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Dustin07 07-17-2006 12:36 PM

adding basements
Where is the majority of the costs in a concrete foundation? the materials or the labor?

My house is currently block and pier. when I add on, I'll have to lay a concrete foundation on the existing wall of the house that will be added on to. Not really a big deal.

But I'm curious, how expensive are basements? I know it's hard to give an exact number, but I'm just curious to get an idea. the house is only 660sqft, and I was quoted about $16k to lay a foundation around the whole house. But if I wanted to lift it and have a basement put in??

just curious,

KUIPORNG 07-17-2006 01:35 PM

I definitely not entitle to answer this, it just make me feel people really boldly do whatevery idea they can have... may be this is the American Spirit...

I do not know if this can be done, but just think about, probably involving lifting a house, dig and remove all the muds to have a big enough hole, build concrete function the drop the house back on it... probably the best way is not just lift the house, but lift it then place in on the some other location besides the house, in order to dig the hole..e.t.c. this is big big job even thinking about it...

I wonder how much company will charge this consider someone is able to do this...

Dustin07 07-17-2006 01:53 PM

I wonder too. I've seen it done on 5 or 6 houses locally now. One in seattle was lifted up an entire level to build a garage below it because the lot was so small they couldn't go any other direction.

AtlanticWBConst. 07-17-2006 02:57 PM


The majority of cost is in the labor. These include the footings and freezewalls and pouring the 'pad' or floor.
In my area, the price of concrete is about $82.00 -$85.00 Per Square Yard.
You can save a little by offering to do the exterior waterproofing yourself (it's easy).


18' x 12' Small Single Car garage:

Total Labor: $3200.00

Total Concrete: 20 Yards @ $82.00 = $1640.00 Delivered

Complete Total: $4840.00

Dustin07 07-17-2006 03:01 PM

thats interesting, thanks for the info!

manhattan42 07-17-2006 07:36 PM

In my region, the cost of installing a full basement for a house with a 660sf basement would cost $25,000-$30,000 or more depending on site specific conditions.

This would include the labor and materials to excavate and haul away the fill, construct the footings and foundation walls, install and place center griders and columns, waterproof/damproof the foundation, install required perimeter drains, backfill and final grade.

This would not include the cost of disconnecting and reconncecting all utilities and moving the house.

Because of this, adding a basement rarely offers a return on investment and having a basement does not necessarily increase the value of one's property.

Finishing the basement level might, but this would add about another $60 per square foot in my region just for that or about another $39,000 to have a modestly finished basement.

In most cases it remains cheaper to add out or up, and in few cases is it economically practical to add space by going down.

J187 07-18-2006 07:37 AM

Interesting idea. I guess whether or not its worth it depends on many factors, primarily what are you going to do with the basement and what are your other options to create a similar environment. While I agree that having a basement does not typically add "value" to a house in a conventional sense, I will say that it can DRAMATICALLY improve the resalability of a house in some areas to the point where it becomes added value. For instance.... One street down from me, there is a nice 1500 sq ft slab ranch without a garage. The house had been gutted and renovated fully just about a year ago. Immediately after renovation, the house was put on the market. Mind you, its basically an existing, settled structure with totally new interior - just about the best thing you could ask for. The house was priced at a steal!! Way too low in my estimation based on what similar houses in the area were selling for that were 50 years old and outdated. However, there was one huge difference between this home and the others around it. The others all had basements. The slab sat on the market for so long, and went through so many price reductions, it just sold two weeks ago for $320K after being put on the market less than others had sold for at $379K. The realtor is a good friend of mine...she told me that literally hundreds of people had left the open houses disgusted that the house had no basement. Very similar homes in the neighborhood, one on the same street, sold in the past 6 months or so, one for $379K and one for $394K - again, not renovated......

AtlanticWBConst. 07-18-2006 04:51 PM


I think Manhattan42 is absolutely right about the costs vs. the amount of added value/return.
To add a full basement along with the foundation walls is expensive, the Return will not be there.

J187 is right also about the 'NO-Sale-Ability' of a no-basement home.

It's mostly a financial matter, or if you just plain are madly in love with the house.....

Dustin07 07-18-2006 05:56 PM

based upon these numbers, if our lot was smaller I'd definately do it. As it is now, the lot is 5700sq ft and we are able to develop up to 40% of it (it's in a historic part of town) so going out and up will likely be the move in this case. I'm hoping to basically build a 12-15 x 32 box on top of a box.

thanks a ton for the basement replies, very educational.

as far as value vs saleability... that is one of the most frustrating topics for me. Sometimes I think the average buyer is just plain dumb. We had our house on the market for a couple months before deciding on persuing the add on instead. All the comps in our area were only $20-30k less than our house but everyone of them was riddled with dry rot. They ALL needed new plumbing, roofs, electrical, (windows if you are like me and think that is an important upgrade) whereas our house is basically brand new. it's a 1920, but was gutted and redone 6 years ago. However all people can look at is the 'comparables'. They seem to think that "comparable" means "exactly the same". How about a little comparrison and contrast? frustrating.

but we have a very small market with the size of our house anyways I suppose.

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