What Is An Island Basement? Explained

If you come across a house that is raised a few meters above the ground, then it is very likely a type of house that has an island basement. This type of basement is specially designed to protect the house from possible floods, but it also has other advantages as well. In this article, we’ll cover everything about island basements, their height, and much more. So, let’s start!

So What Is An Island Basement? An Island basement is a type of foundation that is elevated a few feet above the ground on which the house is placed. Their main purpose is to prevent flood damage, but they can also be used as storage space for tools or any other equipment. The average height of an island basement is around 8 to 9 feet.

Typically, homes that are built near rivers or lakes must be elevated to a certain height. Now that we have explained what an island basement is, the next thing that you might be interested in is what other benefits they bring. In the next chapter, we’ll get a little bit deeper into this topic.

Why Is It Called An Island Basement?

Floods that are caused by major storms can cause great damage to houses that are located near rivers. However, an island basement is a structure that is elevated from the ground and can thus protect the house. When the water level rises, and a flood occurs, the house is a few feet above the ground and represents an island. Hence the name island basement.

According to FEMA, any house or structure that is located near the shoreline needs to be elevated to a certain height. That way, the house or structure can survive any type of high water event. This type of basement can most often be found in areas where flooding is very common such as Florida.

What Is The Typical Height of The Island Basement?

Island Basement Height

The usual height of an island basement is between 8 to 9 feet. However, this depends on the area where you live. In some areas (such as Florida), the island basement can be as high as 15 feet or more. If you are in an area that can have floods, it is best to consult with professionals regarding the height you will need.

If you don’t follow regulation codes, your house can easily be flooded. The purpose of the island basement is to save the home because it is raised up. If the house is raised enough, the water will just pass underneath the home.

Does Island Basement Increase The Price Of the House?

Definitely yes! Especially if you live in the area near the water. In addition to increasing the price of the house itself, it also highlights the building because it is set high, which also facilitates the process of selling the house. Besides that, the island basement adds an additional space you can rent as a garage, workshop or office. Many homeowners take advantage of an island basement, which certainly adds value to the home.

What Are The Advantages of Island Basements?

As mentioned earlier, island basements are used to protect the house from floods, but they can also be used as storage for gadgets, bicycles, and other household items. However, this all depends on the homeowner and how he wants to use the space under his house. Other benefits that the island basement can provide are the following:

  • Additional storage space. Most homeowners use this type of garage as an additional storage space where they store things like lawn mowers, bicycles, and tools.
  • Extra living space. If you have a lot of new guests in your house and you don’t know where you can store them, the island basement can be redecorated as an extra room that can serve just that.
  • Gaming room. If you have teenagers who like to play games all day, then an island basement would be the perfect place where you could make a playroom for them so they don’t bother others in the house.
  • Home theater. You could also make a small home theater where you can come in peace and quiet to relax.

If you want to learn more about basements, be sure to read How to Dig Out a Basement in an Existing House.

Island Basements Are Becoming Popular Trend

As major natural disasters occur more and more frequently in the world today, of which floods are the most common, it is no wonder why more and more new houses are opting for island basements. In addition to being able to protect the house from flooding, they are required by building codes (FEMA) in some countries. Especially in those areas that are close to rivers and lakes. In addition, a lot of insurance companies will not insure your property if you do not have an island basement in areas where they are required.

FAQ: People Also Ask

Is flood insurance required by the law?

Although flood insurance is not regulated and required by law, it is advisable to have it to protect your property (home). However, having flood insurance will surely reduce your worry of being burdened every time a severe storm is near. In addition to that, it is very cheap.

What Is the Main Difference Between a basement and a cellar?

The main difference between a cellar and a basement is that a cellar is always placed underground, while the basement can be set below or at ground level. When building a cellar, attention should be paid to the climate to avoid moisture. Cellars are usually colder and are a perfect choice when it comes to storing food and other things that require low temperatures. Basements on the other hand can easily be turned into an additional living space.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, having an island basement is a great choice because it gives your property an extra level of security, storage space, and much more. While it is great to have an island basement, not every house requires them. If you live in flooded areas like Florida, by building codes they are required. Most people who have an island basement also use them to stuff things because they are quite practical and add extra space to your home. I hope you have learned something and that you will share this article.

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