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Definition of Crawl Space Vs. a Basement

Rick Suttle
Table of Contents

Home builders can construct homes on crawl spaces or basements, depending on the request of home buyer. Crawl spaces and basements can be above or below ground. There are advantages and disadvantages to both options.


By definition, a crawl space is an area below the house that is open with a dirt floor. You can access it by crawling underneath the house. A crawl space can be flat but is often an area that is dug out and partially below ground level. Contrarily, basements are more spacious with regards to height and enclosed with concrete.


Basements are accessed by going inside the house or through a door, as is the case in daylight or aboveground basements. Basements provide a roomier and safer place for storage than crawl spaces, which are better for storing less valuable items or items that are less affected by the climate.


Though basements are considerably more expensive than crawl spaces, people with basements normally have an easier time selling their home, especially if basements are the norm in their neighborhood. Crawl spaces can lower a home buyer's price significantly, especially if the terrain is rocky and the buyer needs additional storage.


Basements are usually much more insulated than crawl spaces and are cooler during the summer months. Crawl spaces can cause problems with moisture, mold and even insects in the house. This moisture problem can be alleviated somewhat by installing a vapor barrier.


It is possible but rather expensive to convert a crawl space into a basement. This is not always practical. Take considerable time when deciding on a foundation for your home.