Having a garage in the basement is not unusual. People with large basements that they do not use often decide to convert them into garages. That said, having a garage in the basement can be a great advantage in many situations, but it also has drawbacks. If you want to know if a basement garage is the right choice for you, be sure to read this article.
What Are the Pros and Cons of a Basement Garage? A basement garage will protect your vehicle from adverse weather conditions and leave your yard free. They are usually a lot bigger than above-ground garages. On the other hand, constructing a basement garage is an expensive project, and there is always the possibility that the space will be flooded.
Now that we have briefly seen the pros and cons of a basement garage, we will go a little deeper into that topic and explain each advantage and disadvantage better. Here is a table of all advantages and disadvantages of basement garages.
|Pros of a Basement Garage||Cons of a Basement Garage|
|1. They Are Bigger Than Normal Garages||1. Cost Of Turning A Basement Into a Garage|
|2. Basement Garages Have Fewer Restrictions||2. Very Cold During Winter|
|3. Better Protection For Your Car||3. The Need For Additional Space|
|4. Separated From The Home||4. Potential Problems With Flooding|
|5. Adds More Space To Your Property||5. Carrying Heavy Bags Up And Down|
Table of Contents
What Is a Basement Garage?
Before we start with the pros and cons of a basement garage, let’s first explain what a basement garage really is. A basement garage is a space under the house’s ground floor that usually serves as vehicle storage.
People often decide to build a basement garage when they have a building plot in a hill area on a sloping terrain that does not offer many parking spaces in front of the house.
Basement garages that are constructed after the house has already been built are usually a project of the owner who wants to make the most of every square foot of his house. Therefore, a basement garage can be imagined as a combination of a garage and a basement in one structure.
For those who have a problem with their garage doors, be sure to read this article if you want to learn how to fix them. Garage Door Only Opens A Few Inches? How To Fix It
Pros of a Basement Garage
1. They Are Bigger Than Normal Garages
One of the advantages of basement garages is that they can extend through the entire first floor of the house, which means that you can use the entire basement as a garage. Unlike above-ground garages, which have limited space, the basement can be fully used not only for the car but also as additional storage.
Of course, coordinate your plans with building codes, but you should know that they are not strict when it comes to basement garages. They leave you with a lot of freedom to adapt the basement to your wishes and needs. Basement garages can be used to park more than one car in it.
2. Basement Garages Have Fewer Restrictions
When it comes to basement garages, there are much fewer restrictions that you must follow compared to above-ground garages. When you decide to build, for example, an attached garage next to your house, you must follow the rules about dimensions prescribed by building codes in the state where you live.
With a basement garage, you have much more freedom. In your basement, you can build a garage under the whole house without having to follow the same building codes that apply to normal garages. Also, you won’t have any problems with your neighbors because they won’t be able to peek in the garage and see what’s in it.
3. Better Protection For Your Car
A great advantage of a basement garage is that it can protect your vehicle from weather conditions such as rain, snow, cold weather, and high temperatures. By keeping your car in the basement garage, you can extend its life, reduce the frequency of breakdowns, and thus save money. How? Let’s see why this is so:
- Car Tires: When vehicle tires are exposed to extremely high temperatures for a long time, they will deflate and lose quality. We all know how expensive it is to change tires on a vehicle often.
- Car Engine: Even more expensive than changing tires is paying for engine repairs, especially when it comes to situations of engine overheating. This can occur if the level of coolant decreases due to exposure of the vehicle to high temperatures without you noticing it.
- Battery: High temperatures also have a negative effect on the stability of the car battery since they cause the evaporation of water in the battery, which then causes the emergence of lead plates, thus, weakening the battery. On the other hand, low temperatures also cause battery problems and are emptied faster.
4. Separated From The Home
If the entrance from your garage leads to the kitchen or hallway, which is located right next to the bedroom, you surely know that it is a bit strange feeling when you know that you are separated from your car by only a thin side wall. When the car is in the basement, you no longer feel that you are sharing the living space with the vehicle.
5. Adds More Space To Your Property
When you transform the basement into a garage and solve the need for additional parking space, the floor, ground, and garden remain available for other projects and give you more square footage. If part of the ground floor of your house is currently a garage, imagine what you can do if it moves to the basement!
You can add an extra room on the floor level for children or create an office. You can also expand the kitchen or living room and give them that grand look you’ve always dreamed of. All this without depriving yourself of a part of the yard that remains free for you to enjoy outdoors.
Cons of a Basement Garage
1. Cost Of Turning A Basement Into a Garage
The big downside of transforming a basement into a garage is the project’s cost, which is significantly higher than the standard garage. The amount of investment depends on many factors, but in any case, you will spend more money than if you decide to build a garage on the floor level.
However, you must know that this negative side of the basement garage turns into an advantage when it comes to the real estate appraisal due to the sale.
Why is building a garage in the basement such an expensive undertaking? The reason lies in the excavation and removal of soil, which is quite expensive, and then in the demanding work of strengthening the walls of the basement garage in the newly dug basement so that the static of the house is not disturbed.
In any case, if you are considering the construction of a basement garage in the house where you already live, you must know that it is an investment that can reach up to $250,000 for a two vehicles space or half of that amount if you decide on a garage in which only one car fits!
Basement garages can have problems with ventilation, so make sure to read this article to learn how to do this when you don’t have windows in it: How To Ventilate A Garage With No Windows? (Top 7 Ways).
2. Very Cold During Winter
While basement garages are ideal for your car during summer, a basement exposed to extremely low temperatures in the winter months can negatively affect your car, especially regarding tires and car batteries.
Car tires deflate easily when they are in a very cold environment. Therefore, if the basement where the car is kept is very cold, the tires should be checked more often.
Low temperatures also have a negative effect on the car battery, which also reduces its lifespan. Another thing is that it can cause your car not to start. This is often the case when it comes to older vehicles.
3. The Need For Additional Space
If until now you have used the basement mainly as a storage space for larger household appliances such as a freezer, washing machine, or water heater, you must be aware that you will no longer be able to do this once a car moves in.
Also, given that we often keep our cars in a garage, you should know that you may run out of space in the basement to store smaller things, such as food supplies or tools for working in the garden. That is why, when planning to turn your basement into a garage, you must make a plan to store things that you currently keep in it.
4. Potential Problems With Flooding
Since the basement is the lowest part of your house, it will be the first to suffer if your area is hit by a flood. You will agree the damage from a flood is much worse if your car floods in the basement than a lawnmower or dog food supply.
A basement garage can flood even with heavy rain. How? The reason is simple, the water has to go somewhere, and that is usually the basement because of the large access point that cannot be sealed up – the garage door. So check if you are in an area that is prone to heavy rains.
5. Carrying Heavy Bags Up And Down
If you often use your car for shopping, carrying everything you buy upstairs from your basement can be difficult and annoying. Week after week. Additionally, hauling loads up and down stairs can be a significant problem if you are in the habit of going on family vacations by car.
It is not easy to maneuver suitcases through the house towards the basement and in the opposite direction. A basement garage can also be problematic if you have small children or plan to have children in the future.
It is much easier to get them out of the car and put them in their seats when the car is in your driveway or on a ground floor level.
Finally, if you want to see what modern basement garages look like and what types there are, be sure to watch this video.
Having a basement garage overall is a great benefit. However, you will need to invest a lot of money to build one. If the immediate environment allows you to build a basement garage, then you have to see what level of comfort it can provide compared to a garage on the floor level.
In any case, constructing a basement garage is a good idea if you need more living space and if you don’t currently use the basement for anything other than junk piling up. If you are buying a house, the advantage of one with a basement garage can be more space on the ground floor and a larger garden area.