Basement Underpinning Project for a Local Café in Oakville


Project Success Metrics

  • Delivered on time and within budget
  • 9.8/10 customer satisfaction
  • $20,000 total project cost
  • 75% local labor
  • 100% local supplier spend


Building Stats

  • 900 sq ft basement underpinning
  • Installation of new structural supports
  • Upgraded waterproofing and drainage system
  • Enhanced energy-efficient insulation
  • Reinforcement of foundation walls


Local Café Owner in Oakville




April 2024


Oakville, Ontario




This project involved comprehensive basement underpinning for a small, local café in Oakville. VMB Group was tasked with transforming the basement into a safe, usable space for storage and potential expansion while ensuring structural integrity and enhanced durability. The underpinning process included the installation of new structural supports, upgrading the waterproofing system, and adding energy-efficient insulation.



The basement underpinning project for this Oakville café was essential to both the safety of the building and the expansion of its usable space. The café owner wanted to create a secure storage area and lay the groundwork for a future dining expansion. Here’s how the process unfolded:

Initial Assessment and Planning

The project began with a detailed inspection of the existing basement and foundation. The café owner had experienced persistent moisture issues and minor flooding, which limited the use of the basement. Our team identified key structural weaknesses and developed a comprehensive plan to address these issues.


Careful excavation was necessary to avoid disrupting the café’s operations. The area around the foundation was excavated in controlled segments to prevent destabilization. During this phase, we discovered an old drainage pipe that had been contributing to the moisture issues. This pipe was removed and replaced with a modern drainage system.

Installation of Underpinning Pits

Small sections of the foundation, known as underpinning pits, were excavated to the required depth. Each pit was carefully monitored, and concrete was poured to create new, deeper footings. One memorable moment was when the homeowners’ children, curious about the process, were given a supervised tour of the site, sparking their interest in construction.


Steel reinforcements were added to the new footings to ensure they could support the building’s load and the anticipated additional usage of the basement. These reinforcements were integrated with the existing foundation to create a unified structural system.


Structural Supports

Hydraulic jacks were used to support and lift the foundation where necessary, ensuring an even base. This phase was particularly challenging due to the café’s busy hours. We scheduled work during off-hours to minimize disruption, ensuring the café could operate normally.

Waterproofing and Drainage

Advanced waterproofing membranes were applied to the basement walls and floors to protect against future moisture issues. A new drainage system was installed to effectively direct water away from the foundation. The café owner noted an immediate improvement in the basement’s dryness and air quality.

Insulation and Finishing

Energy-efficient insulation was added to improve thermal performance, making the basement suitable for both storage and potential future use as a dining area. The final touches included high-quality wall and floor finishes, transforming the basement into a clean and secure space.


Delivered on time and within budget, the project overcame several challenges. By working closely with the supply chain and the client, we implemented innovative, efficient, and cost-effective solutions to various issues identified during ground investigations, such as high water tables and existing foundation cracks. These challenges were identified and resolved early to avoid impacting the project timeline.

Our team navigated significant challenges posed by unexpected weather conditions and material shortages. To address these issues, we sourced alternative materials locally, ensuring timely delivery and cost-efficiency. This proactive approach allowed us to maintain the project schedule and budget.

We utilized advanced underpinning techniques, including the use of hydraulic jacks and specialized concrete mixtures, to ensure the new foundation was strong and stable. Additionally, we incorporated state-of-the-art waterproofing systems to protect the basement from potential water damage.


The project contributed positively to the local community by supporting local businesses and trades. By utilizing 100% local suppliers and 75% local labor, we boosted the local economy and provided jobs for residents. The café’s enhanced basement space also allowed the owner to source more local products, further supporting nearby suppliers and farms.

The improved storage capabilities meant the café could stock more local produce and supplies, which in turn helped other small businesses in the area. Additionally, the energy-efficient upgrades made during the project contributed to the café’s sustainability efforts, reducing its environmental footprint and promoting eco-friendly practices in the community.



This basement underpinning project in Mississauga is a prime example of how innovative solutions and a collaborative approach can overcome challenges and deliver outstanding results. The project not only improved the safety and functionality of the home but also contributed to the local community through social value initiatives. This case study demonstrates our commitment to excellence and our ability to deliver complex projects on time and within budget.

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