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Existing crawlspace/partial basement

14 years ago

I'd appreciate any thoughts or leads as I start to look into this- does anyone have experience building on a lot where a crawlspace, and in our case also partial basement, have already been dug out? What options should be considered, and what are the costs and benefits of each approach?

We live in an 860 sf, pre-1930 house in a neighborhood and location that we like a lot- the lot is narrow but a good size for what we want. We've lived here for a while, my husband longer than me since he bought it as his bachelor pad (6 yrs ago). With some low-cost repairs/improvements over the past few years, the house is actually adorable and great for our needs now, but we'll start a family in about 3 years, need more space, and we live in an expensive area where it may make sense for us to build on our lot (someone will, almost certainly). We're looking at a timeframe of ~3-4 years, and are in the process of looking into this.

Here are the details on our (spooky!) basement:

-Stairs go down into an unfinished basement, which is about half or 1/3 the size of the footprint of our 860sf house. The ceiling is about 7-8 ft high.

-I use the basement just for laundry and storage and don't spend much time there.

-The remainder of the basement is a crawlspace, transitioning from the cement floor into just a high pile of dirt.

-There is a sump pump, and I've done some DIY waterproofing just to make this into a more useful storage/laundry place, but this is not a completely dry basement, in fact it is a fairly wet basement for a number of reasons.

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