Where are the basements in new homes in Chapel Hill and the Triangle Area of NC?
Marianne Howell Wright Certified Eco Broker,Triangle Area Real Estate
That’s a question I get a lot from out of state clients so I thought I’d show you a basement under construction and talk about why we don’t have many in this part of NC.
The first reason basement building is limited is our heavy clay soil. Water won’t drain through the soil away from the house and an underground basement would be wet.
Another reason is foundations should be dug 12” inches below the frost line which can be 5 ft. in the north but only 18 inches in NC. It’s just not as cost effective to build a basement here. A builder will add $30,000 to $80,000 to the cost of a home (depending on the size of the house) for an unfinished basement. Finishing will add another $50-$60 a square foot. A buyer has to really want a basement to pay that much more for a home. We do have basements though. Sloped lots are often called basement lots and the slope allows for the water to be drained away from the house. There is also a system of gravel and drains running around the house to carry water away. If you See a newer home with a totally underground basement it might be a good idea to have an engineer check the drainage before you buy.
Poured concrete foundations are more common these days than masonry block foundations. I asked Carlos to explain why.
The house shown in the video is for sale in a small 10 home neighborhood within walking distance of Chapel Hill Schools. It's almost 5000 sq. ft. with a basement and is priced at $675,000.