Many homeowners seek out the advantages of a basement when purchasing a building or house. Basements can be excellent for creating an extra living space or indoor storage. People looking to relocate to Florida may be curious if they can bring the basement aspirations with them.
Generally, homes in Florida do not have basements. Occasionally, they can be found in the hills of Northern and Central Florida, but it is rare. It is not recommended to build or purchase a house with a basement in Florida.
In the United States, basements are considerably more popular in the North than the South. That’s because many states in the South, including Florida, share similar issues when trying to build basements. Keep reading to find out why homes in Florida do not have basements!
Why Don’t Homes in Florida Have Basements?
While many beautiful homes can be found in Florida, they don’t normally have basements for a variety of reasons that are related to why Florida is such a popular location to live and visit.
Homes in Florida do not have basements because:
- High humidity makes a substantial risk for mold.
- Florida homes are built on slabs, making it impossible to build underneath.
- The Florida Aquifer System means water can be as close as half a foot from the surface.
- It is expensive to build a water-resistant basement.
Although you may love Florida’s warm weather and many beaches, the terrain and climate that these features also make basements difficult to build and maintain. However, there are technically some areas where basements can be found. Keep reading to find out where you can find homes with basements in Florida!
Where are Homes with Basements in Florida?
Although a majority of homes in Florida do not have basements, it is not entirely impossible. Although you cannot have a basement in South Beach, you may find what you’re looking for up north.
Homes with basements can be built or purchased in some areas of Northern and Central Florida. In Central Florida there are hills which make it possible to dig deep enough for a basement.
Keep in mind, because these homes are usually built on hills, the basements are not entirely underground. Usually, only part of the basement is below ground. Additionally, you will still have to combat the effects of humidity. However, there is more information to know regarding building a basement in Florida—keep reading to find out about laws regarding basements in Florida!
Can You Build a House with a Basement in Florida?
Most states and provinces have construction mandates that restrict how homes can be built. Finding out all the risks of having a basement in Florida may have made you curious if it is even legal to build a basement in Florida.
Although it is legal to build a basement in Florida, the terrain makes it difficult because you cannot dig the mandated minimum of 8 feet. Even if you manage to build a basement, there is a significant risk of a sinkhole forming due to the digging or from one of Florida’s frequent natural disasters.
Even if the risk of mold and sinkholes doesn’t deter you, and you find a location where you can dig deep enough for a basement, don’t be surprised if you can’t find a contractor who will agree to build a basement. Fortunately, many Floridians have found alternatives to basements, which you can learn about below.
What is an Alternative to a Basement in Florida?
If you have determined a basement isn’t for you, you don’t have to sacrifice your dream of extra space. In Florida, there are a variety of house attachments or yard features that can provide that space for you.
Instead of basements, homeowners in Florida build:
These spaces are used for storage and leisure space, and are usually cheaper to build than basements.
Unfortunately, it should be noted that while these alternatives are cheaper and safer, they will likely require air conditioning and dehumidifiers. Without these, they are equally prone to mold.
In conclusion, homes in Florida do not usually have basements. This is due to the terrain and climate of Florida; it makes homes with basements prone to mold and structural instability. However, if you are determined to find a home with a basement, you may be able to find one in Northern or Central Florida. If you’re willing to forgo a basement to live in the Sunshine State, but still want additional space, many homes in Florida have alternatives.
However, regardless of which option you choose, expect to bear the maintenance costs to prevent mold with air conditioning, dehumidifiers, and/or chemical treatments. Although it is technically possible to “waterproof” a basement, contractors make it clear that it is not foolproof.