What Is Basement Underpinning?

Basement underpinning is the process of lowering your basement floor through the removal of dirt from beneath your concrete slab. Excavation is then performed to create a lower level for increased support with room to build out additional concrete footings, floors, and walls. 

The excavation process is performed to extend the basement surface whilst also strengthening your homes foundation. The underpinning process allows you to expand your living area in your basement and maximize the space to create the perfect spot for lasting memories with your family and friends. 

Choose TRT and let our experts get to work so you can enjoy high ceilings on every floor. Working closely with our structural engineer we can safely dig out your basement and enhance the structural integrity of your home and create a space that you’ll love.

Basement Underpinning Key Benefits

Increased Accessibility

Anytime construction is done within your basement, your home becomes increasingly accessible to inspections allowing for repairs and upgrades. Underpinning is the perfect project to modernize your house and gives you the opportunity to update your homes wiring, plumbing, insulation, and waterproofing during the process.

Improved Structural Integrity

Soil types, extreme weather, and inexperienced contractors are all sources that contribute to the fact that many foundations have structural problems. Underpinning will give you the opportunity to strengthen the base of your foundation, prevent any further damages and give you the assurance that your family and possessions are in a safe home.

Maximised Space & Increased Ceiling Height

Low ceilings found in the basement of older homes can make the room feel cramped and stuffy. Underpinning allows you to maximize your space and transform your basement into anything you’d like, a home gym, an office, or separate living area? The possibilities are endless. As well, the added ceiling height gives you the space to install large windows and doors increasing the amount of natural light in the room, making your basement the new favourite hangout spot in the home.

Boosts Home Value

Today more than ever, homeowners are looking for expanded living spaces; meaning home buyers prefer and are willing to pay more for homes that have a finished and underpinned basement. Not only does underpinning create an area that was once unusable and transform it into an incredible spot to make lasting memories with your family and friends, but it dramatically increased the structural integrity of your home. Home buyers want the assurance that the property they are about to invest in is structurally safe for their family and loved ones.

Creates A Potential Income Source

Once your basement is finished and underpinned, you can transform this new living space into a rental unit and generate extra income. Your second source of income can be used for a family vacation, extra spending money, or to even lesson the burden of your monthly mortgage payments; either way, underpinning provides a great return on investment.

Cost Effective

Underpinning is the most cost-effective process to adding additional square-footage to your home. Not only is underpinning less expensive than adding a home addition, but it strengthens your property’s foundation in the process. As well, the project won’t disrupt your daily routine as the work is completed strictly on the lower level of your home.

The Basement Underpinning Process

1. Demolition

The underpinning process begins with the removal of items from the basement and the demolition of existing floors, walls, and other finishes.

2. Floor Removal

The removal of the concrete floor is one of the hardest and most labour-intensive part of the entire process. Usually with concrete floors 4” thick or more will require power tools to break up and remove the existing concrete slab.

4.Section Underpinning

Sections will be marked numerically (1,2,3) repeatedly throughout the basement to signify which sections will be excavated when. The marking of the sectioned underpinning is vital to maintain the structural integrity of your home throughout the underpinning process.

3. Excavation

Once the broken-up slabs of concrete are removed, labourers will then begin to excavate the soil floor to increase the height of your basement. Typically, contractors will remove the soil from your home via wheelbarrows or a conveyer belt and take care of the disposal for you.

5. Site Inspections

Site inspections are required throughout various stages of the underpinning process to ensure all work has been done properly and the structural integrity of your home has not been compromised. Site inspections ensures all work is completed up to the provincial building codes.

6. Drains

Basements are more at risk to sustain water damage than any other part of your home, and so the installation of drainage systems is necessary to avoid any water build-up.

8. Insulation

As basements are subfloors located beneath ground-level, they receive very little natural heat from the sun. It is important to insulate your basement, and furthermore may be beneficial to instal heated flooring.

7. Waterproofing & Gravel

A waterproofing foundation is then installed before being layered with soil and gravel to ensure that the groundwater has proper drainage.

9. Sump Pumps

Large rainfalls are the number one contributor to flooded basements. To avoid the problem of flooding altogether, it would be in your best interest to have a licensed contractor install a sump pump or sump pit – you may even receive tax rebates from the city for the installation.

10. New Basement Concrete Slab

Lastly the new concrete slab will be poured and smoothed to avoid any imperfections. You will be left with a new basement ready for its finishing touches to become the space of your dreams.

and that's it, your basement is now underpinned!

Basement Underpinning Cost

Underpinning is the most cost-effective way to improve the structural integrity of your home whilst also increasing its square-footage. While adding value to your home through the addition of a new living space, increased structural integrity, and the option to create a rental unit, underpinning provides a great return on investment. The main fees that go into an underpinning project are paid for the labour of demolition, concrete removal, excavation, and concrete installation. Fees for an underpinning project will vary depending on the square-footage of the project, intensity of the job, and thickness of the concrete slab.