There are certainly some aspects of housing here on the west coast, and in the Greater Victoria region particularly that are vastly different than what you may find across the rest of the country. Most of the differences relate to climate, because we don’t have severe winters or extremely hot summers to endure. Our moderate conditions encourage outdoor living and blurring the lines between indoors and out is one of our favourite things to do!
Outdoor rooms and living spaces are increasingly incorporated into home designs, and often are comfortably furnished and include cooking facilities, firepits, even outdoor tvs! This is a great way to entertain, and having a croud of people over is much easier (and makes less mess) than a traditional in-house party!
The traditional underground basement that is common across the country is rare here. Vancouver Island is one big rock, and in many locations you’d need dynamite to create a hole deep enough for a full basement. If you are building in an area that actually has enough soil depth, you will probably find your hole filling with water as you dig, the water table is frequently high where there is a lot of soil.
Don’t despair, you don’t really need that underground lair, the mild winters mean you don’t need to hibernate! You don’t need those silly little windows either, you know, the shallow horizontal ones that are put in underground basements to try and light them a bit, but just make you feel like you’re trapped in a hole.
You will probably enjoy the lower level on your west coast home, be it above ground or maybe partly below grade. It is still likely to contain your rec room, extra bedrooms, utilities and storage, but will feel much less oppressive with full size windows allowing lots of light. Don’t worry, the heating bills won’t kill you; remember how mild it is here. You will love living in Victoria!