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By Kevin Carden Published 07/23/2008 | Home Improvement

What are some good qualities of the big room underneath your house? Can you use it for a storm cellar or a playroom? Well, I think this depends on where you live. If you are living in tornado alley I think it would be very smart to make your basement into a safe concrete storm cellar. It would be very easy and well worth it to make a few quick changes to your basement and build a storm cellar. I really do not think the extra work will be a waste of time, if anything, I think having this will give you a piece of mind. If you live in a part of the world where tornados are not really a threat, I think you could use your basement as your kids recreational room. How great would it be to know your kids were safe and at the same time your nice things would be safe from them running around upstairs near the china? Plus them being in the basement, it would be easier for you to allow them to have friends over because you would not able to hear all their yelling and banter. Instead you could make a few trips down there to check on them, instead of having to chase them out of the kitchen. If you are about to build a home and you are considering a basement, I think it would be very smart to think about all the options the basement could offer. Maybe if you are building your new home at the beach or the lake it would make a great place to store your water accessories. It would also be a great place to maybe put your guest room, so that guests could have their own separate nook of the house when they come over. I always liked letting my guests have a little getaway when their staying so they can get a little extra privacy when they go to bed. A great link and a big help deciding on a house plan with a basement would be to go Houseplancentral.com and pick through their house plans and find one that fits you and your family. It is a very helpful way of getting a picture of what your house would be with a basement. Their websites has hundreds of house plans and gives you the option to search through their plans by being very specific with things that you want in your house, and if the house plan does not have something you want you can use their modification tool to add it. You are also able to correspond with the designer of the house plan you like and get more ideas on how you could tweak the house plan to better fit you and your familys needs. It even has many house plans that have images of what the rooms would look like inside after it was built and furnished. Many of them even have virtual tours that take you throughout the decorated house. It was very helpful in picturing my new home!

Kevin Carden is a publisher of several stock house plan websites and informational resources, including http://www.houseplancentral.com. House Plan Central has a large collection of home plans and unique house plans in many different architectural styles, from the nation's top house designers and architects.