Basement lowering is the lowering of your basement floor to increase the basement’s height and at the same time improve its foundation strength. Most of the older homes around Toronto have low basement height due to the way they were built making them more or less a crawl space where you cannot walk around comfortably. In the present, people are conscious of the houses they are buying and want one with a high enough basement for a variety of purposes. Thanks to the advancements in building and construction as homes can now be improved and the basement lowered with much ease. There are two main types of basement lowering which include underpinning and benching. Underpinning involves adding a new structural footing beneath the initial foundation and adding a concrete slap to support it. As for benching, it is all about adding new walls at a lower basement floor level and adding benches on the sides where the new foundation has been established.
Basement lowering is a procedure that involves digging up the basement floors and establishing a new basement floor that is lower, adding height to it and turning it a livable space. In the two techniques of lowering the basement process, there are a few things that differ. This is because each procedure is different from the other and installations used are not the same. However, both are similar in the sense that they require structural improvements on the foundation walls and footings. Understanding underpinning better, it is ideal for basements where the foundation has developed cracks and has weak fault lines on the walls. Holes are dug strategically on each side of the foundation, dip enough to extend the foundation. Once new footings and walls have been added, then the floors are done, but at the new low level. For benching, it is also ideal for weak foundations that have been established on poor soil conditions. Unlike in underpinning, no holes are made to add new footings, instead, the entire basement is excavated and the new walls and floor are built up from the new low level. To enhance support and stability of the house, reinforcements are added that form a bench-like structure. To hide the new additions, cabinets/shelves/book cases are added to make the new living space classy and modern.
Basement lowering entails modifying the basement through the lowering basement methods to create more space in the original home structure. On the other hand, home addition is adding a new living space say on the backyard if there is enough space left. In short, a whole new structure is established. Land in Toronto can be very expensive and establishing a new living structure will be more expensive compared to basement lowering. In terms of the money you will spend, basement lowering will be more cost effective than home addition. This is because in basement lowering there are wall already established and you are only modifying your already existent home. Time spent also is less in basement lowering because not much work is needed to complete the structure than when building up from scratch. Space and value, may be more favorable in home addition due to the increase in number of rooms and an entire building. But, basement lowering is also ideal for space and adding value to your home. On whichever decision you make among the two, one thing that sticks is that you need to acquire permits from the Toronto Municipal offices. However, the permits for basement lowering may be processed faster and do not encompass much complexity as compared to those of home addition processes.
Well, besides the fact that your contractor can offer you the basement lowering services you require, there are other fundamental things you need to know before the process begins. How much does basement lowering cost? Which one is better, underpinning or bench-footing? What materials are required by the contractor to successfully lower the basement? These are just few of the question you need to ask your contractor to clarify before giving the go ahead of the process to commence. If at one point you feel uncertain of things, you can turn to your contractor for advice and guide you through the pre-basement lowering process, at the time when they are actually in action and probably how to maintain the basement. Anything you need to know about construction permits and other legal documents, your contractor should know what is needed.
Basement lowering is not something you wake up and decide on doing it. No, you need to plan beforehand and make sure you have the necessary details at your fingertips. Most importantly, you need to be financially prepared and work within a budget according to what you can afford. You also need to choose a lowering basement company in Toronto to handle all the floor work and building procedures. Will the demolition in place have any impact on your home? If yes, what can you do to minimize risk? Finally, you need permits to authorize the renovation procedures and set a specific time when you want the basement lowering to take place and how long it needs to take before completion.
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.