What is a hiking basement?

woman posing

A walk out basement is an architectural feature of a townhouse or townhouse that basically makes the basement space directly accessible from the outside. There are many different names for this feature and also many different variations. Most of the time, the space is attached to the main house via a staircase, just as any basement would be; the biggest difference is that there is also a separate entrance or staircase that connects the space directly to the outside. So people can enter and leave the basement directly, without going through the main house. This can be desirable in rental or roommate situations as it allows for a lot of privacy; It can also come in handy when it comes to moving or storing bulky or dirty items that homeowners don’t want transported directly into their living room interior. Many of these types of basements have windows and often function more like lower first floors than true basements. Having this feature usually adds a lot of value to a home.

basic concept

In most homes, the basement is essentially an underground room; it is usually built into the foundation and cannot be seen from outside. It normally has no windows, at least not large ones, and is normally designed to be a storage place. So-called “finished” basements can also be used for entertainment or guest accommodation, but even these can usually only be accessed from inside the house, just like any other room.

The most distinctive and defining feature of a crossover model is access to the outside. In most cases, this access is “full”, meaning the exit door is full-sized and lockable; it is usually designed to serve as the main means of entry and exit, meaning people can get in and out without ever entering or cutting through the upstairs.

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access options

There are a few different ways to structure external access, and much of it depends on how, exactly, the larger structure was built. Homes built on slopes or on the slopes of hills or mountains often have full back doors. Daylight basements that are more fully underground often open up to small sunken patio areas with stairs that can lead down to street level. These types of doors are common in two-story homes without an entire floor below ground.

Light and Windows

Standard basements are often quite cold year round, in part because of how deep they are buried; warm air also tends to rise, which usually keeps you out of these lower spaces. Daylight basements and exit basements are generally much warmer because in most cases they are at least partially above ground and usually have at least some access to direct sunlight. They sometimes also feature full-sized windows and can be treated like a full-sized lower floor, although the ceiling is usually not as high as a normal floor. Things also tend to feel musty and wetter, although opening the door or windows periodically can alleviate this by promoting fresh air circulation.

Added Value and General Desirability

These types of basements are often colloquially referred to as mother-in-law basements, in part because of the privacy they offer. Structures are often used to host roommates or renters without the need to share common areas or doors. Residents on the lower floors will be able to leave the house without ever going through a room or entering the upper part of the house. It can serve as a kind of attached but separate living space.

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The daylight nature of a basement can add significant value to a home, as many buyers prefer this type of extra space to a cooler, darker basement. Houses are also not the only structures that can have this type of flooring. Some garages also offer this feature, although they often fail to park in the structure or use a lot of storage space.

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