Receive proper drawings from an architect and obtain city permits for your projectwithin several weeks!
Have your basement underpinned by true professionals. New concrete footings with extension of walls.
With basement lowering our company will waterproof all walls and install sump pump for flood prevention.
We were thinking about extending our living space in Toronto downtown older home. These guys gave us a good option on getting more height in our basement and to finish it properly. Now we have extra bedroom and washroom that can be easily used for guests or as a rental unit.
Underpinnings.ca gave us awesome explanation of how excavation and lowering of the basement is done. They also included step by step video in the email with a quote. All these little details that the go above and beyond with just did it for us and without hesitation we started the permits and work. Such a great experience with all plumbing and waterproofing!
Our idea was to either do extension of the house on the side or do basement lowering. To our surprise home addition was much complicated and expensive. All quotes were at least double the price of what underpinnings.ca quoted us for giving us extra 2 feet of height and full basement finish. We recommend them to all Torontonians.
If you are struggling with space in your home, there are a number of ways you can remodel it. Basement lowering is one of the many options homeowners are considering as a way of adding space to their homes. As the years pass by, houses are becoming expensive by the day. Nonetheless, not everyone wants to keep shifting from one house to the other. Therefore, as a way of making things easier and better, you should consider basement lowering as the ultimate home remodeling option to get that extra room for accommodation or any other purpose. There are several steps that are key in basement lowering and it is important that you know them. This will keep you in the know what stage the renovation is and how long it’d take to complete. Without further ado, here are the steps necessary in basement lowering:
When you are considering basement lowering, you need to have a plan in hand and start early to ensure you cater for everything. First of all, you need to contract a construction and building company in your area and give them all the necessary details. The engineer in charge needs to make drawings and plans on how the process will be conducted. As the engineer, you should visit the home in question and check out the basement. This is important so that you can make the best drawings and measurements as per the basement size and the extent of the weakness on the foundation. The visit is also important to determine whether the basement is viable for lowering process and which will be the best alternative. After the engineer ascertains that your home can have a basement lowering, you need to get permits to authorize the lowering process. Once you have the papers and a trustworthy team with you, then the process can finally take its course.
Before basement lowering process starts, you need to remove everything in the basement. If there is any furniture, flooring or internal finishing’s, all that needs to be out and kept in a safe place. If possible, you can disconnect plumbing, move hot water tank and furnace from the basement, if any, to pave way for basement lowering. This has to take place prior to the current floor removal so as to make it easier and faster to work. The basement clearing is important in this process as it is the prime procedure for preparing the basement for lowering options.
Once the basement is clear of any kind of stuff, the demolish of the basement can commence. This involves removal of the current floor with Jackhammers. At the time, noise and dust are the most prevalent problems considering all the work taking place in the basement. Most of the basement lowering experts and team involved with the process will put up drop sheets and other relevant barriers so as to minimize the noise and dust. The demolishing of the basement is done in a strategic manner depending on the type of basement lowering process in question. It can either be underpinning or benching.
Once excavation on the floors is complete, the removed material, concrete floors and soil, need to be shipped out of the basement. Instead of using buckets to remove soil, it is more efficient to install a window for the transporter. The window makes work easier by shortening the distance to which the waste is taken to for disposal. Needless say, it keeps the team at work out of your indoors lessening the chances of bringing the dirt to your living space. The window also works as a ventilator during the entire process to allow in fresh air and light as well. After the lowering process it can be transformed into a window for the new space.
The bin is to ship the dug up concrete and soil out of sight. From the basement, the dug up materials are carried out through the installed window and drained into the bin. This is usually done alongside the basement demolishing process to create space to remove the entire floor. As soil and concrete removal is underway, the removed material are shipped out. This makes way to allow removal of the concrete floor and soil on the next area. After the bin is full, it is transported from site and the content taken away for dumping elsewhere.
After the excavation process, the entire floor is finally removed to the new wanted depth. This makes it easier to access the foundation of the house and they can determine how much deep they would like the new supporting material to go. For the new floor depth, it is often measured with regards to the foundation. This is to ensure that even after lowering, the foundation remains strong. In basement underpinning, installation of new support material is done at different intervals. This is so that it does not undermine the current foundation.
This happens after the floor removal process and a new level of foundation defined. The team of hands at work can go ahead and install the footing sections beneath the old foundation. This helps support it and increase how firm your homes foundation is. The sections are underpinned on different locations to increase the surface area covered. This is usually the key process in basement lowering considering it entails the main agenda of work. For basement lowering process, the required depth for new foundation needs to be at least 20-inches deeper.
This is usually the high time to call a building inspector in adherence to the laws and regulations set forth for basement lowering process. The inspector should confirm that the work is going on fine and nothing seems to be risking the stability of the home. In case anything seems off, then the team of contractors and engineers need to re-strategize to save the home. If everything is going on fine, the inspector will give the green flag to proceed to the next stage. The inspector should also make sure that installation of materials is good and they are where they should be.
This takes place after the rooting of the footing sections in the right place. The soil between one footing and the next is removed so as to continue with the basement lowering process. For underpinning process in basement lowering, new footings are usually added in intervals with a few inches of soil between them. Since no one wants the house collapsing, you should keep checking on the structural stability of the house. This will help in knowing that everything is fine and work can go on without worry. After the inspection, the inspector gives workers the green light to continue working. The first agenda thereafter is removing the soil between the new footings. It is transported out through the window installed earlier on and put in the collecting bin outside. The bin is then taken out of sight for soil disposal in a favorable place.
Drains are usually installed somewhere nearer the floor and where the foundation has begun from on the ground. Now that the floor is lower and a new footing input for the foundation, there is need for installing new drains. This provides a window for removing old drains and inputting new ones at the right level to the floor. As a homeowner, this is the best time to reroute or change your draining system to a more convenient location. The major interior drains changes include sanitary sewer line replacement, rerouting of water line if necessary, installation of a weeping tile as well as removing the old one, installation of perimeter drains and prime lines. Finally, cleanouts are installed to finish up this particular process.
Many homes are prone to leakage a reason why most foundations start weakening. During basement lowering, all the installations done prior when the building was under construction are out in the open. So, it is a right time to install waterproofing as a preventive measure for the future. Since a new system has been installed, the old one, if it was faulty, it is out of the way. To ensure that the new one does not affect the fresh floor and basement wall, installing a waterproofing material is crucial. This helps in preventing a leaky basement and any damage that may arise from the leakage if it ever occurs. The common waterproofing installation includes a weeping tile, filter sock, a dimple sheet and a discharge system.
A sump pump is where the water will be draining into. Since the processes associated with waterproofing creates a draining system, the contents passing through need to end up somewhere. That is the sump pump. It is acts as a basin where the water from the drains collects and then, it can be let out through various windows. If you have an interior drainage system, a sump pump will be of great help. You can attach window well drains, exterior weeping tile drains or a floor drain where the water will be exiting to.
When the drains are being installed, most homeowners may prefer to change everything including the sewage ejector. If you are thinking of having a basement bathroom, then a sewage ejector is a must have. However, this is only necessary if the main sewer is on a higher ground than the plumbing and bathroom pipes. For a basement bathroom, it becomes a necessity because the basement floors might be lower than the septic tank. Therefore, there is need to get the waste to the right place so that it does not start to leak. If a sewage ejector is necessary, then you need to consider it in terms of size and the number of drains connecting to it. The distance it will be ejecting the sewage is also important so that you can pick the one with optimum power for the job.
Once the necessary improvements have been made on the drains and foundation, it is time to start layering the basement floors. The first step in that includes installing a new gravel layer, preferably 3/4-inches on top of the basement soil. The amount is dependent with the height of your basement and state rules and regulations that help contractors layer it in the right way. A gravel layer needs to be in place before the concrete is poured for the floors. For most basement lowering gravel layering, the gravel layer may lie above drainage pipes and sewage ejector installed. Ensure that you stump on the gravel layer to level it and have a uniform surface.
A vapor barrier is supposed to protect the concrete floors. You can either consider a vapor barrier material installation or use some sand just above the gravel layer. Taking into the account all the drains and moisture in soil, it is highly likely to start seeping through the floors. It is therefore important that all preventive measures are implemented to avoid future leaks and keep the floors dry. Not all floors must have a vapor barrier installed by that is dependent on factors such as the type of soil.
Finally, the concrete is laid over the gravel and vapor barrier to the new floor level. The concrete is usually poured and on the same day, smoothened out as per the building code. When pouring out the concrete, it is important to work in sections to let it dry evenly. Concrete poured is streamlined with a trowel for the final finishing. The concrete also needs to rest in the right level as planned before the basement lowering process began. It is important that as the last works of the process are being done, an inspector should check out the building. This is to ascertain that everything is done well and that the home’s integrity is much more firm than it was before.
Since the process is complete and everything checks out as it should be, it is time for the workers to clean up the area. All tools leftover material, garbage from all the working are removed and the floors swept clean. Any area used during the process, inside or outside your home is also cleared and cleaned as part of the job. For any debris left behind after cleaning, it is also removed and you are left with a clean basement and driveway in case it was being used during the process. The main aim is to leave the customer happy with the work done and it is only courteous to clean up after a mess.
When you are planning for basement lowering, you need to have a budget in place. Basement underpinning is not an easy task and requires a lot of processes. Each process needs to be handled with utmost precision so that the integrity of your home is upheld. It will be a little bit costly but the completed version will be something to look forward. You also need to have a reason why you want a basement lowering. In most homes it is the last solution to save their homes from failing foundations. However, as added benefits to the process, you will have more space in your home and you can turn it into a livable space. Not to mention, certain measures have been put in place to prevent your home from leaks, so no more dump basements or leaks. After the process is complete, you need to install an electrical system and any other fittings that are essential to the purpose of the new space.
Make sure you have a post plan for how the room will be and ensure everything is working right. You can ask the team of workers to install the necessities or you can do-it-yourself with a guide manual.
This are the major processes involved with basement lowering as it is found on the books. Occasional inspections are important to make sure that the work is going on fine. Most importantly, it is to affirm that the work is being carried out as per the regulations and the building code within your state. It is important that the process flow is enhanced to avoid any mistakes and damage that might occur. This is crucial especially at the beginning when installing the footings. So that you do not affect the strength of the foundation, you should let the soil rest in place as you install the sections one after the other at intervals. Also remember to be legally certified for basement lowering by getting the right permits from the state office. Be involved in the process as the homeowner so that you can be confident the work is going on fine to your expectations.