Basement Vastu (pronounced as Vaasthu) is a point of contention even among the pundits. Some say no basement absolutely and some others have figured out empirically how it affects your wellbeing. Want to know how to plan your basement per Vaastu Shastra?
As per Vaastu Shastra, there should be no vacant space below the house. However, changes can be made to use such a space, if you already have one. Like you can use it for storage(water), which is good. But leave the north-east corner vacant.
Let me open another thing. Trivandrum Padmanabhan Swamy temple has a big basement and used for storage.
And, as we know, the temple was constructed using Aahama Shastra. So, it’s acceptable to have a basement, however, it can’t be treated like a regular living place.
In the west, however, we have seen the widespread usages of basements. From Victorian houses to the recently built craftsman style houses in the northern states.
In certain states and countries, it is called cellar and other parts of the world we know it as a basement. However, there is a subtle difference between cellar and basement.
We are not going to touch on each type of below grade space. I am going to use the blanket term basement for the rest of this article.
Feel free to apply the info (provided here) to anything you may call the lower level space in your region.
So, with exceptions, we can have a basement as per Vaastu Shastra. Here’s how you can modify your basement if you already have one.
Basics of Basement Vastu:
Shastra loosely means science. In true sense, it refers to anything that is based on sound logic and reasoning.
So, whatever is provided here as Vastu Shastra has a reasoning, thorough understanding of elements and how it affects oneself.
Vastu Gurus and Pundits are trained to identify and rectify problem Vastu construction. However, for an uninformed, it is a Blackbox, and just a set of instructions of what to do or not to do.
I will try to give you a glimpse of what and why, where possible.
I am not a Vastu pundit, but…
…I consulted with a few pundits to put this post together. So this is a legit work and good stuff. I have also added my touch of reasoning based on common sense and logic.
Remember this below picture. This sets the tone, and sort of a framework for Basement Vastu.
Tips for Positivity (using Basement Vastu)
Tip #1. Avoid basement (if possible)
Basement is known to be a dark, musty, and a damp location. Besides, you have toxic gases that come off the ground and nowhere to be vented.
Radon is a very toxic gas and is radioactive. This gas is formed due to the decay of uranium in natural stone. It kills more people that we are aware of.
You will be dealing with Radon and its daughters (really, that’s the term for other gases from radon decay).
For this and many other reasons, it’s better to avoid basement altogether.
But if you already have one in the house you bought, don’t panic. We can make other changes and have a positive energy in the basement.
Tip #2. Construct in north or east direction
As much as possible try to construct in the north and eastern direction and leave that space empty.
You will have the morning rays of sunshine through that area. And if you have light colored walls, it is going to provide a lot of energy in your basement.
Remember, light color reflects and dark color absorbs light and energy.
Keep the space clean and airy.
Tip #3. Do Not build a basement under the whole house’s footprint
Not having a basement is the best. Second-best is to not cover the whole footprint of the house with a basement.
Especially do not build anything under garage. It’s not advisable to live, stay or work under a very heavy object.
Your concrete pad is going to be heavy and you will also have Cars parked over it.
Tip #4. Use it for non-living purposes
The best use for the basement is nonliving, casual usage.
That might involve storing objects. Keeping your home gym, playroom. laundry etc.
If you have an art studio, it’s nice to keep it there. If you want to do some craft work, then that’s fine.
Are you a movie buff? Basement is probably ideal.
In any case, ignore making your basement as a living room, family room, kitchen or bedroom.
Tip #5. Keep heavy objects in south and west (not north and east)
Heavy objects are to be kept in the south and the west direction only.
It is best to place your AC unit, furnace, water heater, and other heavy equipment here.
Load your south and west side and leave the north and east free. Refer to the illustration above. Stay in the green or near green zones and you will be fine.
Since south and west get less of outside light, it’s fine to place them there. Leave north and east to provide a lot of light. You need basement bright and lit.
Tip #6. Only regular shaped basement
Harmony lies in a properly shaped basement. You must have square and rectangular shaped rooms.
And, in essence, the whole basement should have a square and rectangle footprint.
Odd shapes have empirically proven to be the cause of the issue and have been solved by changing the layout to a more symmetrical structure (square or rectangle).
Don’t ask me about the oval office. I don’t know. Maybe, we will have a better decision coming out of the hill with square office, who knows.
Tip #7. Keep a third of the basement above ground
One-third of the floor-to-ceiling height must be above the ground. In any case, at least a quarter of it should be above ground (absolute minimum).
It gives you two advantages.
First, you can place a window, and get the daylight in. Second, it will help you with moving the air and providing ventilation.
Both are absolutely needed for healthy living and a positive emotional state. Lack of sunlight exposure causes a lot of issues, so is inhaling toxic gases.
While the sealed basement windows wouldn’t provide a great ventilation from Radon and other toxic gases, you should at least have it in place.
Well, That’s not all…
…I got two more bonuses for you!
Bonus Tip #8. Keep basement clean and tidy
This doesn’t need any mentioning; however, I have seen more basements to be nothing more than a dungeon.
Keeping it clean is going to provide several advantages.
The possibility of high humidity in the basement is very likely. That leads to a musty basement.
If you have a lot of stuff in there and an unclean environment, moisture gets absorbed and you will eventually have to work to get rid of mold.
In addition, you will have an issue finding things, leading to stress and waste of time.
Why you may ask…
Basement is already a damn and dark place. If you put in a lot of objects in there, you are going to clutter and not let the light shine through.
Keeping your basement bright is your primary objective. This is to avoid any accidents.
Bonus Tip #9. Paint light colors to make it brighter
This is a no-brainer fix. In fact, this is common sense. Lighter colors (white and half-white) reflect light as much as possible.
That makes the dark basement space a brighter location.
If you have followed the other advice and have the east and north side open without any obstruction. You will likely have a lot of sunlight shining in.
The sunlight will be reflected due to white and light color walls and the basement will be brighter from the daylight.
(Save a few pennies here, as you will be using fewer lights …utility savings is awesome, right)
That then creates a positive energy in the basement. In fact, it even brightens up the mood too.
Kitchen in Basement Vastu
As we already covered, basement must not be used for living activities. The best use is for storage.
However, using it as a recreational place, kids playroom, and storage is acceptable.
Cooking is considered an important activity. For it is the fuel and provides the necessary energy.
Avoiding kitchen in the basement is the best, as per Vastu Shastra.
It’s a relatively closed space and ventilation is already an issue. The kitchen will use fire and is not safe to be in the basement.
Walkout Basement Vastu
Walkout basement should be considered more like a regular living area (above-ground) if a majority of your basement is considered above ground.
The townhomes built in the US (especially, in non-cold climates) call the lowest level as a basement. However, that is at the ground level and walks out.
I have also noticed most of these homes have no portion of the house underground.
If you call it as basement and no floor is below the ground, it should be treated as a regular living floor.
However, some houses have a slope and part of the house walks out and the other part sits buried under dirt.
What you have to be mindful of is the part that is underground. Apply the basement Vastu basics to the part that is underground.
Let’s say, if you have 20 percent of your basement under dirt, then it’s fine to treat it like a regular living area.
But if you have the door that is walkout but most of the house is below grade, then treat is as a basement only.
Vastu for Basement Stairs
I am going to repeat what’s general for stairs and that is one hundred percent compliant with the basement stairs.
The best choice of location or stairs is south-west corner of the house.
Remember anything heavy must go there and not in the north or east. Well, stairs are a heavy fixed object that will obstruct light.
If you can’t get to that spot, then the second choice of location would be south or west.
This is only for stairs that lead to the basement from inside the house. If you have a deck or patio and have an external stair this wouldn’t apply.
In that case, it’s better to (while exiting the deck) you should walk out facing east or north.
If you have any turn in the stair structure you should have a clock-wise turn (while climbing up).
The best use of space under the stairs in a basement is a closet. If you can attach a bedroom, then use that as a cloth closet.
If not, have a built-in shelving setup and use it as storage.
According to Vastu Shastra, you can’t have broken stairs – fix them immediately.
Vastu for stairs calls for a separate blog because we have so much more to cover, so I am going to stop here.
Vastu Shastra is a time-tested method to increase the positive energy and have harmony in your life.
According to Vastu, basement must be avoided – that means you should have no space below your house.
In any case, that is not how we live in the northern part of the US and many other countries.
There are a few things that you should consider when using the basement. Like it’s primary usage. Use it for storage and non-living (recreational) purposes.
And remember to keep it clutter free, and paint light colors etc.
Now, if you follow these principles you will not only have a positive energy but that will translate to a harmonious living, even with a basement.