Tips to Consider When Constructing a Basement Walk-Out

If you use your basement frequently for entertaining or would like to use it to earn some extra income – either by putting in a basement apartment or having your professional office there – then having a basement walk-out can be incredibly handy. It means that you, your guests, your tenants or your clients can easily access the basement space without having to go through the rest of your home.

But constructing a basement walk-out is not without its challenges. The best time to put in such a walk-out is when the home is being built since this can be quite costly and challenging as a home renovation – if it is possible at all. Here are a few things that you should consider if having a basement walk-out is important to you.

The Slope

The time to start planning for your basement walk-out is before you even purchase the lot. It is important to look for a lot that has a gradual slope – ideally from front to back and also side to side if possible. The difference in elevation should be at least 7 to 8 feet.

If you are working with a real estate agent to find a piece of property to build your dream home, be sure to share this requirement with them so that they can help you find something appropriate. You may also want your builder to look at the land and confirm whether it is suitable for a home with a basement walk-out before you put an offer on the property.


Having good drainage is of utmost importance if you want to avoid having water come into your home and possibly cause foundation problems in the future.

You always want to have drainage that will take water away from your home rather than towards it, but this is particularly true if you are going to have a basement walk-out. If water is moving toward your home, you will have additional costs for construction because when the frost wall is installed, your builder will also need to install footers below the frost line.

Garage location

The placement of your garage can affect your construction costs when you are building on a sloped lot. It can make quite a difference and so it is something that you need to consider.

If your lot slopes from side to side, it is a smart idea to locate the garage on the higher of the two sides. This could help you to minimize extra foundational costs.

Talk to the Experts

Finally, if you are planning a new home construction and want to make sure that your basement walk-out is not going to cause you any serious issues, it is always advised to talk to an expert. At Conterra Foundation, basements and foundations are our specialties and we would be happy to talk to you about your upcoming project.