View Full Version : Observations on basements

20th Dec 2005, 10:55 PM
After some testing, I found out the following things (which I've been mentioning elsewhere but thought I would post here as well, since they don't seem to be generally known):

1. A one-story house with a basement will always be much more economic to build than a two-story house of the same size. This is because one piece of wall costs 70 in-game, whereas one piece of foundation costs 3. Useful to keep in mind if you're on a budget, e.g. starter houses.

2. The terrain tool doesn't cost anything on an empty lot. This means that a pre-built basement will always be cheaper than one that's built in-game (with sims on the lot).

3. If you need to level terrain at runtime (while sims are on the lot), whether it's for basements or anything else, it is *much* cheaper to use the terrain up/down tool than the "make everything flat" one. Lowering one corner point manually down to basement level (16 clicks) costs 2 or 3 per point if you do it in one go, while lowering one tile with the flattening tool is about 60 I believe (a lot more expensive in any case). As Fat D has pointed out below, leveling terrain with cheap floor tiles costs nothing at all (even at runtime), so if you want to make things 100% flat that's surely the way to go (thanks btw, I didn't know this myself).

4. Basements don't have to be dark: if your foundation is at least 6 clicks high, sun will come in through basement windows; if it's 7 clicks or higher, sun will also come in through basement doors (glass ones). Not that the sims would care much about sun, but it's much nicer to look at a sunlit room than at a dark basement. See pictures attached, and see this house (http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=112096) for a practical example (a 7BR starter, which wouldn't have been possible without using the basement as actual living space).

I hope this is useful.

1 -- Basement, built into a 4-click high foundation. I would not want to live there.
2 -- Basement, with 6-click foundation. Sun!
3 -- Basement, 7 clicks: Now your glass doors will look nice as well. Even more sun!

The pointless stairs at the bottom right are just so that you can see the foundation height easily.

28th Dec 2005, 3:58 PM
THANKS. I build loads of basement houses, this has helped ALOT!! THANKS

24th Jan 2006, 11:16 AM
Great info, I never really thought about the cost of building before and after sims are on the lot :-)

8th Apr 2006, 2:01 PM
In that case the cheapest way to build a two-storey building would be to use a 16-click foundation i.e. raise it up to the same height as a wall using the Level Terrain Tool. So a basement is not necessary!

21st May 2006, 4:33 AM
Thanks a lot plasticbox. I am building my first basement house and tried to put windows into the foundation. It doesn't work.

These tips help a lot with both achitectural and esthetic features.

Basements should have the "option" of light via windows unless you are into dungeons or whatever [WINK][WINK].

26th May 2006, 10:16 PM
This is really helpful, thanks :)

19th Jun 2006, 5:45 AM
Thanks for the tips Plasticbox always nice to know something new!

Lucha Lutwieta
3rd Jul 2006, 11:20 AM
I have never SUn in my Room:( I dont know how sow I will try this:)

6th Jul 2006, 4:43 PM
I'm trying this out and everything works fine until I want to put in the floors of the first floor. I can't get a floor tile over the window (on the outside). I've tried different windows, green arrow outwards and inwards. When I put in the floor tile before the window I can't get the window in (get a message that the ceiling is too low, but it's the right height for walls to be placed).

Has anyone a solution, because I would like the basement windows to look like Plasticbox's 7 BR house.

6th Jul 2006, 6:32 PM
Rumpelteazer -- i think you need to temporarily flatten the ground in front of the window, then paint the floor upstairs. Or the other way around: put in the floor, then flatten the tile underneath, then put in the window downstairs. When floor and window are in place, you can "un-flatten" the ground again.

I think the game sees the window as an object with a one-tile footprint, that will not fit between a sloped tile and a flat one, and that's why it acts like this.

Hope you get it to work!

6th Jul 2006, 8:19 PM
:) :up: Thanks plasticbox, it worked. I thought I already tried that, but I probably did something wrong.

Fat D
6th Jul 2006, 11:38 PM
level with floors. It's the cheapest.

27th Nov 2006, 9:59 PM
Thanks for the pointers - you've saved me quite a bit of time... ;)

As to your example houses, neat little place(s) - great use of space & a bargain too!. ;)

Thanks for creating/uploading/sharing!. :)

9th Jun 2007, 2:41 PM
Thnx a lot. I like building basements and they were all ways filled with lights walls and ceiling even desk lamps! I could never get it good enough! Thnx for the info!

27th Jun 2007, 8:59 AM
Thank you so much. I have been wondering how to achieve this. I don't know how many tutorials i have search for this. You have save me hours of building and hours of searching.
Thanks for sharing you experience and you wonderful lots.

14th Aug 2007, 12:40 AM
I can build a basement but outside the house i can't get my porch close to the house could somebody please help me sorry if it sounds stupid


14th Aug 2007, 6:07 PM
amandajoy, you should probably post a screenshot in the build mode forum

19th Sep 2007, 5:13 AM
Do you have any tips on building basement garages after OFB/NL/Pets
I used to build them, but since getting Seasons, the way I did it doesn't seem to work anymore. The way I built was to lay down the driveway, use the boolprop cmd constrainfloor elev... then do 12 clicks, delete the driveway, then undo. Or something close to that effect. Now it will not allow me to lower the terrain while there is a driveway. If I build the 'basement' part and try to add the driveway, it tries to auto level the terrain.
I've tried to find a newer tutorial, but I haven't been able to find one!
Any hints tips or points in the right direction will be very much appreciated!!


ps... Thanks for the great houses. I've used the back series for one area of 'town' now I'm working on a 'reclaimed' factory area... would like underground parking!!

30th Jul 2008, 5:19 PM
I'm so apparently totally stupid and therefore desperate - I have looked everywhere for tutorials and tried this way and that but I cannot get a normal 6 or 7 click foundation to have a basement that would have light inside. What I tried was raising the terrain for 3 clicks and placing a foundation (4 clicks, right?) on top of it (definetly 7 clicks in all, checked with stairs) and using this as a measure to level the foundation and walls of the house with constrainfloorelevation but then the windows/doors show up weird, like a hole on top of them and bleed through the walls. What am I doing wrong?! HELP

30th Jul 2008, 8:35 PM

why would you need constrainfloorelevation for this? I believe you probably arrive at a wrong height for your walls that way, which would be why doors/windows don't work. Walls need to be 16 clicks high.

31st Jul 2008, 4:29 PM
Maybe, a blanket advertising cheat-free in the title is a good idea. :)

2nd Aug 2008, 5:56 PM
Ok, clearly I'm in waaaaay over my head...and now I'm feeling excessively dumb but I still don't get it!!! :cry: I love your houses, Plasticbox, for their basements with lights, but my building style is different (not neccesarily better, though) from yours and as I have Middleground, and most of the Newbie Road houses downloaded and placed in MG and I adore this neigbourhood and it is really the only one I play, I would like to continue the running tribute by being able to build same kind of basements for my differently planned houses - and cross my heart I've looked and looked for tutorials to find how you do it, stared at your houses for hours trying to figure it out, but so obviously I'm missing something ! And I see no one else complaining about not being able to do this so I feel even more like a building mode doofus. Could you please, please explain it to me in more detail - I am very eager to learn and generally quite good at following tutorials, which usually makes up for the lack in my own mental powers. Ok, I'll stop talking now.

2nd Aug 2008, 6:10 PM
Do you have any tips on building basement garages after OFB/NL/Pets

Although the question was not addressed to me and maybe you found something already, but some time ago I came across this handy basement garage tutorial by hexameter
here (http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=99315)

and while I cannot but up a 7-click basement :lol:, I was able to follow this and build me a nice underground garage.

Hope it helps!

22nd Sep 2008, 5:39 PM
Circicuta & plasticbox,

I had the same problem.

I'm sure plasticbox would agree you need constrainfloorelevation false to make the *foundation* 6 or 7 clicks high instead of 4.

I used constrainfloorelevation false on the window *walls* so that I could make walls on the *outside* of the foundation. You know -- normal looking. Since the foundation has to be one square wide in order for the foundation walls to show, this would require basement rooms to have dormer-like protrusions. But at least the *outside* of the house would look normal. And, hey -- window seats!

But when I did this, the windows didn't work: They were too high. Instead of being measured from the top of the artificially-shortened walls, they were measured from the bottom. They showed up in the upstairs walls instead.

I tried someone's low windows, but even though they were low enough to appear in the right place, they still didn't let light in.

I gave up.

Then I got NL and downloaded one of plasticbox's houses.

plasticbox is not putting the basement window walls next to the outside walls of the foundation. plasticbox is putting them next to the *inside* walls of the foundation. The houses do not look like real-life houses with basement windows only a little bit off the ground. Instead, you have a ditch dug up next to the basement so that the window wall can still be 16 clicks high.

Not very realistic. But better than nothing.

Some of plasticbox's houses deal with this by putting latticed foundations in front of the window walls, since the lattice still lets light through. That's the way to go if you'd rather see a windowless lattice than a ditch. Personally I prefer the ditch -- I like to be able to see the windows.

22nd Sep 2008, 10:25 PM
I'm sure plasticbox would agree you need constrainfloorelevation false to make the *foundation* 6 or 7 clicks high instead of 4.

No, you don't -- you just need to make a small 3-click hill and build your foundation from there, then flatten the hill again.

Also, if you want windows on the outside wall of a basement, check out d_unit's "CoverUpSlope" fence: http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=242420

With that you can use regular walls to build basements, and hide the slope with the CoverUp fence instead of within the foundation.