When contemplating buying a home in Oklahoma, you may have observed that many properties lack a frequent attribute: a basement. While underground level spaces can furnish extra square footage and act as a multi-purpose area for storage or even an extra room, the absence of basements in Oklahoma homes is due to multiple causes.
One of the primary reasons is the state’s elevated water table, which increases the likelihood of flooding and makes it arduous to construct a basement. Additionally, the soil composition in Oklahoma is often clay-heavy, which can exert pressure on walls and make building a basement challenging. Furthermore, there isn’t much demand for basements in Oklahoma homes. As a result, it is not a feature that is frequently included in the construction of homes in this state.
When examining the geographical elements that make it unlikely to have basements in Oklahoma, it’s worth delving into the frost line Oklahoma and how it influences the construction process. The frost lineOklahoma represents the maximum depth at which soil freezes during cold weather. When building a basement, the foundation must reach below the frost line to prevent the space from experiencing varying temperatures. This ensures the stability and solidity of the space, protecting it from harm caused by freezing temperatures.
The insufficiency of depth in the frost line Oklahoma and surrounding regions poses a substantial obstacle for constructors seeking to build basements. In Northern states, the frost line generally stretches 6-8 feet below the earth’s surface, offering ample room for a basement area. Nevertheless, in Oklahoma and its neighboring states, the frost line is generally only around 18 inches, making it hard to safely and legally construct a basement.
The hindrances presented by the frost line Oklahoma make it challenging for basement contractors OKC to put up basement foundations. The frost line depth is typically only 18 inches, the soil is not robust enough to sustain building a basement. As a result, many basement contractors OKC elect not to construct basements in Oklahoma due to the laws and regulations they must comply with.
Earth Composition, Underground Water Level
The geological formation of Oklahoma and neighboring states poses a significant challenge for constructing basements. The soil in this region is often rich in clay, which can complicate the construction process.
Clay, being highly permeable, expands when exposed to water. This can exert immense pressure on the walls and structure of a basement built in clay-rich soil. Moisture, mold, and mud can infiltrate the room, potentially cracking the walls and compromising the integrity of the entire house. Due to the inherent risks, many basement contractors OKC choose not to build basements in this area.
The high water level prevalent in Oklahoma poses a significant challenge for building basements. The soil in this state is known to retain a large amount of moisture, making it highly saturated and loose. This characteristic increases the risk of flooding, which can cause significant damage to a basement. Flooding can lead to a damp, musty odor, the growth of mold and fungus, and the ruin of items stored in the basement. Additionally, the water damage caused by flooding can weaken the overall structure of the home. This is an undesirable outcome, as a basement that is prone to flooding is unlikely to be a usable or pleasant space.
The many hurdles to constructing a basement in Oklahoma include its position in the Tornado Alley. As part of an area characterized by high frequency of tornadoes, Oklahoma is particularly susceptible to the destructive winds and debris that accompany these storms. This makes not only building in general more complicated, but also poses additional challenges for those looking to construct a basement. The strong winds can make the soil less stable, and the potential for tornadoes to lift dirt and debris exacerbates the problem. Although basements can often serve as a sanctuary during these storms, in reality, building them in Oklahoma is often not a practical choice.
Scanty Interest for Basement in Oklahoma Homeowners
The task of erecting a basement in Oklahoma is beset with numerous difficulties, owing to the state’s unique geographical and meteorological characteristics. The soil structure, frost penetration, water table, and location within Tornado Alley all contribute to the challenges of building a stable and secure basement. Nevertheless, despite these hurdles, it is not entirely impossible to construct a basement in Oklahoma.
Throughout the years, builders have developed new technologies and methods to overcome the challenges of building a basement in Oklahoma. Advances in waterproofing and reinforcement have made it possible to erect basements that can withstand the harsh weather conditions of the state. Moreover, the State of Oklahoma has approved additional funding to support individuals looking to construct basements, recognizing that basements can provide residents with a safer space during severe weather events such as tornadoes.
Despite advancements in technology and the availability of financial aid, many Oklahoma residents still view building a basement as an unlikely option. For years, people have come to accept that basements are not a common feature in Oklahoma and have made peace with this fact. This perspective has led to a lack of demand for basement construction, and as a result, many builders in the area lack the necessary skills and expertise to construct one.
It is to take a note here that building a basement in Oklahoma can be a challenging task, but it is not impossible. With the right building team, resources, and patience, a basement can be erected in Oklahoma. However, the mindset of the residents and the scarcity of demand for basement construction make it a less likely choice. Nevertheless, the state is encouraging residents to consider building a basement as it can provide a safer space during severe weather events.
If constructing a basement in Oklahoma is not a viable option for you, there are other alternatives to explore. One such alternative is to convert your attic into a useable room or storage area, thereby increasing the square footage of your home without using any additional outdoor space.
Another alternative is to add a storage shed to your backyard. These sheds can be an affordable solution for storing larger items or even converting into a small guesthouse. This can be a great option for those looking for extra space without the expense of building a full basement.
An additional alternative, particularly if you are concerned about safety during tornadoes, is to build a storm cellar. These small underground shelters require less maintenance compared to basements and are only used during severe weather. This can provide a safe place for you and your family to take shelter during a tornado without having to worry about the upkeep and appearance of a full basement.
What States Don’t Have Basements
Here are some of the states in the United States that are categorized under ‘What States Don’t Have Basements’, often due to geographical or geological reasons. These states include but are not limited to:
Florida for high water table, Alabama for high water table, Louisiana for risk of flooding and hurricanes, Hawaii for volcanic soil, Texas for high water table, Arizona for high water table, California for risk of earthquakes and Nevada for high water table.
What States Have Basements in Their Homes
Following the discussion of ‘What States Don’t Have Basements, let us take a note of What States Have Basements in Their Homes.Below is a list that includes states having a higher percentage of homes with basements, as well as states that have a long-standing tradition of building homes with basements:
Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Texas, California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and Alaska