A finished basement is a very desirable feature in the modern log home, increasing both the functionality and resale value of your house. While the benefits of a finished basement are great, many people designing a new house will wish to put their budget to use above ground and finish the basement at a later date. While this idea makes sense, there are several considerations you should have in mind when building your home if you intend to pursue this plan. These items will cost very little to address when the house is built and will save you much frustration and expense when you return to fix up your basement.
Access and Egress
Even if you keep your basement unfinished, access to your basement is very important. Since we tend to keep large items stored in the basement, or even bulky exercise equipment like treadmills, easy access is a large help. Make sure that your stairwell to the basement allows transporting large items from the house and give serious thought to a bulkhead door to the outside. If your building site is on a slope, then a “daylight basement” can provide great access, light, and value to the log home.
If you will be adding a bedroom in the finished basement, then egress windows are required in each bedroom. An egress window is also required in the basement if it is finished. These are much cheaper to create when the foundation is initially constructed than retrofitting later. Modern options are much more aesthetically pleasing than the galvanized metal options of the past, with fiberglass and brick options that compliment your log homes exterior.
If you plan on finishing a basement, then it is important that there is enough clearance once the basement is finished. Many codes call for at least seven feet of clearance, and taller people will appreciate the space regardless. Since digging out and lowering the concrete floor is very expensive, pouring the foundation with enough depth initially is very important. If you plan to finish your basement after construction, the helpful staff at Real Log Homes will work with your builder to help ensure that you have enough headroom to properly complete the job. It’s definitely something you should bring up with the design staff when you begin to plan your new log home.
Although breaking the floor to install drainpipe is not as expensive as lowering the entire floor, it is still much more expensive and time consuming than installation when the foundation is poured. If you believe you will later finish the basement, consider planning where a bathroom would go. Installing this plumbing initially will save great headaches later.
Since the basement is below ground, it is very important to consider lighting when planning out the basement. Windows help to let in natural light, but since they are smaller than above ground windows you should plan on having a few per enclosed basement room. Although you will want to enclose bedrooms and bathrooms, consider an open floor plan for the rest of the finished basement to make the best use of the available natural light.
We hope these items have helped you think about how you can build your log home now, and plan to finish the basement later with the least amount of stress. After all, planning for it from the get-go will help save time and money in the long run. So, do you think you’d want a finished basement in your log home? Would you finish it right away, or do you think you’d wait a while? Leave us a comment and let us know your thoughts. And if you’re ready to get started with the designs for your log home, please call Real Log Homes today or fill out the form below for more information.