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Why don't homes in the southwest US have basements/cellars?


I am specifically refering to the southwest, ie: New Mexico. There are not any flood areas that I am aware of and while there may be some sandy areas; even here in Massachusetts, RI, CT, NY, most of the norteast; you see basements/cellars. It is not a space thing either because as I look at homesites out there they are usually much much smaller than the average homesite here in the dinky states of the Northeast. So why no basements or no deep foundations??? At one time someone had said that the baked southwest soil was like HARDPAN and it was difficult to build basements/cellars..No longer; it is also a great way to enlarge a home vertically and have auto cooling (particularly when using geothermal), it is also a good out of the way place to put your cooling/heating and plumbing fixtures. Kids like them and also pets.

Thats what I am thinking.

Thanks for any serious thoughts on this.

Know of contractors that will put in a basement if building?

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    In many northern areas, the frost line can go down 4 to 8 feet below grade. To prevent frost heave from damaging the foundations, they must be dug to below the local frost line. This results in a "box" of concrete or concrete blocks that is easily converted into a basement.

    In the south and southwest, the frost line is almost non existent so houses are put on slabs because it is much cheaper.

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  • 1 decade ago

    One thing is the sandy soils and another is the idea they don't need them. Most will not even have a basement.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The ones that dont have basements are possible flood areas

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  • I would like to know the same. They are rare in OKC.

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