Author Topic: Walk out basement  (Read 3060 times)

Offline Pugnate

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Walk out basement
« on: Tuesday, September 20, 2016, 10:51:57 PM »
Is it a good idea to take a walk out basement with a baby? There is ventilation. The problem is that it will be really cold, right?

Offline Cobra951

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Re: Walk out basement
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday, September 21, 2016, 05:27:47 AM »
The Canadians will have better answers.  My thoughts are: water and snow.  How likely is this basement to flood?  How high will the snow get against the walk-out door in the dead of Winter?  Cold depends on how good your heating is.  I imagine the heater vents are in the ceiling in a basement, which is the worst place, since heated air rises.  With radiators or some sort of safe space heaters, it might work out better.

Also: humidity can be a problem in basements during warmer months.

And the little one will be at floor level much of the time.  Coldest there.

Offline Quemaqua

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Re: Walk out basement
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday, September 21, 2016, 09:38:09 AM »
Really depends on the actual structure more than anything. I lived in a basement for years. Also lived in a garage that was converted into an apartment. It's really more about the insulation and such. I never had any real problems. The basement did indeed get cold, but it was small, so I had a single space heater that did the job when necessary. Easier in California, of course, but probably fine where you are as long as someone's put a little work into making the place an apartment. If not, it might be a little harder. Space heaters are notoriously expensive to run, so if the place is fairly large and you think you'll need to use one a lot, might not be the best bet. If it's a small place and it doesn't get super freezing, imagine you're safe.

天才的な閃きと平均以下のテクニックやな。 課長有野

Offline Pugnate

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Re: Walk out basement
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday, September 21, 2016, 02:06:10 PM »
Yeah we just can't find a place. It's a nightmare in Toronto where housing is sky high in terms of price and scarce. Finally found a decent condo for a low price but it was gone because we were indecisive.

Another condo owner said he won't rent to 'newcomers'.

This walk-out basement is nice enough. There is carpeting, but Cobra makes a good point about the floor being cold as the baby is loving crawling at the moment.

Electricity is included so I mean I guess we could use heaters as much as we want. I have little experience with heaters. Would it not be dangerous for the baby? Also, any safety issues?

You are right about the insulation. It was cold when we went there but I'd say remarkably better than the regular underground basements.

Offline ren

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Re: Walk out basement
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday, September 21, 2016, 03:39:19 PM »
How old is the house? Basements will inevitably leak but the risk is very different between a 100 year old house in the older parts of the city and a newer build.

For temperature, it'll be a lot colder but that's nothing a space heater can't fix. They're quite common here so I don't think there's a fire risk but you can turn them off when you don't need them and set them on sleep timers when you're going to bed to reduce that risk. On the bright side, it'll be nice and cool in the summer time; it's not Pakistan hot here but the past few summers we've been in the mid-30s quite a bit which is a bit beyond comfort without AC.

In general you're going to get more bugs in a basement. Guaranteed you'll see your fair share of centipedes and spiders. It's all perfectly harmless but if that's going to make someone in your household uncomfortable it's something to consider.

One more thing to consider is ventilation. I've lived in a basement before and whenever I cook something spicy it stinks up the whole place. Basements tend to have lower ceilings and no windows so it's hard to get the smells out compared to something above ground.


Offline Pugnate

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Re: Walk out basement
« Reply #5 on: Wednesday, September 21, 2016, 05:19:29 PM »
So it's a walk out basement. It's half above ground and there is ventilation. I'm concerned about the baby. Will there still be bugs if the basement is a walk out?

The house seems new and it's in Richmond Hill.

Offline Pugnate

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Re: Walk out basement
« Reply #6 on: Wednesday, September 21, 2016, 05:55:59 PM »
The estate agent says the house is less than ten years old.  There were no leaks when we went to see in the rain.

Offline ren

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Re: Walk out basement
« Reply #7 on: Wednesday, September 21, 2016, 07:33:01 PM »
I don't want to overstate the bug thing. You'll see the occasional creepy crawly at night time but that's it. This won't be a fact of life that you'll have to learn to live with or anything like that.

If the house is only 10 years old I wouldn't worry about leaks. If it seems damp or humid get a dehumidifier to prevent mould buildup but if it's half above ground that might not be an issue.

Offline Pugnate

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Re: Walk out basement
« Reply #8 on: Thursday, September 22, 2016, 12:38:20 AM »
Doesn't seem damp. Any recommendations for a low-cost dehumidifier and a space heater?

Offline Cobra951

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Re: Walk out basement
« Reply #9 on: Thursday, September 22, 2016, 04:25:42 AM »
Sandy has an oil-filled radiant heater on her screened-in porch.  It never gets too hot to touch, but warms up the area.  Sorry, I can't remember the brand and model now.  Check these out:

http://www.homedepot.com/b/Heating-Venting-Cooling-Heaters-Space-Heaters-Electric-Heaters-Oil-filled-Radiant-Heaters/N-5yc1vZc8od

Edit:  This review site might be useful.  Can't vouch for it, though:
http://www.heaterlab.com/best-oil-filled-heater-reviews/

Offline Pugnate

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Re: Walk out basement
« Reply #10 on: Thursday, September 22, 2016, 06:24:13 AM »
Thanks Cobra. I was hoping that there were heaters that warmed up the area without getting too hot to touch in the unlikely even that the baby gets too close.

Offline ren

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Re: Walk out basement
« Reply #11 on: Thursday, September 22, 2016, 07:36:10 AM »
Convection heaters are better at warming up the area without getting too hot than radiant heaters.

Look for something with a grate that prevents you from touching the heating element and you should be fine.

Offline gpw11

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Re: Walk out basement
« Reply #12 on: Thursday, September 22, 2016, 07:43:19 AM »
There will be some pretty big differences in building practices and climate between where you are and where I am but if I were to be looking at a basement suite, here's a quick run down of what I'd look for:


-Is there a hood vent/fan above the stove?
-Is there an extractor fan in the bathroom?
-Are there windows in the bedrooms
-How the window situation is in general
-What type of heat is it and make sure you have control of the thermostat for your zone.

Just a quick, off the top of my head.  Beyond that, I wouldn't worry to much about a humidifier/dehumidifier until you've been there for a bit and actually know if that will be a problem.


There's nothing wrong with basement suites in general, it's just that there are good ones and bad ones.  If you have an ad or pictures you want to pm me I can totally take a look.

Offline Cobra951

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Re: Walk out basement
« Reply #13 on: Thursday, September 22, 2016, 03:20:44 PM »
Convection heaters are better at warming up the area without getting too hot than radiant heaters.

Look for something with a grate that prevents you from touching the heating element and you should be fine.

I'm very leery of overgrown hair dryers.  They're fine as long as they don't get tipped over, or shoved too close to a curtain.  They also generally draw more power, and make a racket all the time they're in use.  I assume this place has some heating, and just needs supplementing, particularly near the floor.

Offline Pugnate

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Re: Walk out basement
« Reply #14 on: Thursday, September 29, 2016, 09:02:51 AM »
So basically we have decided to take it. It is really hard to land a place as a new immigrant! Credit checks etc. make it really hard.

GPW, your post was so useful. Basically, window in one of the bedrooms, but nothing in other. The bathroom and stove does have ventilation though. Unfortunately, no thermostat downstairs but the basement was quite warm. We will probably do with a heater or two. Hoping you guys here can help us decide.

Offline Quemaqua

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Re: Walk out basement
« Reply #15 on: Friday, September 30, 2016, 09:51:09 PM »
Sounds decent enough to me! A basement isn't at all unpleasant if the space is a reasonable one. Sounds like this one is, so you're probably fine.

天才的な閃きと平均以下のテクニックやな。 課長有野

Offline Pugnate

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Re: Walk out basement
« Reply #16 on: Wednesday, October 05, 2016, 09:57:17 PM »
So we've moved into the basement. It's actually quite nice. The only issue is the creepy crawlies. I've killed 4 or 5 little spiders so far.

Offline ren

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Re: Walk out basement
« Reply #17 on: Wednesday, October 12, 2016, 01:37:14 PM »
Soon you will get protective over them and starting giving them names.

Offline Pugnate

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Re: Walk out basement
« Reply #18 on: Wednesday, October 12, 2016, 07:17:30 PM »
They have all but disappeared since we moved in.