What Does Full Basement Mean?

William McCoy

In real estate listings, many houses are described as having a "full basement." This term can have different definitions, depending on who's saying it and in what context. The term "full basement" can relate to both the area size and ceiling height of a house's basement.

Having a full basement increases the value of your home.


Some builders, real estate agents and homeowners use the term "full basement" when referring to the overall area of the basement. In this context, the term "full" means that the basement fills the entire area under the house, rather than just part of it. As such, some people consider a full basement to be 100 percent of the home's footprint.


In other definitions, the term is used to describe a basement with standard, 8-foot-tall ceilings. Some smaller basements are often called half basements or crawl spaces.


A full basement, whether measured by area or by height, will likely increase the value of your home because they increase the living area. If a house has a large basement area-wise, but has low ceilings, the basement is not ideally livable. Though you can store items in this style of basement, they're difficult to access and you can't use the basement for a recreational room, laundry room or spare bedroom.


A full basement is ideal because it gives you more space. Common uses for full basements include laundry rooms, workshops, children's play rooms and even spare bedrooms. If it has a full bathroom, a full basement can also be used as a separate living quarters for a teenager, boarder or other family member.