Whilst underpinning the existing foundations of a residential property is often the best choice for those who wish to enlarge their basement and convert it into extra living space, it is not the only possibility. If the ceiling of your below-grade space is currently too low to make turning it into a living area a practical proposition, there are 3 potential solutions you may wish to consider, one of which is underpinning. In this article, we are going to take a brief look at each option to help you decide which one is the best choice for your property. As usual, if you have any questions after finishing the article, or you would like to request a quotation for a complete basement conversion, please do not hesitate to call and speak to us during office hours.
Underpinning Toronto Basements: Your Options
Some contractors offer all of the below options while others may specialize in just one or two. Your choice of solution may therefore affect your choice of contractor too.
- Benching – Bench footing is a method of lowering the floor of your basement that does not involve excavating underneath the existing foundations. Because of this, it is cheaper than underpinning and should not pose any risk to the structural integrity of your home. Of course, a reputable contractor with years of relevant industry experience should be able to use either method without causing any damage to your home so the best thing to do, if you want to give yourself the widest choice of solutions, is to work with an established and accredited company with years of experience underpinning Toronto basements. However, if you wish to lower your basement floor and you are on a tight budget, benching may be worth considering. Just bear in mind that it does involve the pouring of concrete inside the existing foundations so you will lose a little square footage in the process.
- Raising the First-Level Floor – A far less common solution but one that sometimes works well in bungalows is the pouring of more concrete onto the top of the existing foundations rather than underneath or inside of them. This approach results in the first-level floor joists being raised, along, of course, with the floor itself. The reason that it works better with bungalows than 2 or 3-storey properties is because it is usually easier to raise the first-floor ceiling in a bungalow, for obvious reasons.
- Underpinning – When done correctly, underpinning a Toronto basement is definitely the most elegant solution for homeowners who want to convert their below-grade space into a new living room, den, or games area. The foundations are extended downwards with this method, with no benching intruding on the existing floorspace of your basement. The end result is a usable living area with a ceiling height of around 8 or 9 feet, which is perfect for most people’s needs.
Call the underpinning Toronto experts today to request a competitive quotation for your basement conversion project. We look forward to helping you in the very near future.