What Are Walkout Basements?

A walkout basement takes advantage of natural or man-made slopes so that only part of it is underground. One side, generally the back of the house, is essentially an ordinary wall and can let light and air into the basement, transforming it into a pleasant, livable space.

Walkout basements are also called "daylight basements" because they are lit on at least one side by natural sunlight. Typically, walkout basements have at least one door that leads outside, usually with no difference between basement level and ground level. A common embellishment is a patio outside the back door. One major advantage of these sorts of basement is a lowered problem with dampness and mold due to the light and good air circulation.

A walkout basement is usually designed to provide some livable space and is generally appraised higher to account for this. A common layout for these areas is a very large space just inside the door that can be used as a den, a game room or a large gathering space, with smaller rooms in the buried part or to the sides that work as bedrooms, storage or utility rooms. Walkout basements are also relatively easy to convert into semi-detached living areas, providing additional privacy for elderly parents who have moved in or young adults who have not yet moved out.