What is a Daylight Basement?

A daylight basement is partly underground. Unlike conventional subterranean basements, it is not fully below ground level.

Any floor above ground level is called a story. So since the daylight basement is not fully above ground level, it neither counts as a story nor a floor.

If there is a walkout basement in your home along with two floors, and they are all above ground level, then your house is said to have three floors in all.

But if your home has three floors together with a daylight basement, then it is said to have a total of three floors, not four, since daylight basements are not counted as floors.

What is a Daylight Basement?

Why You Would Need A Daylight Basement

Your home can become more versatile and interesting with the addition of a daylight basement.

Since the daylight basement is partly above ground and partly below, it can offer the best of both worlds. It can function as a basement while still being above ground.

You can use the daylight basement in the same way as a conventional basement, but you have greater versatility at your disposal.

According to experts, you should build a daylight basement where sunlight is abundant. It is a daylight basement, after all. The benefit of a daylight basement over traditional subterranean basements is that they feel more airy, roomy and open.

Fully underground basements might feel a little claustrophobic to some people. That’s because they are fully underground and lack fresh air and sunshine that makes us feel so good. So if you find that conventional basements are restrictive, then you may want to mull over a daylight basement.

Your daylight basement can function as a living space like the rest of your home. You may enjoy spending time in the daylight basement thanks to the open feeling you get from access to fresh air and sunshine.

Those parts of the daylight that don’t receive much light can also function as storage spaces.

This is why daylight basements are considered versatile. They can serve as living and storage spaces.

What Is the Difference Between a Walkout Basement and a Daylight Basement?

Some people use the terms daylight basements and walkout basements interchangeably. They do appear similar but have one key difference.

Walkout basements have a door through which you can exit outside the building. But a daylight basement has a door that opens inside your home, not outside. So with a walkout basement, you have direct access to the outdoors, as the name implies. You can directly walk outside.

How a Daylight Basement Can Help

With sloped lots, there can be design limitations and certain building challenges. However, if you are resourceful enough, you can use sloped lots to your advantage by building daylight basements.

The daylight basement is just what you need for such terrain. You can make the best use of limited real estate with a daylight basement if the ground is sloping.

Daylight Basement Benefits

There are several benefits that the daylight basement can furnish to a sloped lot house plan.

  • They allow you to extend your property and better utilize the limited space available while overcoming the challenge posed by the incline. You may not be able to build ordinary rooms and above ground living spaces on the slope, but you can get around that thanks to daylight basements.
  • It allows you access to floors above them. You can build two flights of stairs to enter the basement or the floor above as you will.
  • Daylight basements do require investment, but they can boost the value of your property and its functionality. Instead of letting unused space on your land go to waste, you can make good use of it and inhabit it for a comfortable lifestyle with a daylight basement. As a result, large tracts of a crawlspace can be easily converted into roomy and cavernous living areas.
  • It is more open, airy and spacious as compared to ordinary basements. You cannot have windows that open outside to let in fresh air and sunlight with ordinary basements. But you can have that with a well-designed daylight basement. In fact, you can install large wide windows in your daylight basement if an open natural feel is what you want.
  • This kind of basement is highly functional and can thus serve as a living or storage. However, if you already have these and don’t need more, you can think of using your daylight basement as a home theatre, leisure area or study area. You can use it for work or leisure as you please.

So if you are worried that large swathes of space on your sloping rolling real estate might go to waste, then worry not. In fact, this is a superb opportunity for you since you can incorporate a daylight basement and enjoy its numerous benefits.

Daylight Basement Versatility

There could be certain challenges, though. Excavation may be necessary at some parts of your sloping property to install the foundation of the daylight basement. After all, since the daylight basement is located partly below the surface,  excavation work will be a necessary part of the construction project.

However, the extra effort and investment may be well worth it since you will have an area that extends your living space and allows you to make really good use of the sloping terrain.

In darker areas of your daylight basement, you can install recessed lights for a bright and cheerful environment.

If you would like to use it as a study area or home office, you can have a versatile desk complete with shelves for use as a fully functional workstation.

Our Final Thoughts

A daylight basement can be an exciting new addition to your home that can function as a living, leisure, work or study space. The choice is yours.