Re: Re: Basements in Ireland

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Thanks for the heads up on the FT article and the links KerryBog2. Thanks also for flagging the water table implications Wild Bill. Food for thought.

I would plan to use the basement space for (a) workshop/hobby space and (b) gym/exercise space, since currently all the gear for these is taking up 2 bedrooms (one each), and when the house only has 3 beds that’s not popular! This would mean the basement area would be used frequently (daily) but not for more than an hour or so by any individual at any given time, so I wouldn’t be as fussed about huge quantities of natural light compared with if it were being used for more intensive living space (living room, bedroom etc.)

I don’t think retrofitting a basement under my existing house would be cost effective. (Certainly not with the retrofit costs quoted by KB2.) However, I’m wondering whether it could be worthwhile to incorporate a basement under a new side extension at the time of building. (Only under the new extension, not also going sideways under the existing house.)

Compared with just having ordinary foundations, a basement would obviously mean:

  • digging deeper;
  • more intensive waterproofing;
  • design implications for the underground space (ventilation, light, emergency access/escape);
  • ???possible stability implications for neighbouring (shallower) foundations under existing house;
  • fitout costs since used as habitable space not empty shell (although flooring etc. will be fairly basic since just workshop/gym area)..

I guess it’s really an approximation of these extra costs I need to get a handle on, since I would hope including a basement as part of a new build would still come in a lot cheaper than a retrofit under an existing building.

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