What Is a Walkout Basement? What You Need To Know!
Every homeowner is trying to make their living space conducive to enable them conveniently spend a lot of time in it, especially with WFH policies becoming more popular. Even homeowners with traditional-style homes are constantly upgrading their homes to give the home a touch of novelty. As the term implies, this is a basement with an entrance and exit.
That said, one of the recent trends in houses is the inclusion of a walkout basement. Homes with walkout basements tend to get more attention from potential buyers, as they have a higher value.
In this guide, you will find everything you need to know about walkout basements.
While being a part of the house, it is a stand-alone unit. This means that walkout basements are self-sustained, with their own components and features that can make them pass for a room.
You do not have to enter a walkout basement from the main building, as it has its own entrance.
There are other types of basements that are incorporated into buildings.
How to Identify a Walkout Basement
Walkout basements generally have full heights with ceilings above 5 feet. They are mainly used in houses that are close to hilly areas, as they are more suitable for houses built on a slope.
Most times, a part of the basement will be exposed while the other part will be hidden underground. There is an entrance and an exit door at ground level and windows. This provides more access to sunlight, so walkout basements usually have full access to natural light.
Traditional Basements vs. Walkout Basements
Some homeowners are making the transition from traditional basements to walkout basements. Here is an overview of both basement styles:
|Traditional Basement||Walkout Basement|
|No installation of a door leading out from the basement||An exit door that leads outside the basement is installed|
|The entrance door to the basement is inside the main building||It has a separate entrance door|
|The cost of installation is lower: anywhere between $20k and $50k||The cost of installation is higher: anywhere between $40k and $100k|
|The space is usually dim-lit as the only window is a tiny one at the ceiling level||There is a lot of natural light|
Factors to Consider Before Choosing to Install a Walkout Basement
Land areas that are sloped or uneven make great topography for walkout basements. For a walkout basement to be installed in an even-grounded area, a lot of slope adjustments will have to be made, and this will cost more money and take more time.
Different cities have specific building codes that all buildings must adhere to. Before choosing to install a walkout basement, check to see that this is in line with the building code for your city.
A walkout basement tends to be more expensive than other basement types. Ensure that the cost of this suits your budget before proceeding.
FAQs: Walkout Basements
Does a Walkout Basement Count as Square Footage?
This depends on the regulations in your city. For example, in cities where only livable spaces are considered as square footage, a walkout basement does not count since it is usually not considered livable.
In other cities, the part of the walkout basement that is above grade is considered square footage. To be certain about this, consult the building code for your state of residence.
How Much Value Will a Walkout Basement Add to My House?
A house that has been renovated to include a walkout basement will get a new property tax payment plan. This new plan will be a sum of the existing plan and the renovated value. The new valuation of your home will be stated on your annual property taxes assessment. This value will give you an estimate of the new value of your home.
Can a Walkout Basement be Added to Any Home?
No. The slope of the land must be carefully considered before installing it. The land requires some level of slope for it to accommodate a walkout basement.
Are Walkout Basements Safe?
Yes. Walkout basements are built with strong walls that can support the load. The entrance and exit doors also make it more secure.
Walkout basements are here to stay because there are so many benefits attached to them. However, before installing a walkout basement, consider its pros and cons, and check with your building contractor to confirm that your building is suitable for one.
Featured Image Credit: Artazum, Shutterstock