Basements are great for a lot of reasons. They offer extra space for storage, they offer a great storm shelter if built correctly, and they can even be transformed into something spectacular. One of those things is a walkout basement.
A walkout basement isn’t always possible in a home, but if it is, there’s no reason not to add one. They give great outdoor space, make your basement safer in emergencies, and give more inspiration for transforming it.
Note: transforming your basement into a man cave or she-shed area while you are turning it into a walkout basement is a wonderful idea. Check for ideas on your own, or check out this guide on man caves.
What Is A Walkout Basement?
A walkout basement is a basement that has an exterior entrance. This means, that there is a way to enter it without going into the house. Most basements incorporate egress windows for safety but rarely have a door leading outside.
But what is better than a window for emergencies? A door that can be used for leisure time too. So all you really need for a walkout basement is a door leading outside. But since when is using the bare minimum the best option?
Let’s take a look at some great house plans and ideas for walkout basements that will impress anyone. Sometimes all it takes is a little touch of your own ideas and sometimes it can be fun to go all out.
Walkout Basement House Plans
There are many things you can do to a basement to turn it into a high-end walkout basement. After all, as we said, all you need is a door. But it can be fun to come up with ideas to dress it up even more.
Here are a few ideas for your walkout basement house plans that can be used fully or in part. Find what speaks to you and go from there, starting with these basic and most common ways to use a walkout basement.
French doors are one of the easiest ways to create a fancy exit for a walkout basement. That’s because French doors look high-end and because they look amazing going into outdoor spaces, so they should be considered.
Even if you don’t add standard French doors, any type of double door system is good. You can add French doors that are actually barn doors, or perhaps something even more unique that you design yourself.
Retaining walls are perfect for any type of walkout basement house plans you can imagine. Because you can add them to stop the wind, add privacy, and look amazing in your walkout basement outdoor area.
You can add any type of retaining wall too. If you prefer a weathered look, then a railroad tie retaining wall is ideal. But any type will do, from stone to wood to brick. Add multiple levels for even more diversity.
This is the most common thing to do with your outdoor area that is accessed via a walkout basement. That’s because most people want access to a sitting area or family area from their basement. Merge the outdoor and indoor space with an outdoor patio!
Patios can be made from anything, from wood to gravel. A gravel patio is easy to make and quite inexpensive too. It can be a great start to a great outdoor area that can be accessed via your front yard or your walkout basement.
If you have a pool on your property, it’s a good idea to make it accessible via your basement. This is wonderful for a few reasons. You can use the space as a pool house where you can change clothes.
Since most basement floors are made of concrete, this is perfect. You don’t want kids dropping on your carpet and leaving mold underneath. So turning your basement into a pool house can do wonders for your family.
If you can afford it, there’s not much that looks nicer than a solid glass wall. You can add one to the end of your basement that leads outside. It doesn’t offer any privacy at all but it can be great for sitting out and enjoying the outdoor area.
This is perfect for families who like to go indoors and outdoors often or for those who want a quite contemporary look. Glass walls are common in contemporary homes but only for high-end homes.
A sunroom is a covered porch with glass or mesh walls. It offers a warm place to sit and soak up the sun rays in the summer. It can also be converted into a room by adding a type of shutter that protects from the weather.
Sunrooms are perfect for walkout basements because you only need to add one wall or add an extension from the basement. This can turn your basement into a sort of outdoor area instead of a dank area.
A basement will always make a good guest room due to the privacy it adds. But if you have a walkout basement, it’s even better. Because the guest will have outdoor access without ever needed to go through the main house.
This can make both you and your guests feel more comfortable. You can add everyth9ng a guest might need as well such as a kitchen and bathroom. Then turn it into a nice Air BnB when you don’t need it for personal guests.
Lake House Plans Walkout Basement
A lake house is always a good thing. But when you add a walkout basement to one, it becomes that much better. Because lakehouses need as many exits to that lake as possible as it is the selling point of the property.
Lakesides can be quite hilly at times so this works out perfectly. You can have the backdoor access the lake, or have a deck on the upper or even ground-level floor. This means you will have at least two exits that lead to the lake.
What you can do is add a patio, that leads to a staircase, that leads to a deck over the lake. This is the ideal scene and can be perfect for early morning fishing when you don’t want to disturb the rest of the household.
Walkout Basement Egress Door Plans
If you don’t have space or money for a full walkout basement with an outdoor area, then maybe all you need is a door. You can add a door that works primarily as an escape door when windows are too difficult to use.
This is especially useful for those with disabilities or in families with multiple small children. Note everyone can use an egress window without difficulty, and when it comes to safety, you want things to be easy.
To make an easy egress door plan, simply dig out and create slanted retaining walls that are just taller than the door. Then, create a staircase leading away from the house. Add a door to the spot in the wall and you’re done.
It is more complicated than it sounds but it is much cheaper than transforming a non-hillside basement into a walkout basement. And when it comes to your family, safety should come first, and money second.
Hillside Walkout Basement House Plans
This is the primary way to use a walkout basement. In order to have one, it is almost necessary to walk up out of the basement. Otherwise, if the basement isn’t partially underground, it’s simply a walkout ground-floor.
That doesn’t make much sense. So what most people do is have the exit on one end of the basement. This exit goes uphill. In most cases, there is a clearing just outside of the door and walls around the area.
Then, you can add steps that scale the wall and go to the ground level of the home. Just be careful in this case with older people and children as they can both fall easily if the steps aren’t properly installed.
That’s why building a short fence around the area is a good idea too. Because it will prevent accidental falls and give a railing to hold onto. So adding it, especially in low walkout basement areas, is ideal.
Should I Get A Walkout Basement?
If you have the space and money for a walkout basement, it is usually a good idea. Because it adds more purpose to both your basement and outdoor area. Utilizing space is always going to be a priority.
Since a walkout basement can do this, it is always something to think about. Not to mention, it automatically adds to a normally dark and damp room, which will prevent mold and bring life to a basement.
Now the kids won’t be scared to go down there alone. Because let’s face it. Most children are afraid of standard basments. But perhaps all they need is a little light and a quick escape to the outdoors if the going gets rough.