8 Types of Basements Found in Colorado Homes

Did you know that basements are not as common in every state as they are here in Colorado? Sometimes it’s conditions such as water table levels that determine whether or not a home has a basement, and in other cases it may simply be the buyer’s budget at the time of home construction that dictate whether or not a home has a basement. Fortunately, in Colorado our climate is favorable to basement inclusion. Did you know, however, that there are different types of basement structures? What kind of basement do you have?

Eight types of basements are common in our state: crawlspaces, cellars, garden-level basements, walkout basements, walk-up basements, full basements, half or partial basements, and subbasements. Read on to learn more about each type.


Crawlspaces are hollow locations under the floor and typically extend one to three feet above the ground. Most have no windows and a dirt floor. They are also often accessed from a standard basement, through a small door or opening.

Crawlspaces provide access to household systems such as plumbing and HVAC. Some homeowners also use them for limited storage.


Cellars are generally used for storage. Being windowless and entirely underground, cellars are naturally cool, dark, and damp, making them ideal for storing various foods and wines, among other items. Most cellars are accessed from a door on the outside of the home.

Most cellars have at least a finished floor and sealed walls. Some homeowners finish their cellar just as they would a regular basement. Cellars with windows and natural light – called “English basements” – can be turned into garden-level apartments.

Garden-Level Basements

A garden-level basement is only about half underground, with windows beginning at waist level and indoor ceiling heights similar to the house built above them. This type of basement may have garden-level windows on one end of the basement and smaller, higher windows on the other, depending upon the slope of the lot. Finishing a garden-level basement has the benefit of added light, as the windows are not underground.

Walkout Basements

A bonus for finishing as living space, walkout basements have at least one wall above grade and a doorway leading outside, lending an above-ground, light-filled feel to the space. The doorway also makes it easier for contractors to bring tools and supplies into the basement for finishing, rather than having to go through a window or bring large sheets of drywall in through the main entrance of the home.

Because of the independent entrance, this type of basement is also popular for use as a residence for aging parents or as a rental apartment to bring in additional revenue for the homeowners.

Walk-Up Basements

More common in hillside properties, walk-up basements are completely below grade, with an independent entrance via a flight of stairs, Otherwise, they are similar to walkout basements (minus the additional light) and often serve the same purposes.

Full Basement

A full basement extends for the entire area underneath the house. If a single-level house with a full basement is 1,500 sq. ft., the basement will also be 1,500 sq. ft. As you can imagine, many homeowners finish out their full basements to dramatically increase (even double!) their living space.

Half or Partial Basement

In the same way that a full basement extends the entire area beneath a house, a half or partial basement (also called a semi-basement) takes up half or some other portion less than the entire space. Half-basements are often found in smaller homes and are often used for laundry rooms or finished out as home offices.


A subbasement is a floor beneath the main basement level, i.e., the lower floor in a two-story basement. These usually serve as secured storage (given the location) or perhaps as a boiler room. Commercial businesses often use subbasements for extra parking lots or even swimming pools.

Rely on Our Expertise

Whichever type of basement your home has, we’d love to help you design a space that works for your lifestyle and budget! Whether working with 700 or 1,700 sq. ft., we can work with you to maximize the space to your best advantage.

As a division of Sheffield Homes, one of the most experienced home builders in the Denver metro area and northern Colorado, we have the expertise, trade relationships, and proven track record of delivering consistently high-quality work. Schedule a no-obligation consultation today.


6777 Wadsworth Boulevard, Arvada, CO 80003
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