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Edgar

Advice Sought for New Home Construction

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I'm making decisions on a new house that I'm having built. I've made most of my selections, but one just won't go away. Builder and realtor are encouraging a "nine-foot pour" for the basement -- nine-foot basement walls instead of eight-foot. It seems to me that eight-foot walls are stronger, place the basement floor one foot farther away from the water table, and $6000 cheaper. But I'm seeking input about any advantages that they might bring. Thanks.

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If you ever plan on finishing off the basement it will be a lot more spacious looking with 9 foot walls. Listening room, home theater etc

Just my two cents

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I would go 9' for sure.  The extra headroom in the basement makes it feel so much more open. 6k over the many years you will be in the house is insignificant for the gains you will realize.  Plus, heating and cooling costs really wont be significantly more due to it being in the basement.  When I build my retirement home, I will have 10' ceilings in the basement!

 

If your worried about going too deep, dig down to the same depth as you would with 8 foot walls, and just back fill 1' additional around the house with a nice easy slope for drainage.

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7 minutes ago, rmlowz said:

If you ever plan on finishing off the basement it will be a lot more spacious looking with 9 foot walls. Listening room, home theater etc

 

Thanks. No plans to ever finish the basement -- great room on the main floor is 31x19 with 9' ceilings, and it's all mine. I only use the basement for storage and a small woodworking shop.

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9 minutes ago, Iteachstem said:

I would go 9' for sure.  The extra headroom in the basement makes it feel so much more open. 6k over the many years you will be in the house is insignificant for the gains you will realize. 

 

Thanks, but as I mentioned above, I don't "live" in the basement so I'm having trouble identifying exactly what those gains might be.

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If you don't plan to use the extra height for yourself, the only advantage is resale. I would pay extra for a house with 9 ft clearance in the basement. Not sure it is worth an extra $6000 or tying up 6gs until you sell, but there you go.

Looks like you already have your mind made up. Buy some nice speakers with the money and enjoy it. That is the type of answer you would expect from this forum, run with it.

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22 minutes ago, MookieStl said:

If you don't plan to use the extra height for yourself, the only advantage is resale. I would pay extra for a house with 9 ft clearance in the basement. Not sure it is worth an extra $6000 or tying up 6gs until you sell, but there you go.

 

That's the most commonly cited reason. Honestly, I'm nearing retirement and kind of hoping that this house isn't resold until I'm in that great listening room in the sky.

 

Quote

Looks like you already have your mind made up. Buy some nice speakers with the money and enjoy it.

 

I haven't completely made the decision, but the answers I've received here are more in line with my own thoughts. As for what to do with the money ... well, that's a difficult decision, too.

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3 minutes ago, Edgar said:

As for what to do with the money ... well, that's a difficult decision, too.

I'm pretty good at spending it if you need help. 

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9" would be really nice and as said would feel much bigger and be easier to do thing with.

 

But like you said, you don't have any particular plans for it and would not use it much, then probably 8" is fine, it's not like that is shorter than normal. 

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9 feet. 6K these days wont even buy a couch that makes the wife happy. You may spend the last 50% of your existence down there, I know I do.

 

 

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If you don't decide to do the 9' ceilings, definitely do an extra wide staircase to the basement!  Straight shot, so much easier to move items up and down!

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9 hours ago, Max2 said:

6K these days wont even buy a couch that makes the wife happy.

 

That's why I don't have one. Wife, that is -- I have a couch.

 

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You may spend the last 50% of your existence down there, I know I do.

 

I certainly hope not!

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Basement,  what's that? Is that some east coast thing?😀

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1 foot of basement wall is $6K. Maybe build it on a crawl space and save $50K? I know concrete is expensive these days, but that just seems like a lot for a foot unless it's a giant house.

 

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Don't ever build a crawlspace. Never, never never never. A crawlspace collects every bug and animal in the universe unless you concrete the whole thing. They dig nice holes under the footers to enter. You will pay 50K in hospital bills trying to do maintenance in a 3 or 4 foot crawl space.

JJK

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59 minutes ago, Shiva said:

Basement,  what's that? Is that some east coast thing?😀

 

Many years ago, I moved to California to go to graduate school. I told someone there that I had come from Missouri. He said, "Cool! I've always wanted to visit the East Coast."

 

No, Missouri is a long, long way from the East Coast. It's one of those flyover states. :D

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Save your 6k, you don't need the extra height. That seems a little high on the price for an extra 12". Are basements popular in your area? Around here, a 2000' basement, 8' height is around 40k. That's with a full drainage system inside and out, plumbed into an interior sump pit.

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7 minutes ago, JJkizak said:

Don't ever build a crawlspace. Never, never never never. A crawlspace collects every bug and animal in the universe unless you concrete the whole thing. They dig nice holes under the footers to enter. You will pay 50K in hospital bills trying to do maintenance in a 3 or 4 foot crawl space.

JJK

What? Sounds like someone had a bad experience.

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3 minutes ago, Ceptorman said:

Are basements popular in your area? Around here, a 2000' basement, 8' height is around 40k. That's with a full drainage system inside and out, plumbed into an interior sump pit.

 

Basements are almost universal here. A house built on a slab is pretty rare, and definitely detracts from resale value.

 

This is tornado territory. Not as bad as Oklahoma (I've lived there, too.), but the threat is present.

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