Originally we had planned to dig out the entire footprint of our home, putting in a full basement, with half fully finished during construction and the remaining half to be finished later. Basements are a rarity in the Pacific Northwest, and our builder never really did understand why we wanted one. I guess that's what happens when you have two clients from Chicago/Cleveland respectively. In our minds: why wouldn't you have a basement? Especially when starting a house from scratch.
You might remember the photos of the excavation crew digging:
|The guy in the orange shirt is standing in our basement|
- According to the
people who make me want to take a napfriendly employees at city hall, the total square footage of our house, with basement, had exceeded 5,000 square feet. You might be sitting there thinking "Seriously? The house doesn't look that big." Apparently the new calculations for total square footage include all covered outdoor living spaces, basement and garage. Since we have a large size covered front porch and an even bigger covered back porch, we ended up shooting ourselves in the foot. (It would've been really nice if the architect had been up to date on the new square footage rules, because we could've saved a wad of cash since this little rule forced us to do an architectural redraw of the basement). The total square footage of our home became an issue, because any home in our city over 5,000 square feet requires installation of fire sprinklers. Sprinkling a "5,000 square foot home" will set you back about $4,700 and there's always the potential for accidental flooding. No thanks.
- The second reason why we decided to decrease the size of the basement was because we had come very close to meeting our export costs after digging out just half the basement. You might be wondering what the heck an "export cost" is. Here's the thing: not only are you paying someone to dig out your dirt, but then you're paying the same guy to load it into a truck, drive it down the road to someone else who will then accept the dirt for another project. Since dirt has a "fluff factor," it's hard to know whether or not the money you originally budget for excavation will end up being enough. Obviously, in our case it wasn't.
|Coat closet at the bottom of the stairs|
|Walking under the stairs to the mechanical room. Lots of storage in the nook just beyond the stairs. The mechanical room will have a door for noise and aesthetics.|
|Looking up into the great room from the basement stairs. The staircase will be lit with two wall sconces.|