If you have ever looked at buying a home in Dallas, you might have noticed they all have one thing in common; they don’t have basements. You might not think it’s anything weird if you have lived in North Texas for a long time, but it’s still something you might wonder about. Here are a few reasons why Dallas homes do not have basements.
Dallas Basements Have a Shallow Frost Line
When it comes to building Texas homes, builders have to follow guidelines that take into consideration clay soil, weather, and a foundation’s frost line. The Frost line is the section of the soil that does not freeze during the winter season. The reason homeowners don’t have an incentive to build a basement is that the frost line is extremely shallow in the state of Texas. Sometimes, it’s even non-existent. However, in the northern states, builders are required to build deep enough to get a home’s foundation and pipes below the frost line, which prevents them from freezing during winter. Therefore, almost all Dallas area home builders choose to not build basement walls to avoid additional expenses that are not required. This is a major reason why we lack Texas basements.
It Comes with a High Additional Cost
The average cost per square foot when building a basement up north for a home costs around $30-$100 per square foot. This means homeowners will potentially be spending $30,000 to $100,000 to build a 1,000 square foot basement in Dallas. Some of the reasons building a basement in Dallas is so high for home-builders is due to the costs of excavation, waterproofing, flooring, and overall conditioning of the space.
Texas Has a High Water Table
The water table is the top layer of the soil that is permanently covered with water. Since most Texas cities, including Dallas, are near very large lakes, making the water table is very close to the surface. Therefore, building a basement in a new home close to or below the water table raises the risk of potential flooding during heavy rains or hurricane season. Overall, home builders avoid basement construction to prevent any potential flooding disaster.
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