Should you or should you not underpin your basement? Today’s old-house owners often have to struggle with the decision to underpin their basement.
Older homes were often not built on footings the way new houses are, affecting basement use. You might be thinking about using your basement for various purposes, but the size may not be sufficient. Luckily, you can increase the space by underpinning your basement. The process involves lowering the basement to make the area more livable.
Underpinning is also done when the original foundation of the basement is unstable or cracked, and the procedure can strengthen those walls. Since underpinning is a lengthy task, homeowners have their doubts about the system. If you consult a professional, they will be able to provide you with proper guidance.
What is Basement Underpinning?
The simple definition of basement underpinning is the process of removing soil below a foundation, adding extra layers of support, and increasing the height of a basement. Basement underpinning will strengthen your home and prevent it from being hit with further water damage. The process consists of four steps.
- Step 1: Digging out the floor underneath and pouring in new concrete while the underpins are installed.
- Step 2: The excavation of each basement section to reach the new desired height by pouring concrete to add strength to the foundation wall.
- Step 3: Excavating the remaining soil to increase the basement’s overall size.
- Step 4: Waterproofing the basement if homeowners approve.
Why Does Your Basement Need Underpinning?
Although underpinning can extend the space in your basement, it provides more benefits to your home. Constructors did not build many older homes with enough space to live in the basement, which is why underpinning them can give you better access to that space. It could become an extra source of income since renting it out becomes an option.
You can also upgrade your home to discover hidden systems because underpinning opens up concealed mechanics. So, older plumbing and electrical fixtures can be found and replaced to meet new standards. It will also add value to your home if you ever want to resell it.
Underpinning is an effective method of increasing space in your basement without the costs of breaking down the entire house. It can also save you the cost of expensive future repairs. Industry professionals that specialize in basement underpinning in Toronto will be able to let you know if your basement needs underpinning.
What Are the Key Benefits?
There are many benefits of underpinning the basement.
- Improved structure – Underpinning allows the contractors to fix any weak foundations in the building and repair any cracks or damages.
- Extra space – When your basement is lowered, there will be extra space that you can use for multi-purposes, such as a gym or home office.
- New storage area – Although homeowners often use basements as storage space, they do not always want to put their valuable possessions in the room. With the update and extra space, it can be an area where the important stuff is stored.
- Updated plumbing and electric fixtures – Since many old homes have backdated mechanics, the underpinning process will expose those, and they can be updated to meet modern standards.
- Enhanced lighting – When you have more space above, you can add windows that bring in light, or you also have the option to add better fixtures to the ceiling.
- An additional source of income – A finished basement means that you will have a suitable area to rent out.
- Increase home value – Homeowners in Toronto have been underpinning their basement to raise their home value.
How Can You Proceed with Underpinning?
Underpinning sounds like a daunting task, doesn’t it?! That is why professionals like NTL Contracting promises to deal with all the hard work. All you have to do is call us with your concerns. With a team of skilled underpinning contractors and experience for over two decades, we know what to do to help you out.
However, there are legalities to deal with while undergoing residential underpinning as the Government of Canada has specific guidelines that you need to follow. Luckily, NTL Contracting takes care of the legal aspects as well. So, you will be in the loop the entire time, but you will not have to stress.
You Underpinned Your Basement. Now What?
If you have decided to go through the process, congratulations! If you are confused about what you can do with the area now, here are some ideas.
- Form a home gym – Imagine not having to dread the thought of waking up for a workout and commuting to the gym because the gym has come to you! Investing in a home gym can be beneficial for your mental and physical health.
- Design a theatre – Forget watching your favourite shows on your small laptop screens when you can install a projector in your basement. You can give your basement the love it deserves by adding comfortable furniture and adding lights to suit the ambiance.
- Show off your wine – If you have ever seen a movie where two characters just walk into a room surrounded by wine and wondered how cool that is, this option is for you! Create a wine cellar, and with proper planning and insulation, you can feel like you are in a movie scene.
- Build a playroom – If you have kids, you might often step on their toys or hear them yelling at each other while playing games. If you turn your basement into a playroom, you can send your kids to play there while you are working. It’s a win-win!
- Create a small apartment – If you have enough space, create a kitchen, bedrooms, and fix up the bathroom. You can rent out that area for extra income or leave it for guests if you prefer.
If you are still questioning the process, do some research and talk to industry professionals for a plan. After you find out the costs, you can decide if it will work for you. If you choose to go ahead with it, consider looking into all the basement remodelling ideas, and you might end up with an exclusive hang-out spot that your friends admire.