. However, the following uses are the most common and the most reasonable when it comes to explaining why investing in an expensive double basement is worth it.
- Increased storage space
The first benefit of a double basement compared to a single-level basement is the increased storage space. You can increase or even double storage space with multi-level basements. You can add a few extra hundred square feet to your home.
- Higher privacy
Privacy is one of the main reasons the rich build double-level basements. It’s easier to relax without seeing paparazzi out the window when you’re 2 levels underground. At the same time, rich people build entertainment rooms which often require more space a simple home may not provide.
- Better security
Increased safety is another good reason to consider 2-level basements. Just consider parking your cars safely in the basement compared to leaving them out on the driveway.
What about motorcycles? You might think your expensive Harley Davidson is safe out on the street but it’s safer in the basement where nobody can see it or access it easily.
- Better sound insulation
Some rooms need superior sound insulation. Let’s say you have a home downtown. The basement is always going to be quieter compared to any upper floor. This is why ideal sound insulation in a home is only found in the basement.
- Better insulation from extreme temperatures
Those living in places that see extreme temperatures tend to benefit from double basements the most. Houses in the North were always built with basements while homes in states such as California have no basements at all. The added weather protection is worth it when you’re trying to reduced heating bills.
- Improved foundation resistance in cold areas
Cold areas require basements so that the foundation doesn’t freeze and crack. The foundation below ground level doesn’t crack, even below freezing temperatures. This is the sole reason double basements can be even more durable than 3-story buildings.
- Increased home value
When you add a double basement to a home you immediately increase its value. A home with a double basement costs anywhere between 50% and 200% more compared to a home with no basement or a home with a single-level basement.
- An extra bedroom
Some areas of the country allow for a basement to bedroom conversion. While some basements don’t appear in the square footage of a house, basements converted to bedrooms can appear in the square footage of a home.
- Extra space for hobbies
Hobbies are always a fun way to relax. But they can be difficult to keep up with during the winter. This is why a second basement or a double basement is ideal for hobbies such as ping pong, bowling, or even basketball.
Can a house have two basements?
A house can only have two basements whenever local regulations allow it. The space beneath the house needs to be free of water lines, metro lines, power lines, and other obstacles.
A house can be built with two basements as new or at any other point. Basements can always be added to the home later on.
Why don’t people have multi-level basements?
On the other hand, people don’t have multi-level basements because they’re expensive and because they have poor ventilation. No natural light also limits the optimal use of multi-level basements.
- Double basements are expensive to build
Double basements are expensive. A simple basement represents around 30% of the value of a home. A double basement can represent up to 60% of the value of a home. This means these basements need to be used constantly to make financial sense.
- There aren’t too many companies that take on such tasks
Builders are found everywhere. However, builders willing to take on the complex task of building double basements are scarce. These are complex jobs that expand the timespan needed to build a house.
- Engineering can be expensive
Engineering costs add up to the construction costs of a double basement. It can cost more than $10.000 to agree with an engineer and an architect on the best technical solutions and designs for a double basement for your home.
- There are no windows in the bottom level basement
No matter how luxurious double basements are they rarely get any natural sunlight. This means the lack of windows limits the use of these extra rooms of a house.
- Some basements aren’t used too often
Basements make up at least a quarter of a home’s price. But they are rarely used in most homes. Double basements can have the same destiny. Rarely uses, they are sometimes better replaced by a new building in the backyard or even by a second home.
- Higher groundwater levels
The lower you dig the more water you find. This is why double basements need better basement wall insulation and better water management systems. All of these are expensive and complex to implement.
- Poor ventilation
The reduced ventilation is what sees many house basements be a source of mold and musty smells. But double basement houses are even more complicated. You need professional ventilation for such projects.
Double basements are highly useful for homes that can’t expand up or to the sides. While they are expensive to build, they are the sole alternative for extra space. They also have unique advantages such as better privacy and safety providing safe storage space for expensive belongings.