Excavating Your Basement Vs. Adding a Crawl Space – Which is Right For Your Home?

Whether you’re building a new home or need to add more space to your existing home, you may consider a basement or a crawl space and the pros and cons of each. However, consider what it could entail before digging out a basement or crawl space

An excavation contractor in New Jersey will walk you through all the advantages and disadvantages of adding a basement vs. crawl space. Then you can make a decision specific to your needs. 

The Difference Between a Basement and a Crawl Space

Both a crawl space and a basement can add extra space to your home for storage. When digging out a basement or a crawl space, you must follow the building code and obtain the proper permit with your excavation contractor and municipality. 


When an excavation contractor digs out a basement for your home, the foundation is typically 7-9 feet below ground level. While 7-9 feet tall is a great ceiling height for a basement, it also allows the foundation to lay below the frost line, so you don’t have to worry about the soil expanding and causing damage to the foundation with each freeze. 

The further down you lay the foundation, the more the soil will remain warm and constant. In addition, a basement has the potential to add more value to your home per square foot. Even an unfinished basement adds value to your home. 

Crawl Space

Digging out a crawl space is an excellent idea if you want more storage options in your home. While the space is shallow, an excavation contractor can seal the area for use to store boxes and seasonal decorations. 

Sealing off the crawl space creates a vapor barrier. You do not want any moisture, leakage, or bugs from the surrounding soil when you plan to use the crawl space for storing belongings. 

Knowing Which Is Right for Your Home

What is your purpose in hiring a New Jersey excavation contractor to dig out a crawl space or basement under your home? Are you looking for extra square footage, and it doesn’t make sense to add on anywhere else in the house? 

Or do you want a space for storage? First, let’s look at the pros and cons of crawl spaces versus basements. 

Pros of a Crawl Space

You will find that a crawl space is very valuable when looking for storage space to store winter clothing, Christmas decorations, and keepsakes. 

Crawl spaces are built under the foundation, so you do not have to change the foundation if you are looking for an excavation contractor to add a crawl space to your existing home. 

Also, adding a crawl space is much less expensive than digging out a basement. 

When choosing crawl space encapsulation, you do not have to worry about flooding, moisture, or weather damage to the items you keep in the crawl space. In addition, the sealing offers a sense of security. And you can even add lights to the room to make it more user-friendly. 

Cons of a Crawl Space

If you hire an excavation contractor, you may as well go big. While a crawl space can offer more room for storage, it will not give you more living space in the home. 

You’re foraying into an extensive construction project for the simple reason of adding more storage to your home. 

Adding a whole basement where you can install a bathroom, gathering room, and extra bedroom can make the construction project worthwhile.

Pros of a Basement

Digging out a basement requires more work from an excavation contractor, even at the beginning of a home build. You have to dig 7-9 feet down, pour the foundation, and build foundation walls that will not buckle under shifting soils or rocks. 

That said, the benefits of a finished basement and how it can add a whole extra level to your home are tremendous. Speak with an excavation contractor about all of the possibilities for a finished basement: 

  • Media room
  • Bar and home entertainment
  • Dance studio
  • Extra bedroom
  • Guest bathroom
  • Bowling alley
  • Game room
  • Recording studio
  • Home gym

When moving your family becomes too complicated with the prospect of losing money on the transaction or uprooting your kids from their school, you can opt for a full basement makeover to give your home new life. 

You will never regret adding more liveable space to your home. 

Cons of a Basement

The biggest con of a basement is the cost. It is expensive to add a basement to an existing home. The best decision you could make is to use an excavation contractor in NJ to build a basement foundation for your new home build. 

Explore other add-on options if you are adding a basement to your home. For example, adding a second level or building out into the backyard could be great alternatives. 

Digging out a basement requires moving the foundation of your home. Your excavation contractor will place your home on stilts, as the house will have to go without a foundation for a time while the basement is being dug out. 

This risky process is expensive, risking the crumbling of your whole home as it is unstable during the construction process. 

Speak with an expert excavation contractor in New Jersey to see if a basement addition would work for your home. 

Other Considerations

Some other options may include including unfinished basements in your new build. This will add flexibility to you or a future buyer for expanding the home without starting from scratch. 

Work with a New Jersey Excavation Contractor

It’s no wonder people are looking into basement additions during this time when square footage in the home is precious. Make your home the escape you want by discussing excavation options with Mikula Contracting.

Our skilled team can assess your home and determine if a basement addition makes the most sense for your situation. Contact us today to get started. 

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