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Old 03-01-2009, 11:18 PM   #1
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Default Who Has a Basement?

Just out of curiosity, up here in Canada it's kind of par for course to have basements. I thought the U.S. was the same as I'd always seen people on TV with basements. But considering some recent comments form American friends and people on this board, it seems they're not as common as I thought. Which is a pity considering our hobby! Is it an earthquake thing?

I'm particularly interested in hearing from people 'round Portland (OR) as I could be moving that way soon.

And if you DO have a basement, is there any reason you don't have a bar?

-WW

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Old 03-01-2009, 11:22 PM   #2
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it's a matter of two things really, the height of the water table in the area and the soil composition. here in michigan youll most likely have a basement of some sort, even if it's a root cellar.

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Old 03-01-2009, 11:23 PM   #3
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I live in Vermont. I have a basement. I used to live in Michigan, had a basement in every house I lived in there. Lived around Los Angeles for a couple of years, no basement. Lived in Phoenix, AZ for a couple of years one summer, no basement.

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Old 03-01-2009, 11:25 PM   #4
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I live in the south east, and basements are not uncommon, but my house is built on a concrete slab foundation. Common as they are less expensive to construct, I believe. I do NOT prefer them, as a DIYer, they commonly are layed over the plumbing. My current house had a good remodel and we pulled everything but the supply above the slab.

With regard to brewing, I have a shop that I am working on now that the house is nearing completion. I plan on moving brewing operations out there.

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Old 03-01-2009, 11:28 PM   #5
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I live in Florida now and if you dig 1-2 feet down you hit water. I grew up in Las Vegas, NV and much of the ground beneath the surface is made of Caliche (sp?), this is basically really hard clay. It is really difficult to dig out and makes basement not fiscally feasible.

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Old 03-01-2009, 11:32 PM   #6
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I have a basement and love it. They are pretty common in my area. I will have a bar once I get the money to do it.

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Old 03-01-2009, 11:37 PM   #7
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Yep, I have a basement and I brew down there:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f85/bark...ke-tour-99483/

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Old 03-01-2009, 11:42 PM   #8
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Where I live, everybody has a basement. I think it's because of environment, though. You have to dig your supports below the frost line. The frost line is just over 6 feet deep, so even a crawl space has to have the footings over six feet deep. Since that's the case, might as well have a basement for approximately the same cost.

Where I grew up in Ohio, basements were not as common. I'd guess that maybe 1/2 to 3/4 of the people I knew had them.

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Old 03-01-2009, 11:42 PM   #9
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I live about 90 minutes south of Portland, OR, and the house we're renting does not have a basement. We're in a brand new house in a newer part of the neighborhood, and I don't think many of the newer homes around here have basements.

The cynic in me thinks the company who threw the houses together wanted to get it done as fast as possible, and as cheaply as possible, so they didn't bother with basements.

The not-so-cynic in me thinks it probably has something to do with the water table and how much it freaking rains over here in the winter. Basements in the older houses may flood or have a mold problem from all the moisture, but I'm not positive.

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Old 03-01-2009, 11:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YooperBrew View Post
Where I live, everybody has a basement. I think it's because of environment, though. You have to dig your supports below the frost line. The frost line is just over 6 feet deep, so even a crawl space has to have the footings over six feet deep. Since that's the case, might as well have a basement for approximately the same cost.

Where I grew up in Ohio, basements were not as common. I'd guess that maybe 1/2 to 3/4 of the people I knew had them.
It's all about the frost line. I don't think it has anything do with the water table. You can install a sump pump if the water table is too high. But if you build a host and the basement doesn't go below the frost line, then your house will shift every winter when the ground freezes and again when it thaws in spring.

I've lived in Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota and have always had a basement.
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