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What is a Daylight Basement

Should you be fortunate enough that your home has a basement, you know the possibilities that they bring. From the additional storage to the extra living spaces, the opportunities are endless. However, these are not just a one-size-fits-all kind of room, as there are actually different types of basements that one could have.

Daylight basements are a great feature of any home. This article is your informational source for all things Daylight Basements. Keep scrolling and find out what they are and how you can use one to your advantage.

A daylight basement is one built on a sloping landscape, the result of which is that at least one wall of the basement is only partially below ground level. The part of the wall above ground is fitted with at least one full-sized window allowing daylight to enter the basement.

Defining Characteristics of Daylight Basements

306_Rooms-Basement_Window Well

Daylight basements are basements that contain one or two full-sized windows, that may allow you to be able to look out from the ground floor or they could be located in a window well.

A defining characteristic is that these basements are not built completely underground. They are actually built halfway between the underground and ground floor, making them commonly known as “semi-basements”.

Daylight basements are built on sloped or slanted terrain as the rest of the house can be built above ground, on an even foundation. You won’t usually be able to see the basement from the front of the house, but once you go around back you will notice it.

These basements also do not have an additional door that leads directly to the outside of the house, so your only point of exit and entry is through the main inside door. This characteristic is one that distinguishes it from the similar walkout basement.

Exterior facade or profile of a Daylight basement

Daylight Basements: Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits of Daylight BasementsDrawbacks of Daylight Basements
These basements look quite unique and aesthetically pleasing from the outside, which can add to the design element of your home.It is more costly to install full-sized windows into your basement, compared to smaller windows (or no windows at all).
It is less costly to buy a lot with a sloped terrain than a flat one as buyers might see it as off-putting. However, you can use that to your advantage and build the daylight basement of your dreams.Although the sloped terrain is beneficial, it needs to be the correct slope to allow for easy construction. If it isn’t, you will incur additional costs to correct it.
These provide you with additional livable space such as having guest bedrooms or a fun games room. These spaces can add value to your home’s resale value.Unfortunately, with these basements, you can expect to pay higher property taxes.
The larger windows allow a lot of natural light to enter the basement, which can make the room feel warmer and brighter

Make Best Use of Your Daylight Basement

Take advantage of the bonus square footage that your daylight basement brings and convert it to a liveable space (don’t forget your building permit!).

You could make it an additional bedroom, which allows for more privacy and separation from the rest of the house, or turn it into the ultimate master-suite as you will have a larger floor space to work with.

You could also fulfill your inner artist’s dream of having a private studio as the natural light will allow you to paint to your heart’s content without the need for a lot of additional lighting.

Yaheetech Drafting Desk, Drawing Table for Artists/Adults, Art Desk w/Stool and 3 Slide Drawers, Painting Studio Design Work Station, Adjustable Tabletop

The general coolness of the basement will also make for a great home gym. You are also given the choice to crack open a window when ‘hot yoga’ becomes a bit too hot.

Whatever you decide, this room gives you the opportunity to create a welcoming space for you and your family.


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