Do you have plans for grading property?
In climates with frost, basements are necessary in order to get the foundation past the frost line in the ground. The guideline is to have the foundation extend at least 4 feet deep below the ground.
So since you’re paying for the 4’ foundation basement wall, it is quite cost effective to extend that basement wall to accommodate additional living space in your basement. People living in the northern hemisphere have accommodated their home basements as beautiful and functional living spaces.
Look Out Basements
If you have a slight grade, you might be able to accommodate a lookout condition. This means that you might be able to place larger basement windows in place of typical smaller windows.
Lookout basement windows will help give the illusion of a larger brighter space. But it comes with one caveat here.
If the slope is too great, then additional foundation work will be needed and this could affect the look of your walkout basement. The slope of the lot has an extremely profound affect on the look of the house.
So as you are planning your drawings and soil grade for the site, have your designer determine if a walk-out or look-out basement can be built into the plans.
Walk Out Basement
It’s advantageous to get a sloped lot at the back of the house. With a sloped lot, the basement can accommodate a walk-out condition. A walk-out basement helps make the basement feels like a main floor living area.
But what if you can’t get a sliding door off the back of the basement? For some properties it is possible to re-grade the property to accommodate for that basement walkout.