Can You Build A Two Story Basement? [Meaning, Benefits, & Drawbacks]

Basements & Other Rooms, Blog, Construction

A basement is a part of a building that is completely or partially below the main floor. It gives extra room or storage space and can be used as an extra floor in the home. It could be a one-story basement, which is sort of conventional, or a two-story basement.

Yes, you can build a two-story basement; it adds value, flexibility, and space. That said, it is not all that common; people don’t build them too often. So, is having a two-story basement beneficial to you? Is it still possible to build? What are the benefits of having a two-story basement?

If you find yourself asking any of these questions, you’re at the right place. I will be writing about two-story basements, which are also known as double basements, their benefits, why they are not too common, and if building one is right for you.

What is a two-story basement?

A two-story basement is basically a normal basement built into two floors. It offers additional living space that can be used for anything you want. One could be used as a gym, a billiard room, or a wet room, and the other floor can be used as a game room or a man cave. That said, two-story basements are not common for reasons I will explain as you read further.

Why aren’t two-story basements common?

As beneficial as having a two-story basement is, it is kind of a surprise that it is not as common as it ought to be. Some of the reasons why people don’t build two-story basements often are;

1. Area code

All cities, regions, or areas have codes that govern them. Most areas or regions’ residential codes actually prohibit residents from building basements, whether finished, unfinished, or partially finished, below the main floor. Perhaps it is because of the nature of the soil in that region.

2. Cost

Cost is one of the first things considered in any construction project. And building down (2-story basement) is surely bound to cost you even more than just building up (adding an extra story to the main house).

Digging down is expensive, and digging twice as deep is even more than twice the expense. Reinforcing the structural integrity of the house is also another project that may incur more cost.

Additionally, getting plumbing and ventilation done on both stories will definitely increase the budget. Finally, there has to be safety and proper egress (exit) since you are digging two stories into the ground.

Most area codes will require the basement to have extensive fire detection and sprinkler systems set up. Proper means (lifts or windows with ladders) are needed to exit in case of a fire incident.

What are the benefits of building a two-story basement?

1. Extra space

By adding a two-story basement, you automatically have more space. You can turn it into another floor with rooms for guests. It can also be used as a gym, a game room, a man cave, a storage room, etc. Basically, you can use it for anything that best suits you.

2. Adds value to the house

Any improvement done on a house will automatically reflect in its value. Adding a two-story basement to yours will certainly increase the home’s resale value. Although building upward will add more value than building downward.

3. Sound muffing

Think of it this way: you can have a room where you can play loud music and have parties without disturbing your neighbors or family upstairs. If planned properly with the engineer, you can even have the 2nd story built as a secret room. With you knowing the only way to access the floor.

Can you build a two-story basement?

Absolutely. If the area code permits it, then you can build one. However, it is paramount you consult an engineer or contractor first. He or she should be able to find the best way to bring your vision to life.

Surely, after getting the engineer or contractor, you will need to obtain any necessary permits before you can commence your project. It is also worth noting that this type of project will cost a lot, so consider that as well.


Is a house with a basement considered two stories?

No, it is not. The house stories do not include the basement but rather the above grade. Basements and cellars do not count among the house stories or levels.

How many basement stories can you give a house?

Basically, you can give a house as much as possible, except your area code Prohibits it.

Conclusion – Is a two-story basement useful for a house?

Two-story basements can solve many problems in a home. You add extra space in the home you can use for just about anything. Aside from that, the resale value of your home will increase with a two-story building. So yes, a two-story basement is useful in a house.

However, you should note that digging down is expensive, hence a two-story basement might cost a fortune to build. So, if there are no height restrictions for houses in your region, you can just add an extra floor to the main house. It could prove to be a more cost-effective option.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article. If you did, you should visit Samkins Construction Lnc for more articles you may find helpful.

Thanks for reading.

About Samkins

Samkins Construction Inc specializes in custom home building, general contracting, design-build, architectural design, construction management, and real estate services.


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