Basements are excellent additions to any home. They provide extra space for storage or room for entertaining while creating more useable square footage. The Toronto area has an ideal soil composition for basements so they are prevalent there and there is no shortage of building and plumbing contractors that are willing to work on yours. With so many options, you should be sure to do your homework when selecting a professional to come review your project. Contractors in the industry have different areas of expertise and what one plumber may be able to do expertly, another might just muddle through.
This would definitely be the case if you were thinking of making your basement larger. For the most part you are confined to the foundation walls that were installed when the home was built. You can expand them, but that would entail building out from under the upper level of the house and is generally not suggested for more than a small room. So, if you cannot build out, you might consider contacting a plumber like the Waterman group in Toronto to help you build down.
Full disclosure, digging out the foundation of a basement can be a tedious process which can take a while and tends to be expensive depending on how much height you plan to add. The best way to plan this renovation is to decide how much height will be enough for your needs and bring in a few contractors to create estimates so you know what you’re getting into. The Waterman group can quote you the cost and supply you with a detailed estimate onsite so you know how much and how long the project will take. Luckily for most folks they can live without their basement for a few days or a week. The reasons for basement lowering and underpinning vary from the desire for more space, to strengthening and reinforcing the foundation of the home.
The process for lowering a basement entails the following steps:
- Removing the old floor
- Excavating the space to the desired depth
- Underpinning the foundation
- Applying sealant and waterproofing
- Laying the new slab
This is not a difficult project when summarized in the above format, but make no mistake there is some hard work that will go on. There’s no easy way to remove 50-60 cubic yards of dirt, not to mention the original slab that must be broken up and carted out of the basement as well. For this reason you will want to select a plumber that can bring in a team of workers to make this portion of the project go quickly. On average, a three-man team with a conveyor belt should be able to clear the space in about three days if they are working pretty steadily.
After the dirt and concrete have been removed, the process of supporting the home is called underpinning and entails adding steel beams to various points as the space is waterproofed and ultimately sealed tightly. Waterproofing in the Toronto area is a big deal due to the amount of moisture that can be present in that climate. After all has been sealed, your contractor can lay the new slab and move the supports as needed to lay the new foundation in sections.
The process of lowering a basement is not easy, but can be performed with excellent results if you hire an experienced plumbing contractor like Waterman to come in and efficiently complete the job without disrupting your daily life too much.