Basement apartments present
unique challenges. First and foremost
is that of controlling water:
You can forget about an economical
basement apartment if you
have ground water that ever rises
above the basement floor level.
Other technical challenges include
draining or ejecting sewage; lowering
the floor (or raising the house)
if more headroom is needed; and
providing adequate light and crossventilation.
These technical challenges are
real enough, and must be met. But
this column deals with another
issue, which often gets overlooked:
making the walkout entry attractive.
To my mind, an attractive walkout
entry is a key ingredient for a
below-grade apartment. When you
can walk straight outdoors into an
attractive courtyard with the sky
overhead, you no longer feel you
are in a