Difference between cellar and basement

Difference Between a Basement & Cellar

difference between cellar and basement

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Apart from both of them being below the rest of the house, a cellar and a basement are far from being the same thing and they deserve a way of being told apart. People looking for a new house really need to know whether the property they are looking at has one or the other because they have different sizes and different uses. Located partially or completely below the ground floor of a house, a basement is another room of the house, usually used for storing amenities such as a boiler, or as a laundry room with the washing machine and dryer. Some people choose to furnish the basement like any other room of the house and use it for more than just storing things they do not use all year long. Basements are more common in areas where the climate is temperate, as they help the house remain stable during the freeze-thaw cycle. Also, wet climates make it difficult to isolate and to keep such a permanently cold room at the right temperature. Impediments to having a basement are also met in the case of hard soils which cannot be excavated.

Whether a space is a cellar or basement will determine what the space can be used for. Codes may have specific regulations as to how you measure a Cellar vs Basement. People often misuse the terms cellar and basement. In fact they use the terms interchangeably not realizing there is a serious legal difference. In residential zoning districts a basement can be occupied as a residence and can have habitable space. A basement counts as zoning floor area.



Basement vs. Cellar: What Is the Difference?

Well, both mean a room, or collection of rooms, that are located below or partially below ground level. A cellar is often a smaller space than a basement.

Difference between Cellar and Basement

There is actually a huge debate raging over this topic as there seems to be no actual standard definition used universally throughout the country. And in many areas, people often use both terms interchangeably, despite the fact that they are most likely intended to convey a different meaning. It goes like this:. If more than half of the floor height is above ground level, it is a basement. This notion is in reference to the appearance of the foundation from the front of the house. Others consider that a cellar is a space that can only be accessed from outside the home. If you have to exit the house to enter it, it is described as a cellar to some.

I have always wondered why some call the space below ground as a cellar and many calls them as a basement. Are you equally confused too? There is no universally accepted standard definition. However, NYC, for example, has a strict definition and guideline. It classifies anything as a cellar if more then half of the floor-to-ceiling height is underground.

Although the terms "basement" and "cellar" are often used interchangeably, they are not the same. Even if they seem similar, one may be unsafe to occupy, explains the New York City Housing Preservation and Development department. Basements are constructed halfway or more above grade or curb level, while cellars are at least half below the curb. NYC Housing Preservation and Development warns that cellars may not be safe for occupancy because of a few issues that arise from not just being too far below grade but also not being finished as appropriate living space:. To ensure that an old or questionable cellar -- or basement -- is safe for sleeping, TV watching or any other lengthy activity or habitation, have it inspected by your local building department or an authorized contractor.

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4 thoughts on “Difference between cellar and basement

  1. Basement Both cellars and basements are rooms or areas that exists below a building. A basement is found underneath the house or the.

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