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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