I just bought a house & I am curious as to what or why there is a hole in my basement wall. Inside is just the foundation wall and dirt floor. Why would a builder create such a thing? Can the area be finished & habitable? Can you dig deeper & create another level? enter image description here

  • 2
    Is that a crawl space access for getting under other parts of the house? Apr 5, 2017 at 4:19

1 Answer 1


The clue here is that the hole leads into an area that is under another part of the upper building structure. It is highly likely that the corresponding part of the building in that area does not have full headroom clearance and thus leaves that area as a "crawl" or "access" space. The hole is what allows you to enter that space if there is need for maintenance and/or repairs. The hole also allows for some air circulation from that area into the rest of the basement to help control humidity and temperature.

I would advise that you do not want to try to dig down the dirt floor space in that area because that would most likely cause you to be digging below the foundation levels in that access space. You do not want to be digging below the foundation levels as that can lead to foundation movement or long term failure.

  • Thanks Michael. The room above it is the living room (or is it family room? Idk.... 😉) There is a fireplace in that room straight back. The "space" is just that area/ room as to the right of it and above is the garage.
    – Chris
    Apr 7, 2017 at 8:18
  • Can I at least level the dirt & lay cement to make a storage space?
    – Chris
    Apr 7, 2017 at 8:20
  • On the first glance I do not see any reason to prevent using it for storage or preparing it for storage. How does the dirt level compare with the adjacent basement floor on this side of the hole? Seems like it would be a bit of a challenge working in that space. My first house had a similar low clearance area under a split level entry way. In that case the builder had continued the basement floor all the way across the space and yes I had put shelves in the space for storage even though the head clearance was about 3.5 feet.
    – Michael Karas
    Apr 7, 2017 at 11:50

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