What Is The Difference Between A Cellar And A Basement?

There are a lot of people who don’t understand what is the difference between a basement and a cellar. If you are one of them, don’t worry! Each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we’ll explain how you will know which one is a basement and which is a cellar. Also, we will discuss why this matter. So, let’s start!

What Is The Difference Between A Cellar and A Basement? A cellar is a room that has less than half (<50%) of height below ground level and has a smaller or no window. A basement is the floor of a building that has more than half (>50%) of height above ground level, and it comes with larger windows. They are not included in the square footage of a home.

While a basement and a cellar are both rooms placed below or partially below the ground level, their main purpose differs. This will be especially important to you when buying a house. In order to get to know each other better and understand why this is so and what are the advantages of one and the other, be sure to stay with us.

How Do You Know Which You Have?

Main Difference between a Basement and a Cellar

The main difference between a cellar and a basement is their space level. A cellar is a room located below the ground level and usually doesn’t have any windows. On the other hand, a basement is a room that is placed partly below the ground level, and it may contain windows.

How these rooms are decorated and arranged is not too important. How they are built is what defines them. For example, there are homes that have a wine cellar located in the basement, while there are cellars that look like a normal basement. In the end, this doesn’t affect their value or classification.

What Is A Cellar?

Definition of a cellar

A cellar is defined as a room that is placed more than <50% below ground level. They usually don’t have windows because they are designed as storage space. The easiest way to check if you have a basement or a cellar is to measure the ceiling height. Cellars are usually smaller and are designed below 7ft (2.13 m) in height.

Typically, cellars are not part of the house and are located right next to the house. Therefore, to enter them, you must exit your home. Most of them have a wooden door that is connected to a ladder or staircase for descending.

Uses For Cellar

The cellar is not designed and cannot be used as additional space, such as bedrooms or living space. However, they can be used as wine cellars, storage spaces, cigar humidors, and bomb shelters. With a little effort and additional investment, you can make the cellar a beautiful space that can increase the value of your home.

Related article: What Is An English Basement? (Explained)

What Is A Basement?

Definition of a basement

A basement is considered a space that is placed partly below ground level. They usually have windows that are above ground. The windows must be of such dimensions that an adult person can exit through them to get out of the basement. Basements are usually part of the house, and you can enter them through the home.

Uses For Basement

Basements can be used as home gyms, rental apartments, game rooms, home theaters, laundry rooms, home offices, or additional living rooms. It all depends on how creative you are. Basements are much more adaptable than cellars, and because of that, their value is higher.

Differences Between Basement And A Cellar

As we have already explained the basic differences between a basement and a cellar, we will go through a detailed review to see what sets them apart. This is extremely important if you want to get the precise value of your house. If you didn’t know, basements are worth much more than cellars. Here are the differences:

  • Size Difference: Cellars are considered much smaller spaces compared to basements. The ceiling of the cellar is usually lower than 7 ft in height.
  • Windows: Basements are the ones that most often come with windows, while cellars do not. Basements have windows that must be large enough for a person to pass through.
  • Habitation: Basements have much more potential and can be used for multiple purposes, while cellars have limitations. While the basement can be arranged in many different ways, the cellar is usually too small and is not worth renovating.
  • Entrance: The basement is usually a part of the home, and it can be entered from the house by stairs. On the other hand, a cellar is located outside, and you must exit your home to get in.
  • Purpose: The basement can be used as an extra room, office, guest room, or even a home theater, while on the other hand, the cellar is more intended for storing food and wine because it is very small and has no natural light.

If you want to learn more about this topic, be sure to read our new article: Can A Mobile Home Have A Basement?

Ways to Maintain Your Cellar or Basement

As with everything, a cellar and a basement require regular maintenance. This applies regardless of whether you use them often or not. Each of them is prone to water problems, leaks, and dampness. They are also one of essential parts of your property. If you take care of them, they will not only serve you well, but they will also increase the value of your home. Here are the things you should pay attention to:

  • Regular Maintenance: Be sure to clean and remove all debris from your basement or cellar at least once a year. Also, don’t forget to dust and vacuum your floors. That way, you’ll keep it nice and clean.
  • Repair Potential Cracks: Be sure to look for leaks or cracks in your basement or cellar. Regular checks can prevent even bigger leaks and cracks by filling them immediately after you notice them.
  • Keep Humidity Levels Low: It’s very important to keep the humidity level in your basement or cellar under 50%. Otherwise, you’ll get mold and pest problems. We recommend using a dehumidifier to solve this issue.
  • Drainage System: In the basement or cellar, you will find water pipes or a sump pump that removes excess water. If they are not working, you will have a very big problem that you will need to call a plumber to solve.

If you still do not understand the difference between basements and cellars, then it is best to watch a professional architect who will explain it through this interesting video:

FAQ: People Also Ask

Are basements included in square footage?

A basement is not included in the square footage of a home. Therefore, when you meet a real state professional, he will tell you that basement is excluded from the size of your home.

Does the cellar qualify as a confined space?

A cellar is considered a confined space. That’s because it has a very small and limited space. Confined spaces can be described as pits, tunnels, pipelines, etc.

Final Thoughts

If you have an underground room in your house and don’t know if it is a cellar or a basement, after reading this article, you should know what it is. However, you will encounter basements much more often in households because their purpose is much broader. Also, if you have a decorated basement, it will certainly increase the value of your home if you want to sell it one day. I hope this article helped you, and for any additional questions, feel free to contact us.

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