Build larger main floor or basement, large family

muma24July 21, 2014

I have 4 children and we currently live in a 2100 sq ft home and are in the process of buying a 6 acre lot to build a new home on. I don't want anything any bigger than what we have now as my oldest will be graduating in 6 years and I don't want to be stuck with a huge home after they all leave home! My kids all want their own room (2 girls share now). My thing is, I don't want a 2 story home ( I hate hearing them stomp around), but it seems like it would cost a gazillion dollars for a foundation large enough to fit in 5 bedrooms on one level. I told my husband we should add a basement and he states it would be cheaper to just make a larger main floor. Is this true? Any other thoughts or suggestions?

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farmhousegirl

Hum, I doubt it would be more to have a basement than extra square footage on the main floor. If you do a basement for bedrooms, I would be sure you have the property grade to allow for windows and a walkout.

I agree about not overbuilding with the forethought of kids leaving home someday. Time goes quickly!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 11:15PM
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lizbeth-gardener

You might want to look at a story and a half. Many of these are built with a separate heating/ac system, so you can close off upstairs when kids leave home, but still have the space when they come back to visit. The footprint would be smaller and you could still have a basement. I don't think stomping should be an issue in either two story or story and a half if built /insulated well.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 11:31PM
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hhwiseman

The cost of the basement vs. the cost of additional main floor square footage will vary a lot depending on your location.

In Utah, basements are common -- in fact, not having a basement will hurt resale. It's rare to find homes with more than 2500 square feet on the main floor (unless you look at mansions).

I don't like stairs, at all, and wanted to build 2700-2900 square feet on the main floor and everyone thought I was crazy and advised me to just move some of the rooms to the basement. The cost per square foot to build and finish basement space is half of what the same space would cost on the main floor.

That being said, I am still trying to get all the rooms that I want on our main level. (4 bedrooms and a den -- in addition to the great room, kitchen, dining, and laundry.)
We've cut back and are now trying to fit in 2400 sq ft.

You could consider putting some rooms over the garage. The kids could make lots of noise up there and it wouldn't bother you in the main living spaces.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 1:16AM
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