A great source of ideas is "The $50 & Up Underground House Book" by Mike Oehler & Chris Royer.
There are chapters that cover things that most people would have never thought of and it's full of cool ideas for a retreat house/shelter that is inconspicuous. I got my copy from Amazon on my Kindle. Lots of unique ideas.
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Building a basements depends on your family needs, You can make it playroom, gaming room or other your needs. If you want to live there than you should hire a architect for a design, if you can afford. Adding extra spaces in basement increase the resell value, most of buyers appeals for it and it ups the market price.
I had a place up in Murphy NC built into a mountainside that has a three walled basement. Great view out the forth side. The issue, especially after rains, a lot of clay in the soil which makes it a 'plastic' flowing ever so slowly against the bearing wall. It started to bulge after a few years, and after getting estimates to shore it up against the load, we had to bail on 'er losing a substantial amount of investment. With your smaller dimensions it will be easier to work it out the first time. My suggestion is to have the loads calculated by an experienced engineer in that field. You could overbuild a concrete and steel Fort Knox, and that would be better than the hillside flowing like Silly Putty moving to take that space back. AC
Basement is the basic requirement of any building, no matter it is house, plaza, market or of any kind else. Basically it is designed according to the needs of the users but, now it is designed also to look pretty good.It is really difficult to find good basement ideas.
Last edited by Denal; 11-22-2013 at 02:53 AM.
Personally I would also go with a basement and if it's done right you won't have a moisture problem
like I do in this house where I also have a partial basement built into a hill, you used to be able to
drive out the back, but drainage has become an issue and it's a partial because when it was built
the ledge was so strong here that even using dynamite they just couldn't get the hole big enough.
We have to run 2 humidifiers everyday until I can find someone who can actually fix the drainage
problem, not easy in this area to get someone that is both competent and affordable.
But basements like what you want to do are ideal if done right.
This house was built 40+ years ago and it wasn't done the way they would do it today.