Of all the additions homeowners consider when investing in their houses, a walk-out basement isn't typically one that comes up as much as it should. Walk-out basements have entries/exits attached to them, like sliding glass doors. Almost any home can have a walkout added, though ones with fully submerged basements are unfortunately not good candidates for this upgrade.


A walkout basement adds additional living or entertaining space, another easy access point to the home, and a more efficient way to bring in large appliances or furniture in many cases. It's also a great location for a sprawling porch and other external design elements. Finally, it provides extra safety to your home by giving your family another point of egress in case of fire or other emergencies, and in many cases, it can add actual value to your home.


When can you add a walkout basement?


If your home is built in a way that all sides of the basement are fully underground, it will be next to impossible to add a walkout basement. With at least one side left unsubmerged or partially exposed - usually a result of a landscaping decision or the elevation of the property - this can be a great place to add the walkout.


A walkout basement requires the clearing of additional land in front of the desired doorway, and it's a great time to change up the landscape as well. After all, you'll be moving the surrounding earth, so why not change up the look of your home's exterior as well?


Once everything is moved, you'll choose your door type and the contractors will install it into the foundation of your home, along with windows if you'd like. This is a great time to finally realize the basement of your dreams as well.


Basement additions to consider


One of the biggest benefits of a walkout basement is the fact that it adds "living space" to your home. By law, space cannot be considered a bedroom or living space if it doesn't have egress points, like doors and windows. Because adding a walkout incorporates these elements to your basement, you can in most cases count the square footage of your basement in your home's appraisal and consider it an additional living area.


By adding a kitchen, bathrooms - especially with bathing elements - and other living necessities, you can turn your basement into an additional apartment. This gives you an additional revenue stream, a spot for a displaced child home from college, or simply more hard value when you go to sell your home.


A walk out basement patio is ideal for entertaining and relaxing as well. It's a beautiful point where you can easily run back into the house and get whatever you need, then rejoining the party.


Does a walkout basement make financial sense?


In terms of adding beauty and functionality to your home, a basement walk out does make a lot of sense. It's a great addition that sets your home apart from others in your area in many cases, and it's really desirable for many people. In the Midwest, an expected ROI of around 53% is typical for adding a walkout basement, but it can vary on the area. A home in a suburb with a ton of houses that have this design element will not see a huge return, but in metro Chicago, you might see even higher ROI, as it's probably a rarity in your area.


When you're considering adding any basement elements, from a major change like a walk out to adding a bathroom or tile work, make Matrix Home Solutions your first stop. Our intake process can help you focus on the most important elements of your design, and our staff can give you a free estimate on how we can make your dream basement a reality.