Basement is the part of a building constructed below the ground level. Though basement is not a new concept, it has lately gained immense popularity as an invincible part of modern buildings, especially in the commercial and hospitality sector. Most offices, malls and apartments utilize this space for parking. Utility areas in hotels and hospitals are part of the basement. They can also be successfully incorporated in residences. An efficiently designed basement can offer numerous advantages.
Benefits of a basement
- With a basement, you get higher floor area ratio i.e. the same piece of land is utilized better.
- A well-constructed basement increases the resale value of the house.
- It gives you an auxiliary space in the house which can be reserved for occasional activities like social gatherings, recreation zone, etc.
- This space can easily be converted into an isolated, no-disturbance zone for home office or library.
- In summers, the basement is cooler than the superstructure and hence having a bedroom here can help you take this advantage.
- A walk-out basement can be easily rented out for residential or commercial purpose.
Basement Planning:Things to keep in mind while constructing a basement
- Make sure that constructing a basement is feasible in the given topography. A rocky substratum may mean an expensive basement whereas sandy soil may lead to a weak one. It is advisable to study a few buildings with basement in the vicinity, and then make an informed decision.
- Inspect the water table behaviour of the area. It is not recommended to opt for a basement in an area with a high water table.
- Study the building code of the area. It would give you a fair idea whether to opt for a basement or not.
- Preferably, opt for a look-out basement. A look-out basement is one where a part of the basement is above the ground. This gives you ample wall area for windows and ventilators, and hence takes care of natural lighting in this space.
- One of the major concerns in basement construction is water-proofing. So, it is mandatory to use water-proofing sealants on both the exterior and interior walls. Also, plan efficient drainage; installing French drain with sump pump is an effective way to prevent damage.
- The plan of this space should be as open as possible. This helps in natural lighting and ventilation. Also, in case of fire, an open basement can be easily evacuated.
Basement Space Usage: Ways in which the basement can be used
There are several ways in which this space can be used. Here are a few ideas:
- The basement provides an excellent space for entertaining friends and guests. Being disjoint from the rest of the house, you can be assured that the other family members are not disturbed. You can set up a mini bar and place a few couches to set the mood right and make great use of this space.
- It can be effectively used as a recreation zone. You can setup a home theatre system and enjoy movies with your family and friends. It can also be made into an indoor games zone. Table tennis, billiards, etc. are a few popular options.
- This is an ideal space for a private gymnasium.
- It can also be easily converted into a home office. Being isolated from the rest of the house, it provides an excellent no-disturbance zone.
- If you are fond of reading and were unsure where to pile up those books, this space has come to your aid. Not only can it be used to house the library, it can also provide you a serene space for a read.
- It is extensively used as a utility area. You can use this space to store occasional items.
- A well-constructed basement can serve as a magnificent guest space. It lets you enjoy your privacy without compromising hospitality.
- It can provide ample parking space. Also, you can construct it in such a way that part of it can be used for parking and the rest can be used as a regular space.