Cellar vs. Basement: What’s The Difference?

There is a staircase that sales opportunities down from your kitchen to somewhere. Is it a cellar or a basement? Some folks use these phrases interchangeably. Some individuals think that the big difference between a cellar and a basement is totally primarily based on dialect. But is the variation among a cellar and a basement? It turns out, quite a great deal.

Basements and cellars are not the exact same things. They are similar to be confident, but they are in no way the same. There are some really huge distinctions between a cellar and a basement. If you are confused about what constitutes a basement compared to a cellar do not be concerned. This thorough comparison piece will go more than precisely what can make a cellar and what tends to make a basement.

Overview of Cellars:

Cellars are rooms that exist entirely underground for the convey goal of storage. Cellars store things like wine, root vegetables, dry products, canned merchandise, and jars. Cellars are not often used for habitation functions, not often attribute any windows, and are usually extremely small, cramped, and dimly lit. Cellars can also function a single entrance that lies outdoors of the house however they can have doors inside as well. The traditional cellar entrance is the double doors that lie at floor amount outdoors that you have to pull open up and climb down into. Cellars are nice due to the fact they do not include a lot in the way of utility costs as they are usually unheated and contain just a few of simple lights.

Basement Cellar
Image Credit: Dayvison de Oliveira Silva, Pexels


Cellars are a lot smaller than basements on common. Cellars typically only consist of one particular space and occupy just a few hundred sq. feet. The ceilings of a cellar are usually lower than basements.


Cellars’ major function is storage. Cellars can be employed to store a variety of distinct merchandise from meals to drinks to gas and much more. Cellars frequently attribute shelving, racks, crates, or boxes. They are not utilised for habitation they don’t function loos or bedrooms and men and women really don't dangle out in the cellar. The only time folks willfully spend long times in a cellar is during a storm when they are hiding out from detrimental winds. One particular of the most common types of the cellar is the wine cellar which men and women use to shop massive amounts of wine. Men and women use cellars for storage due to the fact they are often awesome and dim which is perfect for maintaining items for lengthy durations of time.

Root Cellar
Image Credit: Imfoto, Shutterstock

Defining Characteristics

There are some defining characteristics of a cellar that can be utilised to distinguish them from basements. Listed here are some things you will generally locate in a cellar but not a basement.

  • Only one room
  • No windows
  • An exterior entrance versus an indoor entrance
  • Used primarily for storage
  • Counted more as a closet than another floor of a building

These items generally put a cellar in stark contrast to a basement. Basements are considerably more expansive, considerably far more adaptable, and can exist in a selection of various approaches. Cellars are far more narrowly defined, narrowly utilized, and are not as flexible.

  • Easy to maintain
  • Great for storage
  • Doesn’t add to utility costs
  • Doesn’t add livable space
  • Fewer uses than a basement

Overview of Basements:

Basements refer to the bottom flooring of a developing that is partially or entirely underground. As opposed to correct cellars, basements can, and often do, reside partially above floor. This permits basements to have windows and several entry details. Basements are usually considerably more substantial than cellars and occupy areas the same dimension as the footprint of the house earlier mentioned. Basements can be completed to include additional residing area like a laundry place, kitchen, lavatory, bed room, workplace, next residing place, and far more. Basements do not have to be concluded in purchase to differentiate them from cellars. Basements can greatly enhance utility costs as they are normally related to the home’s HVAC system and call for a good deal of electricity to keep them lit, great, and dry.

Image Credit: Pisaphotography, Shutterstock


Basements can be extremely huge. Some basements can be as big as 2000 square ft or much more. Usually, basements are the same size as the first floor of a developing. Basements can have numerous rooms divided by partitions and doorways whereas cellars are normally just a solitary unbroken space. If completed effectively, basements can be counted as living areas. A concluded basement with windows, closets, and egress (immediate exit) can incorporate 1000's of sq. toes to a home’s formal listing which can greatly increase the benefit of a residence.


Basements can serve numerous purposes such as residing room, storage place, gymnasium place, workplace space, rental area, and far more. A basement can be repurposed to serve in a assortment of roles dependent on how they are concluded (or not completed). Cellars are generally employed for storage and tiny else. Many homeowners need a concluded basement since of the flexibility and additional sq. footage that they can include.

Image Credit: Anatoli Igolkin, Shutterstock

Defining Characteristics

There are some defining qualities of a basement that can be utilized to distinguish them from cellars. Right here are some issues you will typically uncover in a basement but not a cellar.

  • An entire floor of a house
  • Exists partially above ground
  • Features windows and natural light sources
  • Can be finished to have multiple rooms and spaces
  • Counts towards square footage
  • Entrance typically inside

These are the defining attributes of a basement compared to those of a cellar. If your underneath ground place has a number of of these characteristics it is likely a basement and not a cellar.

  • Extremely versatile
  • Large spaces
  • Can be included in the total square footage of a house which adds value
  • Can be expensive to finish
  • Adds utility costs

Do I Have a Cellar or a Basement?

If you are wondering if you have a cellar or a basement, request by yourself these queries:

How a lot of rooms is my place? If it is 1 little space, generally unfinished, it is almost certainly a cellar.

Does it have any home windows? Basements usually have at the very least one or two slim windows around floor stage. Cellars do not have windows.

Does your residence listing a basement on the listing? If a basement is outlined, it is typically a basement. Realtors will not add cellars to a listing and try out to pass it as a basement.

Is the area utilized largely for storage? Cellars are normally just glorified storage rooms. They do not function plumbing, furnaces, or other appliances or utilities. If your area has a boiler, furnace, h2o heater, sink or numerous rooms it is a basement, not a cellar.

Daylight Basement
Image Credit: real-twin-photos, Unsplash

Comparison Chart

Cellar Basement
Size Small Large
Entrance Commonly outside Commonly inside, can be both
Purpose Storage Living space
Windows No Yes
Utility Costs Lower Higher
Ceiling Height Lower Higher


Basements and cellars are the two identified beneath homes but or else they are very distinct. Cellars are far more narrowly outlined and usually exist as improved storage room. Basements are the base ground of any building that exists partially underneath floor and can be employed for a big selection of different functions. You can determine no matter whether you have a cellar or basement by inquiring a few easy queries. Now you will know the definitive big difference amongst the two house features going forward.


Highlighted Picture Credit rating: (L) aquatarkus, Shutterstock (R) pisaphotography, Shutterstock