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(CNN)   With landlocked houses on small parcels of land and forbidden to build up or out, wealthy London residents are turning basements into full-size swimming pools, golf courses and bowling alleys   (edition.cnn.com) divider line 49
    More: Interesting, swimming pools, basements, Andrew Lloyd Webber  
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9257 clicks; posted to Main » on 24 Jan 2014 at 11:24 AM (39 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



49 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-01-24 11:24:41 AM  
Step 1: Run hose into basement.
Step 2: Turn on tap.
Step 3: Profit?

...

Step 4: Derp.
 
2014-01-24 11:25:18 AM  
How come the basement apartment at 221b Baker Street went unrented for so long, then?
 
2014-01-24 11:27:02 AM  

StopLurkListen: How come the basement apartment at 221b Baker Street went unrented for so long, then?


Mold problem
 
2014-01-24 11:27:11 AM  
9 hole or 18?
 
2014-01-24 11:27:16 AM  
Sure. Why should dungeon building, sex slave keeping, twisted perverts have all the fun?
 
2014-01-24 11:29:22 AM  
Why can't they do that expandable house Harry Potter thing?
 
2014-01-24 11:30:16 AM  
I always wondered how much it would be to have a basement excavated.  I've got a small split-level with a gravel-lined crawlspace that's just big enough to me to stand upright in, as long as I put my head between the floor joists.  Any contractors on here that can ballpark how much that would be to dig out and create a livable space?  Dimensions are (way rough estimate) 30' by 15'.
 
2014-01-24 11:31:27 AM  
 
2014-01-24 11:36:33 AM  

Comic Book Guy: I always wondered how much it would be to have a basement excavated.  I've got a small split-level with a gravel-lined crawlspace that's just big enough to me to stand upright in, as long as I put my head between the floor joists.  Any contractors on here that can ballpark how much that would be to dig out and create a livable space?  Dimensions are (way rough estimate) 30' by 15'.


I imagine your county has a geological survey available. It's possible that bed rock is too thick to be excavated. Or too close to the surface. Before we built I saw that bedrock starts at 18"-36" on our land so to have a basement they had to build us up a little hill. (And they still had to excavate rock.) Doing that ex-post would probably be cost prohibitive for you.
 
2014-01-24 11:37:06 AM  

Comic Book Guy: I always wondered how much it would be to have a basement excavated.  I've got a small split-level with a gravel-lined crawlspace that's just big enough to me to stand upright in, as long as I put my head between the floor joists.  Any contractors on here that can ballpark how much that would be to dig out and create a livable space?  Dimensions are (way rough estimate) 30' by 15'.


It depends on a lot of things including the subsurface conditions of your house, the water/sewer connections, construction type, etc.

That being said, if I ever got rich, I'd build me an iceberg house out of my existing home.
 
2014-01-24 11:40:39 AM  

Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: Comic Book Guy: I always wondered how much it would be to have a basement excavated.  I've got a small split-level with a gravel-lined crawlspace that's just big enough to me to stand upright in, as long as I put my head between the floor joists.  Any contractors on here that can ballpark how much that would be to dig out and create a livable space?  Dimensions are (way rough estimate) 30' by 15'.

It depends on a lot of things including the subsurface conditions of your house, the water/sewer connections, construction type, etc.

That being said, if I ever got rich, I'd build me an iceberg house out of my existing home.


Makes sense.  Not sure about the geologic conditions, however I do know that the water and sewer are both in that area and would require relocation.  For the amount I'm thinking it'd cost, I'd just be better off putting it as a down payment for something else that has what I want.
 
2014-01-24 11:41:03 AM  
This all sounds like a great idea until they realize that there is only so much underground to work with.  For every ounce of soil you take away, there is a reprecussion for the ground water and so on.  It's almost like people don't realize that you can't simply keep displacing the underground without it having severe effects on the surrounding underground.

This is something akin to what is going on in Florida right now.  They keep building, keep displacing and redirecting ground water.  Next thing you know, sink holes are opening up in previously stable spots, and swollowing up unfortunate people in their sleep.
 
2014-01-24 11:44:22 AM  

durbnpoisn: This all sounds like a great idea until they realize that there is only so much underground to work with.  For every ounce of soil you take away, there is a reprecussion for the ground water and so on.  It's almost like people don't realize that you can't simply keep displacing the underground without it having severe effects on the surrounding underground.

This is something akin to what is going on in Florida right now.  They keep building, keep displacing and redirecting ground water.  Next thing you know, sink holes are opening up in previously stable spots, and swollowing up unfortunate people in their sleep.


In New Orleans you build up the levees to keep out the river and the weight of the levees pushes the levee deeper into the spongy soil so you have to build the levees higher and ... eventually tankers float by on the river above your head as if they are zeppelins in the air.
 
2014-01-24 11:47:25 AM  
img.fark.net

they've done that at 22A Runcorn Avenue for years.
 
2014-01-24 11:50:11 AM  
Every time I go to London, the first thing I say to myself is, "this weather really makes me want to go for a swim"
 
2014-01-24 11:52:11 AM  
It's remarkable what you'll find in a London basement.
atemporarydistraction.com
 
2014-01-24 11:53:23 AM  
Swimming pool?  Sure.

Bowling alley?  Yeah, a lane or three I guess.

A GOLF COURSE?!  What, are they digging under the whole neighborhood?

So of course I check TFA and it's the original CNN headline writer's fault -- he or she wrote "golf ranges", while the actual article only refers to "golf simulators".

In short, nothing at all to see here.  Screwed again.
 
2014-01-24 12:03:19 PM  
torrentsgames.org
 
2014-01-24 12:24:17 PM  

durbnpoisn: This all sounds like a great idea until they realize that there is only so much underground to work with.  For every ounce of soil you take away, there is a reprecussion for the ground water and so on.  It's almost like people don't realize that you can't simply keep displacing the underground without it having severe effects on the surrounding underground.

This is something akin to what is going on in Florida right now.  They keep building, keep displacing and redirecting ground water.  Next thing you know, sink holes are opening up in previously stable spots, and swollowing up unfortunate people in their sleep.


Plus occasionally people fill the Underground with cement.

(It's not really a big problem, the volumes involved are miniscule in a city already a Swiss cheese of Tube lines, service ducts, railways, plague pits, etc.)
 
2014-01-24 12:37:11 PM  
My hope is to one day have a small nondescript house on top of a huge multilevel underground complex.

If it could have an invisible lift to the surface and its own pterodactyl flying around inside, that'd be awesome too.
 
2014-01-24 12:40:12 PM  

FarkinNortherner: (It's not really a big problem, the volumes involved are miniscule in a city already a Swiss cheese of Tube lines, service ducts, railways, plague pits, etc.)


The hard part will be in persuading the Tube to stop to pick you up at your privately-built station.
 
2014-01-24 12:42:13 PM  

VladTheEmailer: My hope is to one day have a small nondescript house on top of a huge multilevel underground complex.


"You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door. There is a small mailbox here."
 
2014-01-24 12:47:26 PM  
I really want a basement swimming pool. But I wonder if the house would always smell vaguely of chlorine, like a hotel lobby.
 
2014-01-24 12:51:03 PM  
Mostly done by oil sheiks, Russian gangsters and middle-eastern despots living in London.
 
2014-01-24 12:55:27 PM  

WelldeadLink: VladTheEmailer: My hope is to one day have a small nondescript house on top of a huge multilevel underground complex.

"You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door. There is a small mailbox here."


"I love what you've done with the place. Who was your designer?"

"Infocom."
 
2014-01-24 12:57:55 PM  
Hey, I love Minecraft too!
 
2014-01-24 01:06:16 PM  
weburbanist.com

www.redrif.com
 
2014-01-24 01:19:09 PM  

yakmans_dad: Comic Book Guy: I always wondered how much it would be to have a basement excavated.  I've got a small split-level with a gravel-lined crawlspace that's just big enough to me to stand upright in, as long as I put my head between the floor joists.  Any contractors on here that can ballpark how much that would be to dig out and create a livable space?  Dimensions are (way rough estimate) 30' by 15'.

I imagine your county has a geological survey available. It's possible that bed rock is too thick to be excavated. Or too close to the surface. Before we built I saw that bedrock starts at 18"-36" on our land so to have a basement they had to build us up a little hill. (And they still had to excavate rock.) Doing that ex-post would probably be cost prohibitive for you.


Bedrock is impossible to mine out and if you did manage to mine it out you'll have to deal with the Void. ;)
 
2014-01-24 01:23:26 PM  
It's a place right out of history.
 
2014-01-24 01:32:38 PM  
 
2014-01-24 01:33:24 PM  

someonelse: I really want a basement swimming pool. But I wonder if the house would always smell vaguely of chlorine, like a hotel lobby.


use saltwater, breh
 
2014-01-24 01:38:00 PM  
What's with so many of those 'dig down' basements having full length windows in them?
 
2014-01-24 01:45:58 PM  
http://www.statesman.com/news/news/multilevel-bunker-found-under-east - austin-home/nRsk3/

"Multilevel bunker found under East Austin home
No charges filed, but the structural integrity of man's house is a concern, officials say."
 
2014-01-24 02:26:32 PM  
Good to see that CNN is into being "green" as they are recycling a story done by the NYT in 2011.  Way to be current!
 
2014-01-24 02:32:51 PM  

hsburns30: Good to see that CNN is into being "green" as they are recycling a story done by the NYT in 2011.  Way to be current!


You're saying they just dug it up?
 
2014-01-24 02:54:49 PM  
It puts the lotion in the basket.
 
2014-01-24 03:34:26 PM  
I wonder how low the water table is in London?  Basements are rare in my area because it is relatively flat.  We've been looking at real estate and many of the basements have to have sump pumps to get rid of water. 

If you are digging two or three floors down, I have to imagine moisture to be inevitable.

/It's a cool idea though.
//Can I have a pet dragon to guard my treasure room?
 
2014-01-24 03:39:09 PM  
<a target="_blank" data-cke-saved-href="<a href=" href="<a href=" http:="" www.fark.com="" users="" far%20cough"="">Far Cough You're saying they just dug it up?

Well, I wouldn't say that "they just dug it up", just that the story idea is not an original idea.  I've seen ideas rehashed (not just w/ CNN) before, years later, and I find it lame.  NYT did a story on this very subject - English extravagant, luxurious houses extending underground, in 2011.
 
2014-01-24 03:39:10 PM  
Wow, a pool table and a big screen tv in a basement. Those rich people in London might be on to something.
 
2014-01-24 03:49:16 PM  

hsburns30: <a target="_blank" data-cke-saved-href="<a href=" href="<a href=" http:="" www.fark.com="" users="" far%20cough"="">Far Cough You're saying they just dug it up?

Well, I wouldn't say that "they just dug it up", just that the story idea is not an original idea.  I've seen ideas rehashed (not just w/ CNN) before, years later, and I find it lame.  NYT did a story on this very subject - English extravagant, luxurious houses extending underground, in 2011.


Um, you do know I was just making a really lame "digging" joke, right?  'Cause the story is about digging under houses, the mole man link above, etc.?
 
2014-01-24 03:57:26 PM  

steve42: I wonder how low the water table is in London?  Basements are rare in my area because it is relatively flat.  We've been looking at real estate and many of the basements have to have sump pumps to get rid of water. 

If you are digging two or three floors down, I have to imagine moisture to be inevitable.

/It's a cool idea though.
//Can I have a pet dragon to guard my treasure room?


I've heard they have a river running through that city.  (Tens?  Hems?  something like that.)

One might expect that means a relatively high water table.

But seriously, of course you'd have to do special works to keep it dry.  (Not to mention a basement extending down several stories will need to have a pump for the waste water to go UP to the sewer connection...)  Doable, but definitely an area you'd want a contractor who knew what they were doing so your living space wasn't damp and moldy all the time.
 
2014-01-24 04:16:42 PM  
Far Cough: "Um, you do know I was just making a really lame "digging" joke, right?  'Cause the story is about digging under houses, the mole man link above, etc.? "

Sorry dude, thought you were being serious. Jokes don't always come across well on the internet.  My bad!
 
2014-01-24 04:28:37 PM  

steve42: Basements are rare in my area because it is relatively flat.  We've been looking at real estate and many of the basements have to have sump pumps to get rid of water.


FWIW, my house growing up was in an area like that.

You want a WATER-POWERED sump pump.

Because every time there's a thunderstorm big enough to dump on you, there's a thunderstorm big enough to knock out the power and turn off your pump.
 
2014-01-24 04:40:26 PM  

menschenfresser: Mostly done by oil sheiks, Russian gangsters and middle-eastern despots living in London.


The good thing is when all these types move to the next fansionable place it will leave these places for those who are left.

steve42: I wonder how low the water table is in London?  Basements are rare in my area because it is relatively flat.  We've been looking at real estate and many of the basements have to have sump pumps to get rid of water. 

If you are digging two or three floors down, I have to imagine moisture to be inevitable.

/It's a cool idea though.
//Can I have a pet dragon to guard my treasure room?


Depends on where you are in London but most of the middle to upper class Victorian houses were built with a basement so the water level would always be low enough.
 
2014-01-24 05:33:02 PM  

ElLoco: What's with so many of those 'dig down' basements having full length windows in them?


Well some of the "basement levels" are "below street" levels with light wells between the wall and the street, so they do have windows that let in light although not much.

Other ones look to be false windows (light box windows) - you put up some frosted or stained glass with some diffusing lamps behind them, and it gives the impression of natural light.

It does a couple of things to eliminate the claustrophobic experience you will almost always have when you know you're underground - it creates the illusion of openness instead of enclosedness, and it creates an all-encompassing light that feels like natural daylight, whereas regular lamps and overheads will always remind you you're just lighting up a dark room.

/Like the Swan station on Lost
 
2014-01-24 06:06:22 PM  
www.smartfellowspress.com
CAAAAAANNNN YOOOOOUUUUU DIG IT?
 
2014-01-24 09:07:22 PM  
For the most sophisticated.
 
2014-01-25 07:27:52 AM  
There's a nice golf course in the basement of the Alamo with bent grass greens.
 
2014-01-25 10:01:58 AM  

Norfolking Chance: menschenfresser: Mostly done by oil sheiks, Russian gangsters and middle-eastern despots living in London.

The good thing is when all these types move to the next fansionable place it will leave these places for those who are left.

steve42: I wonder how low the water table is in London?  Basements are rare in my area because it is relatively flat.  We've been looking at real estate and many of the basements have to have sump pumps to get rid of water. 

If you are digging two or three floors down, I have to imagine moisture to be inevitable.

/It's a cool idea though.
//Can I have a pet dragon to guard my treasure room?

Depends on where you are in London but most of the middle to upper class Victorian houses were built with a basement so the water level would always be low enough.


Most of the Victorian homes near the Thames have three-foot brickwork surrounding the home.  You have to walk up a few stairs, and then down again, to get from the sidewalk and into the yard.
 
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