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Community and Q&A

Partial basement?

mcoxrn | Posted in GBA Pro Help on

Lost our home to a fire in January. Finalizing plans for our forever home. Plan on ICF. Wife and I were flirting with idea of putting in a partial basement (full basements are very rare around here). I was talking to one of the icf reps and he told me I couldn’t. It had to be a full basement or none. I ask him why and he said it had to do with the weight of the walls. I planned on putting the partial basement under the center of the home. I thought as long as the basement walls and the house walls both had their own foundations it would be ok but he said no. Is this correct? Has anyone done a partial basement under icf home? House location is in Oklahoma.

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    First of all, can you tell us your name?

    I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your home.

    The ICF representative is correct that the most logical (and probably cheapest) way to build a basement is to design a full basement, so that the basement walls support the above-grade ICF walls of your house.

    Anything is possible. If you insist on a 10 ft. x 10 ft. basement in the exact center of a 30 ft. x 30 ft. house, it would be possible to build it. But once you excavate the hole for your basement, you end up needing 8-ft.-high concrete or ICF walls to support the exterior above-grade walls, and the entire enterprise gets expensive very fast.

  2. mcoxrn | | #2

    Hey Martin, my name is mark cox. Planning on something alittle bigger then that. Ground floor is going to be around 3200 sq feet. Was thinking basement of about 1200-1500 sq feet. Really don't need anything bigger then that. We do live in tornado alley but I could do a safe room and bonus room for the fun room. Just thought it would be nice to have partial basement. Free access to excavation. Would be easier to put the pool table and bar downstairs vs upstairs. Am I figured easier to heat and cool in basement vs upstairs.

  3. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #3

    My answer is unchanged.

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