Basement?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by MrsC, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I'm helping a couple of my students with gathering some information, so have two quick questions:

    Are basements common in your area? Here in Southern Ontario, almost all homes have a full basement.

    What is the common exterior finish of homes in your area? Brick exteriors are the norm here.

    Thanks! These questions came up in discussion last week and sparked my curiosity as well as that of my students.
     
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  3. bison

    bison Habitué

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    In Southern California, basements are uncommon because we have earthquakes. I've never seen one in a regular home, but I've heard they exist in rare cases. Exteriors vary greatly, but stucco is common and I have also lived in an older house with wood. :)

    Edit: After some research, it turns out the earthquake thing is not the only reason we don't have basements. There are many. Another is that there is no need for them without a cold winter (no frost line).
     
  4. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Basements are fairly common here in Kentucky. About half of the houses in my neighborhood have them. My house doesn't, but the neighbors on each side do. One has a walk-out basement with sliding glass doors to the back yard. The other doesn't have a door to the outside. The neighborhood across the highway from me has a lot of split-level homes.

    The only exteriors you see here are vinyl or wood siding and brick. My house is brick.
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    The absence of basements in California isn't about earthquakes, but rather reflects the mild, relatively dry weather. When damp soil under a house freezes and thaws, it expands and contracts and thereby makes the foundation unstable; the solution is to dig a foundation that reaches below the frost level, but that can mean digging down and building walls nine feet or more deep, so one may as well use the space for storage, utilities, or even living space. In most of California, however, frost only goes about a foot deep, so it's practical to build on a much shallower foundation or even a concrete slab and save the tens of thousands of dollars that a basement costs. See http://www.10news.com/news/why-are-there-no-basements-in-san-diego-homes-.
     
  6. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    In Arkansas, basements are not unheard of, but I wouldn't say they are common either. Most house exteriors have at least some brick. If they are not all brick, a combination of brick and vinyl paneling is used.
     
  7. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I don't know of anyone with a basement. None of the houses we looked at had basements either.

    I think the town probably has more wooden/siding homes than brick. We are the only wood house in our neighborhood though.
     
  8. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    It seems in new actual neighborhoods, the builders are all about quantity and quickness...so no basements. But most people who build their own homes go for a basement. Old homes at least have a cellar.

    Brick and siding or a combo of the two are about equally as common.
     
  9. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    I am in the Midwest. I wouldn't build a home here without one. It doubles the usable space in the home, and it provides shelter from sumner storms.
     
  10. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    We don't have basements. We don't really bury people under ground here, or they float back up. I can't imagine trying to keep water out of a basement.

    I guess most people around here have brick, or siding? It depends on what neighborhood and how old the house is.
     
  11. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    In Ohio basements are very common. I looked at about 50-70 houses when house hunting and only saw one built on a slab.

    I have siding.
     
  12. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    MrsC here in my part of the world most houses have them! Trailers & some double wides don't, but houses & some double wides do...A lot of people I know finish their basements. I know our first house was not finished dirt floors and didn't go down there much! Old farm houses have dirt basements as well unless renovated.

    Siding...all sorts from vinyl, to stone to brick, to cedar sided. Most I know are vinyl that are newer, older like 60's & 70s cedar or brick.
     
  13. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    Here on Long Island, basements are super common. I actually can't recall ever being in a house without one.

    Vinyl siding is the most popular finish here, I think. Very rarely do I see a house with a brick exterior. Stone is popular when you go further east toward the Hamptons.
     
  14. dr.gator

    dr.gator Comrade

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    Florida homes, where sink holes abound, typically don't have basements. Some have brick exteriors, some siding, and some are made of a type of board siding.
     
  15. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    In the desert Southwest, we don't usually have basements. Most home exteriors are stucco.
     
  16. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    I've never been to a private home in New York or New Jersey without a basement. Finished basements are pretty common, too. As for exterior finishes, vinyl siding is probably the most common.
     
  17. Emma35

    Emma35 Connoisseur

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    Almost everyone has a basement here and the choice of exterior is brick. There are some subdivisions that are sided but that is not the norm.
     
  18. bros

    bros Phenom

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    I was going to say this, pretty much.

    Except I don't have a finished basement.

    Like there's a floor and some lighting, but my dad just keeps his tools down there because it doesn't have a ceiling and creatures are known to be down there
     
  19. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Here in North Central Texas, basements are not common and the typcial house is brick.
     
  20. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Yes, this is the frost line I was referring to. I just didn't have it in me to give a detailed explanation. :p
     
  21. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    bison, I'm guessing we must have gone through similar sequences of "Yeah, earthquakes, of course - um, wait a minute..." and then dived for the Internet and been surprised. And I must have seen your original post while you were editing it, in that little interval that so often saves a TeacherGroupie's face when one can edit a post without the site software announcing the fact afterward.

    Of course, earthquakes ARE the reason that solid brick isn't a building material in California: building codes since about 1906 demand that either poured concrete or masonry blocks be reinforced with rebar.
     
  22. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I should have added-basements in Ohio aren't necessarily finished. Mine can't because the ceiling is too low. My parents could finish theirs but chose not to.
     
  23. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    In central PA, most houses have basements. Older homes may have a dirt floor since the basement was for storage of your home canned goods and other things. One house I lived in had a finished basement, but the ceiling was too short to stand up in. Homes around here have basements even if they have to excavate through solid rock to build one.
    Exteriors of older homes are wood (often covered now in aluminum siding), brick, or stone. Newer homes are faced with manufactured stone, brick or siding.
     
  24. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    Where I live now (Nova Scotia) most homes will have a basement of some kind. Exterior is usually vinyl siding or wood shingles.

    When I lived in Manitoba, basements were the norm and exterior finishes were almost always stucco.
     
  25. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I was thinking about this today. I don't think I've ever been in a basement. I was in the crawl space looking at pipes but that's not the same thing!
     
  26. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I'm not sure I've ever been in a house without one!

    Thanks for all the info, everyone!
     
  27. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Basements here. The only homes with out are older farm house normally. My moms neighbors filled theirs in. We found that odd. Our basement is a walk out with a slider. We would like to finish it. House seems to have vinyl or wood siding. Some have the cement board. Which if I built again I would rather have that.
     
  28. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    No basements here. Houses are wood/siding or brick.
     
  29. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Being from the mid-west & always having a basement I only looked at homes with basements.
     
  30. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Basements were not very uncommon when I lived in Georgia. The majority of the houses were brick. I just loved their houses!
     
  31. Ms. I

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    My fellow southern Californians answered the question about no basements.

    Regarding the type of home exteriors in my area, there's stucco mainly, yet there's some brick/stone, & wood beaming too. Here's where I live, so it has a combo of all 3:

    [​IMG]

    My parents' neighborhood even have semicircle-shaped windows on some homes.
     
  32. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    In Louisiana, we are below sea level; therefore, basements aren't used around here. Most homes are wood, vinyl siding and/or brick. It isn't uncommon for homes to have a combination. We have many mobile homes around here with mostly vinyl siding.
     
  33. Jedi_Persona

    Jedi_Persona New Member

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    I'm from Indiana and pretty much everyone there has a basement. Turning them into a second living room was common in my hometown.
     
  34. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    Where I grew up in Missouri, most houses had basements. Either unfinished for storage or finished and turned into another living room. We didn't see any basements when we lived in Idaho and looked for houses. I don't see them here in Hawaii either.
     
  35. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    In NE Ohio, basements (or cellars) are very common. Some people finish them into a living space. We have a half-basement (I live in a split level house) which is unfinished. We have a finished lower level.
     
  36. jteachette

    jteachette Comrade

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    Almost every house in Wisconsin has a basement due to the severe
    weather. Some people have finished basements that are like a family room. The previous owners of my house put a rec room in the basement. It is great when we have parties.
    As for exteriors, most people have vinyl siding or brick , although a few have wood siding, especially on older homes.
     
  37. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    This is so interesting.

    I'm in southern California, so my area is already accounted for. (TG, thanks for the info!)

    Last year, we read a story where the characters had a basement. I had to explain what that was to my first graders. They had NEVER heard of one before and thought it was so weird that there would be a room under the house! ;)
     
  38. eternalsaudade

    eternalsaudade Companion

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    I'm also in the Southwest and second this. Basements aren't unheard of, but are pretty rare. Pretty much all of the houses out here are adobe-style stucco.
     
  39. kellzy

    kellzy Comrade

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    I've lived in Utah all my life, and I've only been in a small handful of houses that didn't have a basement. Even higher risk areas in the area: my mom lives in a floodplain, and she has a basement. I'm renting a basement bedroom out of a house 20 yards from the Wasatch Fault Line.
    Exteriors are a little different from place. Most places it's siding, or brick. In St. George it's stucco. In Park City it's log siding: but I think that adds to the appeal for tourists.
     
  40. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I've lived in Texas, Georgia, North Carolina and Maryland. Maryland is the only place where I knew anyone with a basement and it is pretty much standard. They come in finished or unfinished states. Brick is not as common there but was common in the other places. Austin, Texas was the first place I saw the concept of front brick and 3 sides siding. The other difference in Maryland is they are mostly townhomes. They build up instead of out. Although one level detached homes do exist, they sell for premium in comparison.
     
  41. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    I'm in southern Indiana. Most of our exteriors here are brick (there is a very famous limestone that comes from nearby). Basements in this specific area are not very common because we are on very sandy soil that floods very easily. But we do have tornadoes, and I grew up in Wisconsin where everyone has a basement, so that is very unnerving for me.
     

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