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    #16
    I have a vertical platform lift to access my basement. I bought it used but it was only a few months old and in like new condition. They can be bought pretty cheap if you search around and are not in a hurry. They can also be broken down so you could install one after the house is built.

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      #17
      I want zero steps or rams or elevation changes on the first floor. If that means no basement then I will build a safe room for the relatively frequent tornado warnings we have. That's the main reason I want a basement. The wife wants one for storage I think, but I doubt she knows that a basement requires such elevation of the first floor.
      T3 complete since Sept 2015.

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        #18
        Originally posted by August West View Post
        I have never seen a house with a basement that has all entry doors at grade level. Have you? With a slab, that is easily done. Big quality of life difference. You have to decide what's more valuable to you, quality of life, or return on investment (if any).
        Not worried about ROI as the plan is to make the our last move.
        T3 complete since Sept 2015.

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          #19
          Let us know what you find about building a basement completely underground such that the entry doors to the first floor are at grade (no steps, no ramps). I haven’t seen them. But it may be just an issue of cost and not building code.

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            #20
            Most Code Enforcement, and general building best practices only requires 8" exposure of the foundation. Properly landscaped that could easily be made up for level entry, if the lot size allows it.

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              #21
              Originally posted by Mize View Post
              We are designing and building a new home to be fully accessible.
              I realize there is ample to digest here through search and browsing. Just wondering if there are any base designs from which to start. This will be a open ranch with a basement and lift with all the bathrooms to be power chair friendly, but that's all I've got so far!
              Basement accessible via lift? Build up on a crawlspace instead... it's cheaper I believe. That's what I'm doing now

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                #22
                I should also add that I wouldn't do a basement if the site conditions make it impractical. The most determining factor being a high water table, or there being any chance of it becoming an indoor swimming pool from persistent, heavy rain.

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                  #23
                  Yeah, I had a house with a sump pump once that would leak. I'm thinking no basement but a reinforced room for the tornado sirens. Wonder what those cost...
                  T3 complete since Sept 2015.

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                    #24
                    Originally posted by Rustyjames View Post
                    Most Code Enforcement, and general building best practices only requires 8" exposure of the foundation. Properly landscaped that could easily be made up for level entry, if the lot size allows it.
                    Ah, that's good. Property is higher elevation for the area but very flat so I'm unsure about basement flooding potential.
                    T3 complete since Sept 2015.

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                      #25
                      Originally posted by Rustyjames View Post
                      I should also add that I wouldn't do a basement if ... there [is] any chance of it becoming an indoor swimming pool from persistent, heavy rain.
                      Any chance? Every basement has that chance. Every basement I've seen leaks at least a little. If not water, at least condensation. You have to dry it immediately. Otherwise, mold that gets into the vents can spread throughout the house.
                      Last edited by August West; 19 Sep 2019, 3:14 AM.

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                        #26
                        I've owned two houses with walk out basements that never leaked. The right slope does the trick. Possibly cheating since its really like half a basement.
                        T3 complete since Sept 2015.

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                          #27
                          Feeling lucky?

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                            #28
                            I looked into some more because I'm also considering building a house in Connecticut. The requirement for any foundation is that it goes below the frost line (the lowest point at which water freezes). If that ends up being several feet, then the logical thing to do for most people is turn that foundation into a basement. Going any deeper than the frost line can be cost prohibitive. That's why basements are typically partially underground in the north east.

                            But if you don't have a frost line, then a slab is the more cost effective solution. That why slabs are common in the south.

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                              #29
                              Originally posted by crags View Post
                              (Deleted)
                              Amazingly helpful, thank you! It'll be propane, in-ground with generator. Snow issue - main thing I plan to do is put the garage entrances on the south side of the house to get solar assistance. We will get the heated water circulation system quoted, but might be prohibitive. Will likely do something for an alarm, but three big dogs work pretty well where we are now - I haven't armed our alarm system since moving in. Metal roof, check. generator, check (dual gas/propane). The house depends upon city water but also has a 7,000 gallon cistern for storing rainwater. The pond (with fish) could be an dire emergency source as well (I did mention it has a pond, right?).

                              Thanks again.
                              T3 complete since Sept 2015.

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                                #30
                                Originally posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
                                Check out these resources for plans that you might want to use as a starting point.

                                https://www.pva.org/research-resourc...e-design-book/

                                https://www.thehousedesigners.com/ac...ouse-plans.asp

                                https://www.theplancollection.com/wh...le-house-plans

                                https://www.uniteddesign.com/plan_index.html

                                https://projects.ncsu.edu/ncsu/desig...HousePlans.pdf

                                http://senatorraoul.com/handicap-accessible-home-plans/

                                Also, to be a Devil's Advocate, why do you need a basement? In California, few if any homes are built with a basement. A bigger garage can be used for storing things many people keep in their basements. Not having to access that will take a lot of cost and safety issues off the table for you.

                                (KLD)

                                Thanks KLD. The basement thing is only for storage and emergencies (tornado country).
                                T3 complete since Sept 2015.

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