All about the basement:

Pros and cons of the base­ment

  • In a pri­vate house
  • In a high-rise build­ing

Dif­fer­ence from base­ment

Tips for fur­nish­ing and dec­o­rat­ing

  • Water­proof­ing, ven­ti­la­tion, mate­ri­als
  • Dec­o­ra­tion Mate­ri­als
  • Inte­ri­or

Let’s start with a def­i­n­i­tion. Ground floor — what is it? This is a room par­tial­ly sub­merged in the ground no more than half of its entire height from the floor lev­el. Accord­ing to SNiP, its height is no more than two and a half meters above the ground. There are plinths in both pri­vate and mul­ti-apart­ment build­ings.

In the sec­ond case, the objects are most often non-res­i­den­tial. Inside equip tech­ni­cal rooms, offices, shops and oth­er enter­pris­es. Some­times res­i­den­tial apart­ments with such an arrange­ment are on sale. Usu­al­ly this is an old build­ing, but they are also sold in new hous­es.


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Pros and cons of the basement in different buildings

Con­sid­er the dif­fer­ences between pur­chased and self-built plinth.

In a separate house

The advan­tage of such premis­es in the pri­vate sec­tor is obvi­ous — it is an increase in the res­i­den­tial or usable area of ​​​​the house. You can place any­thing in it.

  • Boil­ers, gas equip­ment.

  • Pantry for stor­ing food sup­plies and things.

  • Liv­ing room.
  • Gym.

  • Kitchen.
  • Cin­e­ma.
  • Sauna, swim­ming pool.
  • Work­shop.
  • Library.

  • Garage. The down­side of this option is that the smells of oil and gaso­line get into the res­i­den­tial part. Good ven­ti­la­tion will be required, as is the case with a sauna and a swim­ming pool.
  • Liv­ing room. If the house is on a hill, the wall can be com­plete­ly glazed and a beau­ti­ful win­ter gar­den can be equipped.

At the same time, you do not take away a sin­gle cen­time­ter of area from the local area. An addi­tion­al plus is the absence of the need for floor insu­la­tion on the ground floor. The base­ment will act as an air buffer between it and the ground.

The dis­ad­van­tage can be con­sid­ered an increase in the esti­mate for con­struc­tion. Equip­ping the base­ment will require addi­tion­al costs for design, water­proof­ing, heat­ing, light­ing, ven­ti­la­tion, inter­nal repairs. Also, when cal­cu­lat­ing, you need to include an item of future main­te­nance costs. This is espe­cial­ly true for the arrange­ment of liv­ing rooms.

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What does the basement in an apartment building mean?

As for urban devel­op­ment, the advan­tage is the reduced price for apart­ments with this loca­tion. The dif­fer­ence between con­ven­tion­al and base­ment hous­ing can be large or almost imper­cep­ti­ble, depend­ing on the lay­out of the object and the year it was built.


  • Since most often these are old hous­es, damp­ness and cold can be felt in them.
  • The street is very close, which means that most like­ly the noise will inter­fere with a good rest.
  • Accord­ing to SNiP 31-01-2003 clause 5.5, the premis­es are not intend­ed for hous­ing, which means that it is impos­si­ble to reg­is­ter in it. But if all the doc­u­ments are in order and the devel­op­er was able to reg­is­ter the object as res­i­den­tial, there should be no prob­lems with reg­is­tra­tion.
  • Increased risk of theft. It is reduced by bars on the win­dows and a good door.
  • Lack of day­light. Depends on the lay­out, some apart­ments are dif­fi­cult to dis­tin­guish from ordi­nary ones.
  • Psy­cho­log­i­cal dis­com­fort. The win­dows of the room can be flush with the ground, which is unusu­al for many peo­ple.
  • Pos­si­ble prob­lems with the sale of the premis­es. Most buy­ers are con­cerned about the loca­tion of the apart­ment. This means that you can only sell at a reduced price.

When buy­ing, pay atten­tion to the walls, floor, char­ac­ter­is­tics of the area and yard in which you plan to live. Check the doc­u­men­ta­tion care­ful­ly. If you choose mois­ture-resis­tant fin­ish­ing mate­ri­als, as well as high-qual­i­ty win­dows and doors, most of the minus­es are reduced to zero. And in new build­ings there may be no short­com­ings.

What is the difference between basement and basement

The base­ment floor dif­fers from the base­ment in the degree of pen­e­tra­tion into the ground. The base­ment is com­plete­ly or more than half under­ground. It is dif­fi­cult to equip some­thing oth­er than a tech­ni­cal room or a cel­lar in it. In the first case, it is often pos­si­ble to make wide or high win­dows, in the sec­ond they may not be at all.

Tips for arranging and finishing a semi-basement in a private and apartment building

At the stage of plan­ning and erect­ing the base­ment, two impor­tant fac­tors must be tak­en into account that affect the dura­bil­i­ty and reli­a­bil­i­ty of the build­ing.

Construction works

One fac­tor is water­proof­ing. For this, drainage is manda­to­ry. With a high lev­el of ground­wa­ter along the perime­ter of the pit, a drainage sys­tem is cre­at­ed with pump­ing out water or a con­struc­tion dewa­ter­ing is per­formed. In the video — a detailed expla­na­tion of the semi-base­ment water­proof­ing device.

The sec­ond thing to con­sid­er is ven­ti­la­tion. For her, air is cre­at­ed in the wall — holes 15 * 25 cm (approx­i­mate­ly). They are cov­ered with a net. In addi­tion, air con­di­tion­ing sys­tems are installed. You can­not save on these two tech­nolo­gies, since the dura­bil­i­ty and com­fort of the base depend on them. Dur­ing oper­a­tion, it is nec­es­sary to mon­i­tor the con­di­tion of drainage sys­tems, roof drains and blind areas.

Pho­to by Vladislav Nikonov on Unsplash

Mate­ri­als from which floors are erect­ed:

  • Mono­lith­ic con­crete. The strongest and most durable option, as it has no seams. It is cre­at­ed in the form­work, rein­forced with a mesh with cells of 15 * 15 cm, a sec­tion of 6 cm, and rods with a diam­e­ter of 8–12 cm. The low­er part is cov­ered with boards coat­ed with an anti­sep­tic. The con­crete grade M400 is used in the work.
  • FBS. Suf­fi­cient­ly reli­able and ubiq­ui­tous mate­r­i­al today. The seams must be cov­ered with water­proof­ing.
  • Red sol­id brick. In regions where the tem­per­a­ture drops below ‑30 ° C in win­ter, the walls are laid out with a thick­ness of 2 bricks. The low­er part of the mason­ry is rein­forced
  • A nat­ur­al stone. The stone is mount­ed as close as pos­si­ble to each oth­er, the voids are filled with cement, the ver­ti­cal seams are ban­daged

The design con­sists of a floor slab and walls that can rest on it or stand around the perime­ter. The sec­ond option usu­al­ly costs less and is suit­able for sandy soils.

Finishing work

For fac­ing the out­er wall, sid­ing, porce­lain stoneware and oth­er durable mate­ri­als are used. Fin­ish­ing for the floor, walls and ceil­ing inside the build­ing is cho­sen depend­ing on the pur­pose of the area. If an ordi­nary room is locat­ed on it, you can use the options famil­iar to inte­ri­ors.

  • Dry­wall
  • Wall­pa­per
  • Fake dia­mond
  • plas­ter

It is bet­ter to choose mois­ture-resis­tant prod­ucts to pre­vent mold and mildew. In bath­rooms, swim­ming pools, tiles are pre­ferred. It is also used as floor­ing in the kitchen area. Ceil­ings are more prac­ti­cal to make sus­pend­ed. Such designs hide the wiring, look aes­thet­i­cal­ly pleas­ing. It is con­ve­nient to embed spot­lights in them.


There may not be enough day­light in the base­ment. If you plan to stay in it per­ma­nent­ly or fre­quent­ly, it can be harm­ful to your eye­sight and psy­cho­log­i­cal state. In this case, it is rec­om­mend­ed to dec­o­rate the inte­ri­or in light col­ors with small bright splash­es. In small areas — in stu­dios and smart apart­ments, it is bet­ter to use min­i­mal­ist tech­niques.

  • Trans­former fur­ni­ture (fold­ing tables, pull-out podi­um beds, mini-sec­ond floor).

  • Divi­sion into sec­tions with light par­ti­tions, cur­tains, bar coun­ters.
  • Mir­rors on the walls. Used to expand space.
  • As many light sources as pos­si­ble at dif­fer­ent lev­els.
  • Sim­ple forms, a com­bi­na­tion of strict hor­i­zon­tal and ver­ti­cal lines.

Using these sim­ple rules, you will equip a cozy and com­fort­able home. A small pho­to selec­tion of res­i­den­tial semi-base­ments will help you get inspired to cre­ate your project.

We told how the base­ment floor dif­fers from the base­ment, what it is and how it is used. We offer you to watch a video about bud­get solu­tions for the con­struc­tion and plan­ning of such a room in a pri­vate house.

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