dslreports logo
site
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


Search Topic:
uniqs
17596
share rss forum feed

HarryH3
Premium
join:2005-02-21
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Suddenlink
reply to Austinloop

Re: [general] Why don't houses in the south have basements

said by Austinloop:

At least where I live in Texas, I am on top of almost solid limestone and flint rock (6 inches under the top of the dirt) . The expense would be quite high and the use of dynamite (or other explosive) would probably be required.

I watched crews "dig" basements in solid granite when I lived in Massachusetts. They would drill multiple holes into the ground and drop in explosives. Then a crane would lift and place huge "rugs" (for lack of a better term), made of woven steel cables, and place them on top of the blast area. There would be a loud boom, the earth would shake a bit, the rugs would jump up a few inches and some dust would be kicked up through the rugs. After the crane removed the rugs, a backhoe would dig out the rubble.

If they do it in granite that easily then it seems to me that creating a similar hole in our Central Texas limestone would be trivial.


Jan Janowski
Premium
join:2000-06-18
Skokie, IL
reply to IowaCowboy
In Mountains of N.C. you can't have basements, because of underground streams.... Here this year, off to left -- next year, etc....
--
Looking for 1939 Indian Motocycle


jrs8084
Premium
join:2002-03-02
Statesville, NC
kudos:1
reply to IowaCowboy
I have lived in three homes in NC and all of them had basements.

Current place-no sump pump, and used to use shallow well that hit water at 17'. Never had a problem in basement.


stevek1949
We're not in Kansas anymore
Premium
join:2002-11-13
Virginia Beach, VA
reply to IowaCowboy
Virginia Beach, VA...does the area nickname of TIDEWATER mean anything? When you hit water when digging a posthole, basements are not even an afterthought!


Snakeoil
Ignore Button. The coward's feature.
Premium
join:2000-08-05
Mentor, OH
kudos:1
reply to IowaCowboy
I've seen houses built in the North without basements. In some cases it's the builder not wanting to build a basement.
The house I owned in GA had a "partial" basement. The house was on a hillside and the garage was built under the house. It was an odd situation, so we never used the garage to park vehicles.
The rest was a crawl space that would turn into mud when ever it rained. And of course when we tried selling the house, Black Mold was discovered.

Which tells you to get a mold inspection before buying a home. Mold treatment can be very expensive. The quote we got started at 20k.
So if buying a house with a crawl space look for evidence of water seepage. Or see if the crawl space has a thick moisture barrier laid down.
--
Is a person a failure for doing nothing? Or is he a failure for trying, and not succeeding at what he is attempting to do? What did you fail at today?.


djrobx
Premium
join:2000-05-31
Valencia, CA
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VOIPO
reply to nunya
said by nunya:

I've noticed other regional quirks. Outdoor breaker panels are a rarity here, but commonplace in the South and West (I guess because there's no basement to put them in ).

I live in an area where the outdoor breaker is the norm. I don't get it either. Around here the service entrance is almost always located on the outside of an attached garage, it would be just as easy to put the panel on the inside. I think it's mainly because they can put the breakers and meter pan in the same box (cheaper), and well, the power company used to need to read the meter.
said by nunya:

... no gutters ...

Our current home has no gutters. Some neighbors have added them. I haven't figured out a good reason to add them to this house. If I did, it would just be something else I'd have to clean the debris out of. The majority of the water comes down from the roof onto cement walkways with drains, and there's no basement to worry about flooding.

For one thing, it's a good place to keep all your shit. You can stick all your mechanicals down there and free up living space.

We store our shit (and some mechanicals, if attached) in our garages. It's extremely common to see two car garages with only room for one car to park.

--
AT&T U-Hearse - RIP Unlimited Internet 1995-2011
Rethink Billable.

GusHerb94

join:2011-11-04
Chicago, IL
kudos:1
reply to IowaCowboy
Another reason houses had basements back then was for heating. Back before electricity was common, hot water flowed by gravity through real large pipes, you used steam, or you had "gravity hot air" which used massive sheet metal ductwork attached to a giant cast iron furnace aka octopus (because they looked like that with all the ducts coming out of it)

I think after that it just stuck for convenience reasons. There is a good number of houses around here that don't have basements. Basements stopped being an absolute "requirement" around 1950. There was ALOT of tract housing built in the 50s without basements, they all had forced air heating too.

Nowadays town homes and small tract homes mostly are on a slab, single family homes are still built with basements 95% of the time. There is a neighborhood near a river that they recently required that any new home not only not have a basement but be built a considerable height above the ground. It has a huge history of flooding, all the existing homes built in the 50s and 60s have basements and you have to be very diligent about water proofing or you'll always have seepage or worse.

As far as the south goes alot of the differences you see are cost cutting differences! I personally don't like having breaker panels outside, HVAC equipment in attics, romex wiring instead of metal conduit, single pane windows, etc etc. Whenever I mention how they should build like we do over here I get the line "but that's dramatically more expensive!"......yet somehow we've been building that way forever and have managed to pay for it. Sadly I do see more Romex wiring and Pex pipe for plumbing around here these days though.

I would like to build a house in the South to the standards I'm accustomed to up here in the Midwest, including having a basement. Also another thing which I think is ironic is that bad quality HVAC systems are RAMPANT in the southern states, which also happen to be the places that need A/C the most! Up here a majority of homes have more then enough cooling capacity to freeze you to death on a 110 degree day. (it shouldn't be that way but people like to oversize equipment, which runs up bills and decreases comfort)


Boricua
Premium
join:2002-01-26
Sacramuerto
reply to IowaCowboy
When I used to live in Philly, we had a basement. My mother kept chickens down there (of all things). I remember the washer and dryer there as well. I miss having a basement .
--
Illegal aliens have always been a problem in the United States. Ask any Indian. Robert Orben

Beezel

join:2008-12-15
Las Vegas, NV
reply to gatorkram
said by gatorkram:

I remember living in West Virginia, and not every house had a basement, yet some had not only a basement, but a sub-basement too.

It had to do with getting a solid foundation, as everything that had basements and sub-basements were built into the side of hills.

Some were because of that, but also a basement on flat ground usually had water seeping issues over time and required sump pumps.


Drex
Beer...The other white meat.
Premium
join:2000-02-24
Not There
kudos:1
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
reply to IowaCowboy
Below sea level, soft soil, humidity...

We just have to get people to stop living in trailer parks...that's where the tornado's always seem to land.
--
I'm actually not funny, I'm just really mean and people think I'm joking.


dennismurphy
Put me on hold? I'll put YOU on hold
Premium
join:2002-11-19
Parsippany, NJ
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to IowaCowboy
My home has a full (finished) basement.

The house across the street (was originally the same model) does not. Same owners since it was built in '68. I was talking to them and apparently the full basement was a $500 option at the time, and they chose not to pay for it.

Running through an inflation calculator, that's $3,289.47 in today's money. Small potatoes, all things considered.


UHF
All static, all day, Forever
Premium,MVM
join:2002-05-24
Reviews:
·Mediacom
·Callcentric
·Dish Network
reply to GusHerb94
said by GusHerb94:

Sadly I do see more Romex wiring and Pex pipe for plumbing around here these days though.

Conduit seems to be a Chicago thing. I've lived in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Wisconsin and all of those houses used Romex.
Expand your moderator at work


bassjunky

join:2005-05-12
Aubrey, TX
reply to IowaCowboy

Re: [general] Why don't houses in the south have basements

I live in North Texas and ever since visiting some of my wife's family in OH, all who have basements, I've always wanted one. I just want a kickass bar/home theater/jam room downstairs!


Tex
Premium
join:2012-10-20
kudos:2
Yeah, I've always wanted a basement for the same reasons.

The first time I met my wife's parents in Iowa back in 1974 was the first time I had ever been in a basement. They practically lived down there. My father-in-law had his own space where he worked on his model trains. There was a full bathroom that everyone used. The upstairs bathroom and the living room looked like no one had ever set foot in them.


intok

join:2012-03-15
reply to Boricua
said by Boricua:

When I used to live in Philly, we had a basement. My mother kept chickens down there (of all things). I remember the washer and dryer there as well. I miss having a basement .

As a fellow Puerto Rican, I know all about this, my grandparents kept live chickens and the occasional goat in the basement, in Chicago, well into their 80's which was in the 90's.

It was cheaper then buying and when they reach a certain age they ended up on a plate.

sk1939
Premium
join:2010-10-23
Mclean, VA
kudos:10
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·Verizon FiOS
reply to stevek1949
said by stevek1949:

Virginia Beach, VA...does the area nickname of TIDEWATER mean anything? When you hit water when digging a posthole, basements are not even an afterthought!

To think people complain that their house always floods knowing that. Kind of like building your house below sea level...


mix

join:2002-03-19
Utica, MI
reply to IowaCowboy
I'd like to second the keeping a goat in your basement comment.


Cho Baka
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-23
there
kudos:2
reply to IowaCowboy
Lol at all the goats and chicken comments...
--
The talented hawk speaks French.


John97
Over The Hills And Far Away
Premium
join:2000-11-14
Spring Hill, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Bright House
·ooma
reply to IowaCowboy
I lived all of my life in PA up until the tail end of 2012. My parents house where I grew up (and they still live) has a full basement. My own house I had before moving down here was a split-level with a crawlspace. Now, I like in FL in a house that is on a slab.

I miss the basement/crawlspace for one reason and one reason only. It was much easier to pull cable and put ethernet in every room. Now, I have to fish walls and go through the attic.
--
So put me on a highway, and show me a sign.
And take it to the limit one more time...

kherr
Premium
join:2000-09-04
Collinsville, IL
Reviews:
·Charter
reply to sk1939
said by sk1939:

said by stevek1949:

Virginia Beach, VA...does the area nickname of TIDEWATER mean anything? When you hit water when digging a posthole, basements are not even an afterthought!

To think people complain that their house always floods knowing that. Kind of like building your house below sea level...

You mean like New Orleans .....

bkjohnson
Premium
join:2002-05-22
Birmingham, AL
reply to IowaCowboy
Counting my childhood, I have lived in 13 houses in the south. Ten had basements, while 3 did not.

sk1939
Premium
join:2010-10-23
Mclean, VA
kudos:10
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·Verizon FiOS
reply to kherr
said by kherr:

said by sk1939:

said by stevek1949:

Virginia Beach, VA...does the area nickname of TIDEWATER mean anything? When you hit water when digging a posthole, basements are not even an afterthought!

To think people complain that their house always floods knowing that. Kind of like building your house below sea level...

You mean like New Orleans .....

Yes.


BillRoland
Premium
join:2001-01-21
Ocala, FL
kudos:3
reply to IowaCowboy
Lived in Florida all my life, only seen one house with a basement. I know I wouldn't want one.

GusHerb94

join:2011-11-04
Chicago, IL
kudos:1
reply to UHF
said by UHF:

said by GusHerb94:

Sadly I do see more Romex wiring and Pex pipe for plumbing around here these days though.

Conduit seems to be a Chicago thing. I've lived in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Wisconsin and all of those houses used Romex.

Yes it is a Chicago thing. Most other places have been using Romex since it first became big in the 40s/50s. Something I'm very glad hasn't caught on here until the past decade! Having metal conduit (aka EMT) made it incredibly easy to re-wire my grandmas 1950 ranch style home, and do a number of changes/add ons around our house over the years. If it were Romex, holes would have had to have been made and wires would've needed fishing through the walls.

Also made our building in the city easy to re-wire for the previous owners, it is all iron pipe (conduit) original to the building from 1915. (the place actually had gas lighting and electricity put in together when it was built)

Single family homes in the suburbs usually used knob and tube wiring until the late 20s or so, then it was all EMT from there.

Expand your moderator at work

sk1939
Premium
join:2010-10-23
Mclean, VA
kudos:10
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·Verizon FiOS
reply to GusHerb94

Re: [general] Why don't houses in the south have basements

said by GusHerb94:

said by UHF:

said by GusHerb94:

Sadly I do see more Romex wiring and Pex pipe for plumbing around here these days though.

Conduit seems to be a Chicago thing. I've lived in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Wisconsin and all of those houses used Romex.

Yes it is a Chicago thing. Most other places have been using Romex since it first became big in the 40s/50s. Something I'm very glad hasn't caught on here until the past decade! Having metal conduit (aka EMT) made it incredibly easy to re-wire my grandmas 1950 ranch style home, and do a number of changes/add ons around our house over the years. If it were Romex, holes would have had to have been made and wires would've needed fishing through the walls.

Also made our building in the city easy to re-wire for the previous owners, it is all iron pipe (conduit) original to the building from 1915. (the place actually had gas lighting and electricity put in together when it was built)

Single family homes in the suburbs usually used knob and tube wiring until the late 20s or so, then it was all EMT from there.

Conduit is expensive, a PITA to work with when installing it, and union fodder, but it is nice once in place.

GusHerb94

join:2011-11-04
Chicago, IL
kudos:1
said by sk1939:

Conduit is expensive, a PITA to work with when installing it, and union fodder, but it is nice once in place.

Yes I agree, it is a pain. If you can do it and do a neat job though, you are an artist. When my parents built their home 23 years ago my dad and my uncle who is an electrical engineer did all the wiring, all EMT. My uncle had very good pipe bending skills, his work is a masterpiece. I can tell what parts my dad did though....it looks, well, not perfect. hahahah.

It was also funny because over the years I have changed out most of the wiring devices and many light fixtures in this house and can also tell which fixtures/devices my dad wired up vs ones that someone else did... because he used the "backstabs" on the devices and also some old school splices, instead of wire nuts hahaha.

AVonGauss
Premium
join:2007-11-01
Boynton Beach, FL
reply to sk1939
said by sk1939:

Conduit is expensive, a PITA to work with when installing it, and union fodder, but it is nice once in place.

Conduit is cheap, paying the person to install it at today's rates, not so cheap. The first time you have to do any major change, imho, it pays for itself though.

GusHerb94

join:2011-11-04
Chicago, IL
kudos:1
said by AVonGauss:

said by sk1939:

Conduit is expensive, a PITA to work with when installing it, and union fodder, but it is nice once in place.

Conduit is cheap, paying the person to install it at today's rates, not so cheap. The first time you have to do any major change, imho, it pays for itself though.

Yeah the stuff is cheap, we've installed a bit of it over the years. Never paid anyone to install it though, have been able to do it ourselves. Not impossible to do if you just calculate and measure right.

We have added 3 circuits to this house and done some 3 way switch additions, and several new outlets and indeed having the EMT made it so convenient. Also gives you freedom to set up circuits how you want, after the fact. with 38 circuits in our house it would look like spaghetti by the panel if it were all Romex hahaha.