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What are basement bulkheads meant for?

Posted by zolcat (My Page) on
Sun, May 31, 09 at 15:57

I see a lot of houses with Bulkheads here in Connecticut,especialy in the older houses. What are they meant for?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What are basement bulkheads meant for?

Probably has plumbing or ductwork in them.


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RE: What are basement bulkheads meant for?

Do you mean the bulkhead to the basement? If so, it's for access to the basement.

When we first moved to New England we'd never seen a bulkhead. In CO, homes are not built with outside access to the basement. It's a useful thing.

/tricia (who now lives in Mystic)


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RE: What are basement bulkheads meant for?

There are a lot of thme in NYC and NJ as well. They are the early version of a "walk out" basement.


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RE: What are basement bulkheads meant for?

You need at least one large entrance to the basement that is not through the house. What has our bulkhead been used for? To get the furnace, hotwater heater, etc., into the basement, to get lawn furniture into the basement for winter storage, provides access to anyone servicing the "systems". We use it constantly.


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RE: What are basement bulkheads meant for?

As the above have mentioned--ease of getting bulky/dirty things into and out of the basement without going through the formal first floor areas of the house, and as an additonal means of egress/an additional way out of a house in a basement that would otherwise have been totally underground and landlocked.


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RE: What are basement bulkheads meant for?

Maybe under current code you need a second entrance to the basement everywhere but it definately wasn't a historical requirement.

Far as I know, only if its living space does there need to be a second form of egress.


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RE: What are basement bulkheads meant for?

To bring all your large junk when you move in, never to be seen again. :) You need two forms of egress if you ever want to have a finished basement. When we built our home we put access to the basement via the garage to avoid needing a bulkhead on the outside of our house.

My grandmother's house had a dirt "root cellar" under the house accessed via a bulk head. A dark, dank, scary, spidery place filled with canning jars.


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RE: What are basement bulkheads meant for?

chrisk327: "Far as I know, only if its living space does there need to be a second form of egress."

Correct. Most homes that I have seen with basements, including ours built in '99 (old and new and in between) do not have a form of egress other then into the main house.

This is why so many basement "bedrooms" are illegal, as there is no form of egress directly to the outside, unless the windows have been enlarged enough for escape in case of fire.

Such access is definetly a plus, but not required by code unless the basement will be converted to living space inclusive of a bedroom.


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