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06-09-2010, 05:21 AM #1
Around here, basement are few, and when there is a basement, only one or two sides are partly below grade. They allmost always have a door to outside or the garage.
So I decided to look up basement on wiki
Seems that there are several kinds of basements, I just never thought about. Makes me think.
Clearly, I could and should know more about basements.
I think it would be informative (at least to me) to start another thread on basements.
This is an article from Wiki
Basement - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
What I see around here, Wiki calls them "Daylight basements".
What makes the basement, a basement, instead of just the lower level of the house?
' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.
06-09-2010, 06:11 AM #2
To me, if it's below grade level anywhere, it's a basement.
06-09-2010, 08:49 AM #3
06-09-2010, 11:02 AM #4
There's a spec in the code I believe that defines a basement... it's something likke a % of the space being a certain amount below grade. I don't have time to look it up right now as I'm actually working today (whohooo )
I'll check it out later....
06-09-2010, 12:30 PM #5
From the 2006 IRC
BASEMENT.That portion of a building that is partly or completely
below grade (see “Story above grade”).
STORYABOVEGRADE.Any story having its finished floor
surface entirely above grade, except that a basement shall be
considered as a story above grade where the finished surface of
the floor above the basement is:
1. More than 6 feet (1829 mm) above grade plane.
2. More than 6 feet (1829 mm) above the finished ground
level for more than 50 percent of the total building perimeter.
3. More than 12 feet (3658 mm) above the finished ground
level at any point.
06-09-2010, 12:51 PM #6
It's probably a regional thing. Around here, you rarely find a house without a basement (or cellar).
Sometimes it's defined in the local zoning ordinances (defined for different purposes than the building code).
In zoning, usually, if one side is at or above grade, it's called a basement, or a walk-out basement. If all four sides are more than 50% below grade, it's usually called a cellar. Again, it's probably local, and different than the building code.
To confuse things more, I think FEMA might have their own definition.
06-09-2010, 01:52 PM #7
06-09-2010, 02:42 PM #8
Not quite. According to FEMA, for it to be a basement, it has to be below grade on all sides. The lowest floor, including a basement, has to be above the base flood elevation (for residential construction...commercial construction can be floodproofed). If one side is above grade, it's not a basement. The logic is, if water can get in, it can get out.
06-09-2010, 04:09 PM #9
I believe FEMA recognizes walk-out basement apartments as basements for flood insurance purposes.
06-09-2010, 07:47 PM #10
I have no idea where I learned or acquired this lingo, but I always distinguished between calling these below grade spaces either a cellar or basement by the access.
If it's accessible from inside the above grade space by a stairs, without going outside, it's a basement.
If you must exit the above grade space and enter the below grade space from the exterior of the building it's a cellar.
Anybody else use this lingo or have I been confusing people all these years with this?
06-09-2010, 08:33 PM #11
06-09-2010, 08:58 PM #12
A basement is defined as an enclosed area of the dwelling where any portion of the exterior wall or concrete floor is below grade. Below ground level condominiums and garden apartments are excluded from the definition of a basement.
06-10-2010, 06:54 AM #13
The definition straight from the FEMA website, for purposes of the NFIP, is:
"Basement--Any area of the building, including any sunken room or sunken portion of a room, having its floor below ground level (subgrade) on all sides."
They don't define a cellar. A cellar could be simply another word for basement.
Cellars and basements (and stories below grade) are defined in different ways by the building code, zoning, FEMA, etc., so it really boils down to who is asking and for what purpose.
06-10-2010, 10:19 AM #14