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Basement Homes in Houston and Texas


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I was wondering what percentage of homes in Houston have basements? I know its not a large amount probably less than 1 percent. I read an article the other day from around 2008 that showed how more and more homes in the Dallas area were being built with basements. It also said that many people think its imposable to have basements in Texas because they will leak. I also read somewhere that they can and should be built in Texas, it just has to be done a little differently than the northern climates.

Here is a website and article of a company in the Dallas Fort Worth area building them: http://northtexasbasements.building.officelive.com/Basements_In_Texas.aspx

I thought Austin might have a lot, but I heard they don't either, I guess the limestone there is hard to dig into.

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I was wondering what percentage of homes in Houston have basements? I know its not a large amount probably less than 1 percent. I read an article the other day from around 2008 that showed how more and more homes in the Dallas area were being built with basements. It also said that many people think its imposable to have basements in Texas because they will leak. I also read somewhere that they can and should be built in Texas, it just has to be done a little differently than the northern climates.

Here is a website and article of a company in the Dallas Fort Worth area building them: http://northtexasbasements.building.officelive.com/Basements_In_Texas.aspx

I thought Austin might have a lot, but I heard they don't either, I guess the limestone there is hard to dig into.

Is there a particular advantage to having a basement that an additional story of wood frame construction would be unable to achieve cost-effectively?

I guess I could see them coming in handing if you were building in City or a neighborhood with height restrictions, but otherwise?

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I was wondering what percentage of homes in Houston have basements? I know its not a large amount probably less than 1 percent. I read an article the other day from around 2008 that showed how more and more homes in the Dallas area were being built with basements. It also said that many people think its imposable to have basements in Texas because they will leak. I also read somewhere that they can and should be built in Texas, it just has to be done a little differently than the northern climates.

Here is a website and article of a company in the Dallas Fort Worth area building them: http://northtexasbas...s_In_Texas.aspx

I thought Austin might have a lot, but I heard they don't either, I guess the limestone there is hard to dig into.

It may be possible in other parts of the state where the water table is lower, but I don't know of anyplace on the Gulf Coast where basements are common. Plus, given the problems here with broken slabs due to the clay soil, just imagine having to deal with a broken basement slab and/or cracked basement walls. And if you live in a flood-prone area, which is also common here, you've just bought yourself an indoor pool.

As to why they aren't common elsewhere in the state, I'd guess that's just a construction culture thing. Kind of like how a lot of old houses (pre 1940's) have two front doors.

Edited by august948
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A number of houses in Montrose have basements. They were built to contain the furnace and other household machines that started appearing around 1900.

I know of at least 2 houses with basements in the Eastwood/Broadmoor area. There may be others as well.

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  • 1 month later...

I lived in Humble just outside of Houston for quite a bit of my life. The house next door to us besides being the first house in Humble to be built with bricks did have a basement. Every time it would rain their basement would fill up with water. During the wet season sometimes there would only be a foot of clearance between the floor of the first story and the surface of the water. Strangely enough our house was built on blocks because of the flooding issues in our neighborhood.

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I've always hated basements. I've had homes in the Midwest with basements and always had problems with leaking and smells and so on. The only type of basements that I might tolerate in a home I buy is a walkout basement. At least with a walkout, you'll usually have the water flow down and away from the basement walls and on nice days you can open the basement windows and doors to air it out.

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I've always hated basements. I've had homes in the Midwest with basements and always had problems with leaking and smells and so on. The only type of basements that I might tolerate in a home I buy is a walkout basement. At least with a walkout, you'll usually have the water flow down and away from the basement walls and on nice days you can open the basement windows and doors to air it out.

Apparently, you haven't been in nice, finished basements. I've not seen any leaking basements (but don't doubt they exist). Most of the smells come from the stuff that people tend to throw into the basement and leave forever. I've been in custom basements that were nicer than most houses and I've been in cinder block basements that just held junk. It all depends on what you do with it.

Finished basements make awesome 'man caves' or gamerooms whatever they're being called these days.

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Is there a particular advantage to having a basement that an additional story of wood frame construction would be unable to achieve cost-effectively?

I guess I could see them coming in handing if you were building in City or a neighborhood with height restrictions, but otherwise?

They tend to hold a steady temperature (cooler in the summer, warmer in the real winter)

basements don't have to painted on the outside and don't blow away during hurricanes and tornadoes...

FWIW, there's a large, sprawling basement downtown.... ;)

Edited by TAK
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The old house that sits on Kellogg St. (Between Bowie and Dahlia Sts.) has a basement. My brother called it the "Bissonnet" house, said it was filled with water and mosquitoes. It still sits on a large piece of land.

Southmayd/ Pecan Park area, old brick house, near Harrisburg. He asked if I dug up anything, recently told him I could never find out much about it.

Basements in Houston, not a good idea, IMO. Too much rain and flooding.

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I once lived in a 1900-vintage house in the Heights (where we were burgled twice) that had a full basement and an adjacent wine cellar. There was never any issue with flooding or odor - it was consistently dry as a bone. It was a lot of fun to poke around in since generations of residents had abandoned assorted items there.

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But I have never seen a residence in Houston that has one. Even on HAR.

I'm surprised. . . . . I live in Avondale (developed in 1907) since I've lived here 2 houses have gone for sale that had basements plus I've visited 4 other houses (on Stanford, Avondale, Stratford, Crocker streets) that all had basements. Only one of these was "finished". 1 "modified" partially filled in and fitted out for a bathroom/laundry room and the others just as they were when made. There is a historic home tour done in this neighborhood and basements are talked about and yes, some of the houses still have the original receptacles for oil delivery. But somehow basements became undesirable and the newer homes were built with out them.

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Most large high-rise buildings have basements, and even sometimes sub-basements. But I have never seen a residence in Houston that has one. Even on HAR.

There was a house in First Ward, reputed to have been built in the 19th century, that was for lease a few months back. It had a full-sized basement. I think it was on Beachton Street. I checked it out, but it didn't seem very safe or secure.

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