Crawl Space vs Basement – Crawl Space Basement

Different home interiors come with unique features and offer quality living if the entire house structure is well designed and implemented by the architecture. Typically, potential homeowners lack a complex and technical understanding of the home construction business and services, so architects and designers are hired to manage and design the blueprint at the initial level properly. The plans can only be well implemented if there are a well-thought blueprint and a framework based on which constructions occur. Some people prefer having extra space, someplace like a man cave, and probably a huge hall like a basement for specific purposes and events. The foundation you choose comes down to personal preference and budget.

What does a crawl space basement look like?

What is Crawl Space?

A crawl space is a hollow area under some homes’ floors between the ground and the first floor. Crawl space is elevated between 1 and 3 feet above a slab foundation supported by concrete blocks that bolster the structure’s walls. Usually, the crawling space is just high enough for someone to enter by crawling. Access to the crawl space must be provided through openings no smaller than 18 x 24 inches.

crawl space example

What is the basement?

A basement represents one or more floors of a completely or partly building below the ground floor. Daylight basements can be used for several purposes—a garage, maintenance rooms, or living space.


Now let us see the difference between the basement and crawl space.

Crawl Space vs. Basement

The difference between the crawl space and the basement is that the crawl space is the hollow area under the floors of some homes between the ground and the first floor. In contrast, the basement represents one or more floors of a completely or partly building below the ground floor.

The minimum high for a basement is 7 feet (6 feet for bathrooms), while the crawl space is a maximum of 3 feet high. In addition, the basement is a hole that ends in a concrete slab, while the crawl space is 3 feet above a slab foundation supported by concrete blocks that bolster the structure’s walls.


There has been a long-standing debate on the difference between having a crawl space and a separate basement in houses. Again, there is a huge difference between space, purpose, structural engineering, and adjustment depending on the preference. The basement is defined as a proper living space allowing individuals to reside sophisticatedly; however, a crawl space is not constructed for living purposes. It just contains ample space to accommodate light storage and equipment. Basements are more functional, conventional and offer a versatile approach. Having a well-designed house with a basement drastically adds up to the house’s value; however, crawl spaces can be adjusted if there is a lack of open space for a proper well-structured basement. Crawl space tends to be unoccupied, unfinished, and a narrow space between the ground floor or a house. As the name indicates, crawl spaces can only accommodate people who can crawl temporarily to finish their tasks.

The foundation is considered to be the most significant component when constructing a house. The foundation is dependent on multiple factors such as the nature of the soil, wind direction, weather conditions, the nature of the slope, and the quality of the water drainage system in the area. Local building standards often dictate the choice of foundation building according to the preference and above-mentioned determinants. Before the construction process’s commencement, crawl spaces are often suggested as part of the foundation building, depending on factors. The ground mostly supports off the crawl space by approximately 2 feet. Steel walls are erected from making ground the foundation to give support. Stem walls are often replaced by alternatives known as pier and beams. This involves a rebar process that is dug into the holes filled with concrete to render maximum support. The concrete-filled piers are tied into beams that reflect the same nature and shape of stem walls to support the house above them. Most architected suggests crawl spaces where there are high water quantity and increased moisture. This way, the house can be protected by the excessive buildup of water in certain instances, especially when there are increased rains. The crawl space allows electricians and plumbers to install and wire the piping and necessary utilities easily, all stored and safely secured in a common space that is not only easily accessible but also equipped with a repair system.

Having crawl spaces comes with a lot of benefits. It is inexpensive and if the house construction is under a tight budget, then creating a crawl space is an ideal option as little concrete is used, reducing the overall cost. Most maintenance issues can be handled conveniently by crawling into the access door below a home as it allows easy access to the lowest part of the house. It is also preferred in areas where earthquakes are common as it exhibits a strong foundation. It is more likely to be durable and keep the house intact than a slab foundation that is more likely to crack during an earthquake. It can even serve as a storage area if well prepared with mold-resistant materials and well insulated. The separation under the house also discourages termite infestation, and owners can benefit from a detailed termite inspection because of the space access. Still, mostly, space is also treated for termites before the construction process. If the house is built on a slope or uneven ground, then having a crawl space can level the platform by adjusting the piers’ length. It is an excellent source of ventilation and allows the air to circulate underneath. In hot and extreme conditions, this will help the house cool and airy. An erected crawl space will also save the house from major floods and provide safety if the water level rises. However, crawl spaces’ construction often takes longer, and the limited spaces make it difficult for disabled people to access.

Generally used as a utility space for a building, basements are also known as cellars, and they are a floor that is completely or partially below the ground floor. Boilers, heaters, geysers, panels, fuse boxes, and air-conditioning systems are wired in most houses. It also provides extra storage, having an ideal place to store miscellaneous items. Some owners prefer to keep a proper living room by adding appealing furniture, but it can also be a perfect space for storage and other items. They can be transformed into an entertainment space and used as a large space for training, working, exercising, or office space. Basements can also be used for installation spaces for pressure tanks, water boilers, or furnaces to provide safety and aesthetics. However, frequent maintenance is required therefore adding an extra cost to the process. As they are underground, they need a lot of work to function in wiring and construction properly. Lighting will always be a nuisance for basements as windows are impossible to fit. There is no concept of sunlight in basements during the daytime, and there is always an extra need for light fixtures. Basements are also prone to humidity and can leave the room damp and full of unpleasant smells. It can also create a health hazard, especially for people who have asthma and other breathing problems. You need to have good insulation or a decent humidifier to avoid humidity problems.

The type of foundations before the construction process depends on the personal budget and preferences. For example, some people prefer having a basement as an alternative to a proper room. And some people who want to have a good storage space mostly look for crawl spaces. However, both are excellent spaces and add value to the entire house.

Mark Brown

Mark Brown

Mark Brown is a construction engineer from California who has been working as an independent contractor and writer for the past 15 years. From 2022 onwards, Mark has also been contributing author of home repair articles at Read more on Mark Brown's biography page. Contact Mark:

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