I have an 18 year old ranch style house with a full basement near the coast in Massachusetts. The basement dootprint is 2200 sq. ft with the floors supported by steel girders giving me a lot of open space. The foundation is poured concrete 10 feet from slab to sill. My wife and I are considering retiring to this house.
The basement has no water intrusion but is damp. We are starting a step-by-step program to dry it out and determine its usability. I have an extensive woodworking shop and being able to use his space would save us the cost of constructing a new workshop building. The first step was to install a Santa Fe whole basement dehunidifier and pump. That was done last weekend. The next step is to frame the uninsulated walls and put in 4-6" of icynene to serve as a vapor barrier and insulation.
Now - finally I get to the question. Assumming I get it dry enough for my machinery - how do I improve access. Currently there are stairs from the garage and an exterior bulkhead with a Bilco-type door. Neither is suitable for moving 400 lb tools into the space. Also I would need the ability to bring in bulky wood/furniture.
Any ideas? The foundation required a great deal of fill - probably 3 feet when constructed. The easy side where the bulkhead is slopes downward from a point 20 ft from the house outward. My ideas (possibly lame) was to build a ramp towards where the bulkhead is and cut the foundation for patio style doors. If I do that I have to figure out if I have enough "run" for some acceptable grade and then deal with snow and rain. The other thought would be some sort of platform lift.
Has anybody seen a solution for this kind oof problem?