Should Your Waterfront Home Have a Basement?

Should Your Waterfront Home Have a Basement?

Do waterfront homes and basements go together? Yes, but given certain criteria.

One option that all custom homeowners have when designing their dream home is to have a basement. Basements certainly have many benefits, namely space with multiple potential purposes. However, some families might not see the need to have a basement at all. Whether or not your Maryland waterfront home has a basement or not depends on more than just preferences; it also highly depends on your location.

Local Real Estate Market

One factor that affects whether or not a custom home should have a basement is the local real estate market. In other words, the desirability of your home could be greater or less given its similarity to neighboring houses. If many other homes in the area have a basement, then adding a basement to your home could likely improve its value in the short and long terms.

Flooding Zones

One categorization of Maryland waterfront homes is whether or not it is in a flood zone. If it is in a flood zone, you might want to avoid building a basement, although it is possible and is fully insurable. At the very least, a homeowner must build the basement above the Base Flood Elevation according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA.) One must have a basement exception from FEMA to build below that point.

Frost Line

The foundation of a building must also reach a certain length below the ground’s frost line, the depth at which the ground freezes during a hard frost. In Maryland, this depth is 30 inches, which is good news for the Marylander who wants a basement. The deeper the frost line, the more basement builds are worth it.

Water Table

The water table is the dividing line between saturated soil and unsaturated soil. Rain and snow will saturate the ground down to a certain level, and when they can no longer do so, they’ve reached the water table. A high water table can be problematic for foundations and lawns alike; in general, a low water table is more desirable. Even so, there are ways to improve soil drainage in any yard.


At Shore-Line Construction, we know that your home is a reflection of you. That’s why we strive to make each home we build as beautiful as the family who will live there. We work with each of our clients to design a home that fits their needs. The end result is a durable, energy-efficient custom home that the family will enjoy for generations to come. Shore-Line Construction has been serving our customers for over 25 years, and we look forward to the opportunity to help you!

If you’re interested in learning more about what Shore-Line Construction can do for you, check out our website or give us a call at 410-574-6623. Keep up with all of the latest news by following our blog and social media pages on Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and Houzz!

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