Building Dreams

Earning Trust

Forging Relationships

Pros and Cons of a Walkout Basement – All You Need to Know

Transforming a walkout basement into livable square footage can be advantageous, as it adds considerable value to your home.

These upgrades will increase the resale value of your home, but they’ll also make it sell faster, as homeowners love the functionality and elegance of a walk-out basement.

And although these are incredible home additions, the walk-out basement disadvantages can sometimes tip the balance in favor of a different home improvement.

We’ll discuss what walk-out basements are, their cost, their pros, and the most important walk-out basement disadvantages.

A beautiful finished basement with a living space and furniture

What Are Walk-Out Basements

Walk-out basements are a type of basements that usually have a doorway or bulkhead leading to the outside. They open onto a patio, deck, or backyard and have large windows to let in natural light.

This makes them ideal for creating more livable space and usable square footage.

The walk-out basement walls are usually poured concrete, but they can be framed and covered with drywall if desired. The floor is usually built on a grade, allowing drainage away from the house.

As walk-out basements require a slope to be built, it’s not an advantageous home improvement for all homes. In fact, many of the walk-out basement disadvantages are a result of the environment in which the basement is built.

Walkout Basement Cost

If you decide to turn your existing basement into a walk-out basement, you will need to hire professionals to construct the walls, windows, and other details. If you want to build a walk-out basement from the ground up, prices will usually start from $20k.

If you have the slope already, you might think you’re lucky, but you’ll still need heavy equipment to dig and move dirt around to create the perfect space for the addition.

The cost of a walk-out basement can vary depending on the size, design, and construction needs.

When installing a walk-out basement, you should generally budget at least $20 per square foot for materials and labor. Waterproofing and drainage systems will also need to be installed at an additional cost.

Building permits are also worth thinking of in this case, as the space you’re building is very large. Check out the fees for your building permit in Leesburg, VA, here.

The cost to finish a basement in virginia in an open space kitchen

Other Costs

A man cave in a basement with a bar and a basketball ring

Pros Of Walkout Basements

Compared to a traditional basement, the pros of walkout basements are similar.

Walk-out basements are incredibly desirable and can add considerable value to your home by creating livable square footage.

These spaces can be used as recreation rooms, additional bedrooms, or home offices, making them a great way to maximize the functionality of your home.

Walkout basements are also great for entertaining, as they provide a space that opens to the outdoors and allows for plenty of natural light. This can be a refreshing change from traditional basements, which tend to be darker and more enclosed.

Disadvantages Of Walk-Out Basements

Let’s discuss the most common walk-out basement disadvantages briefly.

Water Damage

One of the most common walk-out basement disadvantages is water damage. Since these basements are usually built on a grade, water can pool and cause problems with structural integrity and mold growth.

As a result, if you live in an area prone to flooding or heavy rain, you may want to think twice before installing a walk-out basement.

Excavation Costs

If your home is not built on a slope but still wants a walk-out basement, you’ll need to excavate, move around dirt, and set the scene for your upcoming home addition.

You should expect to pay between $30 and $75 per square foot.

Increased Property Taxes

As you’re adding more livable square footage to your home, you’ll also pay a higher tax property. If you’re planning to sell the place, this won’t matter too much, but if you’re planning to live here for a long time, the extra tax property will pile up in the long run.

The only option to avoid the increased tax property is to build the basement without a building permit, which is impossible.

A walk-out basement in Ashburn, VA


If you want to add a walkout basement, know that this is a great upgrade, one that’s worth all walk-out basement disadvantages.

You’ll get a luxurious extra living space that’s fully functional and can be used however you please.

You can transform a walkout basement space into a living space, a bedroom, or a man cave, or you can make it part of your home with an open-space kitchen and a living space.

The biggest disadvantage of a walk-out basement is probably the higher construction cost (because of excavation and foundation), and the increased property tax. However, walk-out basements still pay off, and they’re more sought after than a walk up basement.

If you’re looking to start a walkout basement buildout, give us a ring! MGS offers professional basement building and remodeling in Leesburg, VA, and surrounding areas, so you can enjoy a high-quality and beautiful upgrade!

Call us today at (571) 577-9554 or request your free quote now!