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r81984
Fair and Balanced
Premium
join:2001-11-14
Katy, TX
Reviews:
·row44
reply to IowaCowboy

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

I'm living in houston and have been looking for a house.
People claim its for flooding reason, but at work we just dug out a 25 foot pit and it was dry not swampy. I was nice clay to 20 feet then sand below. The clay would make it ideal for a basement in this area. Worst case is you just need a really good sump pump.
We have concrete pits for machine foundations that are 10ft deep in this area and they never flood. So I dont even think flooding is the real reason for no basements in my area even thought that is way everyone claims.

I cant even find one with a basement on a hill.
To me, not having a basement is just odd and a huge loss of space.
Also you would think houses in the south would be cheaper since they lose half their space compared to a house in the north with a basement, but they are not cheaper at all.

Other odd things about houses in the south is they see nothing wrong with single pane windows and not having gutters.
Even on newer construction homes they still have single pane windows. I did not think you could even buy those anymore.
--
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robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1

said by r81984:

I'm living in houston and have been looking for a house...Also you would think houses in the south would be cheaper since they lose half their space compared to a house in the north with a basement, but they are not cheaper at all.

Location, location, location.

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1

1 edit
reply to r81984

I don't know where the idea comes about that Texas has a high water table. It's not true. Basements weren't originally built to provide more living space and in fact it is hard even today to create quality living space out of a basement. True, people create living spaces and use them for storage but that is not their real function. The function of a basement is to lower the foundation to a point below the frost line to prevent frost heaving. That just isn't a problem in Texas or most parts of the south.



Pacrat
Old and Cranky
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-10
Cortland, OH
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
reply to r81984

I questioned the lack of basements of a business contact in Mississippi some years ago... he explained to me that the clay is very unstable... that it does, in fact, move/creep causing all kinds of foundation problems. He mentioned to me that the only homes with basements were some upscale houses where they could afford to remove the clay for a considerable distance around the foundation walls and backfill with something else more stable. I forget the distance he told me, but I think it was somewhere around 20-30 feet. For most homeowners that becomes pretty cost prohibitive. He called that particular clay Yazoo clay. I don't know how prevalent that is throughout the south, but that might have a lot to do with it.
--
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ilikeme
I live in a van down by the river.
Premium
join:2002-08-27
Sugar Land, TX
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Vonage
reply to r81984

said by r81984:

I'm living in houston and have been looking for a house.
People claim its for flooding reason, but at work we just dug out a 25 foot pit and it was dry not swampy. I was nice clay to 20 feet then sand below. The clay would make it ideal for a basement in this area. Worst case is you just need a really good sump pump.
We have concrete pits for machine foundations that are 10ft deep in this area and they never flood. So I dont even think flooding is the real reason for no basements in my area even thought that is way everyone claims.

I cant even find one with a basement on a hill.
To me, not having a basement is just odd and a huge loss of space.
Also you would think houses in the south would be cheaper since they lose half their space compared to a house in the north with a basement, but they are not cheaper at all.

Other odd things about houses in the south is they see nothing wrong with single pane windows and not having gutters.
Even on newer construction homes they still have single pane windows. I did not think you could even buy those anymore.

There are actually some houses in Houston that do have them, mostly older ones closer to downtown. My friends house in River Oaks has one. Also, a lot of office buildings have them.
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MaynardKrebs
Heave Steve, for the good of the country
Premium
join:2009-06-17
kudos:4
reply to robbin

said by robbin:

The function of a basement is to lower the foundation to a point below the frost line to prevent frost heaving.

Plain wrong.

You don't NEED a basement to get the foundation below the frost line. Simply excavate a trench wide enough to work in and form/pour the footing. Then add the foundation wall on top of that. There is no need to excavate an entire basement if you don't want to.

Basements, if properly built and waterproofed, can be built well below the water table.