3 Basement Bulkhead Design Tips

basement bulkhead

The term “bulkhead” can mean several things inside the home, but a basement bulkhead is primarily used as a load-bearing structure. The bulkhead is made from metal and installed flush against the home.

A basement bulkhead is used to provide access to walk-up basements. Bulkheads usually have doors to protect the basement from pests, rain, or dirt. The basement bulkhead’s design is not usually considered during construction; therefore, in most cases, they are just simple, functional, unattractive, or neutral entrances with doors that prevent rain, animals, and other things or individuals from entering your basement. You can turn your bulkhead into a nice adornment to your house.

Having a nice bulkhead design that matches the rest of the house doesn’t always mean spending lots of money or making considerable efforts. You can choose from several shapes, materials, angles, and colors to make it look nice while still preserving functionality. Whichever model you choose, remember to make your basement bulkhead easy to use and match the rest of your house.

Entrance Size and Form

When you design your basement bulkhead, consider its size and shape. It has to be large enough to allow easy access, but small enough to remain proportionate. Because of costs and utility, rectangular angled bulkheads are preferred; however, your bulkhead can have different shapes.

It could be round and have the appearance of a cave entrance. You could also have a small square discreet bulkhead that you can integrate with the garden hide with plants.

If you don’t want the bulkhead to be visible, you can give up the angle and make a horizontal ground level bulkhead, which you can also cover with plants or other easily removable objects. Whichever type you choose, make sure the doors match your house and that they both insulate your basement and protect it against leakage.

Materials to Use

There are several materials from which you can choose when deciding to build a basement bulkhead. Steel is a durable option, but it might not have the aesthetic you seek.

You can choose wood for both the basement bulkhead and its doors. You can also choose to combine materials, pairing concrete sidewalls and wooden, steel, or polyethylene doors.

If you have a house made of stone and wood, the combination of these two materials could be used for the basement bulkhead as well. Whichever material you choose, make sure it matches the exterior walls of your house and the patio or yard.

Color and Adornment

Choose something neutral or select a bold color for your bulkhead doors so that they contribute to the overall appearance of the house. Remember that the bulkhead doors do not have to be painted in solid color. You can add decorations and plants to hide the entrance. The most important thing is to match the exterior part of your house and the surrounding area.