A Deep Foundation for a Finished Basement

High ceilings are essential when designing comfortable basement living space in a new home. If you remember from my previous post, the lots here at Norton Commons are narrow. For this house it’s about 37-ft. wide. The setbacks are just 3 ft. from the property line so we’re essentially building to the lot line. That still gives us a relatively small...

High ceilings are essential when designing comfortable basement living space in a new home.

Article Image

If you remember from my previous post, the lots here at Norton Commons are narrow. For this house it’s about 37-ft. wide. The setbacks are just 3 ft. from the property line so we’re essentially building to the lot line. That still gives us a relatively small building footprint. To maximize living space we’re including a finished basement. I don’t want to feel like an afterthought that’s dark, damp, and somewhat cave-like thanks to low ceilings made worse by HVAC and plumbing chases dropping the ceiling in the middle of the room.

A tall ceiling height is the first step we take to make the basement a comfortable space. The finished ceiling will be 9 ft. We need to provide egress from the basement and we plan that window location for maximum effect on the floor plan. There will be two rooms in the basement. The entertainment/theater room will be in the front portion of the basement so we actually want to avoid too much light there. In the rear portion of the basement will be a bedroom and full bath; a second master suite if you will. We put the large egress window in this room.

The basement requires code compliant egress. On this flat lot, we opted for a window well that will a ladder to grade.
Because we’re building right to set back line–which is just 3 ft. from the property line–we had to recess the foundation wall at the window to keep the window well inside the property line.

In the foundation pictures you might notice the utility room bump out has four sleeves running through the wall. These are for the two well loops of our ground source heat pump. I’ll talk about our “geothermal” system of heating and cooling in an upcoming post.

In the utility room bump out in the rear right-hand corner of the basement the through-the-wall sleeves for the ground-source heat pump are visible. The plumbing risers through the slab are for the full bath in toward the rear of the basement and the wet bar in the front room of the basement.
Source: www.finehomebuilding.com