Underpinning – Angle of Repose

Underpinning Project

Considering all the Angles

When you decide to get your property underpinned your contractor needs to have the expertise to deal with all the complexities of the project. City Wide Group has the experience and knowledge required. They have more than 55 years in the industry and ensure their estimators and technicians are fully trained on the most up to date technologies. They are certified and insured. So, when you decide you want more room in the basement of your building, call City Wide Group first!

Underpinning is the process of lowering the floor of the foundation of your property in order to provide more headspace! That almost sounds contradictory however, you can’t lift the building up but you can dig down to get more space. Whether it is for a commercial property or your own home, it is definitely not a do-it-yourself project and there are plenty of factors to consider.

Residential Projects

Your City Wide Group representative will have a look at your foundation and work with you to determine how much space you need. Often it is three to four feet. Soil will be removed so they will install conveyor system to take the soil out. The load-bearing walls will be supported with vertical jacks and horizontal beams to maintain the integrity of your home’s structure. Then all the infrastructure supports will be disconnected: furnace, boiler and water heater and under-floor plumbing.

Prior to excavation in your basement, they will follow the sequence of underpinning pockets outlined by the assigned structural engineer. They will also need the services of an engineer to ensure that the proximity of any other structures – defined to include buildings, hydro, telecom, water and sewage pipes. Most municipalities require a building permit for this type of work and part of that permit process will necessitate the approval of an engineer to certify that the project will not affect the Angle of Repose. The project must also adhere to the Ontario Building Code which require certification of plans and documents.

The Angle of Repose, in layman’s terms, is a measurement in degrees from the maximum slope where loose soil or gravel will not slide. If you dig around the base of the ground impacting this angle, you can cause serious collapse and damage. A geotechnical engineer will need to be called in to check the subsurface conditions to ensure the project will not impact the stability, strength and rigidity of the structures surrounding the area.

Commercial Projects

If the property you want to have underpinned houses any kind of commercial business, there are additional concerns such as minimizing the impact on your business or that of your tenants. You may need, for example, to have hoarding set up to keep your customers, employees or tenants safe during the work. Depending on the size of the project you may even have to obtain road closures around your site during the work.

Making sure you have architectural and engineering advice on the Angle of Repose for your building underpinning project will be key to obtaining the necessary municipal permits for a commercial project too. Many commercial buildings that require underpinning are older and often have neighbouring businesses nearby.

Considerations

No matter whether your project is residential or commercial, underpinning can provide you with added space. You might want to renovate and finish your home’s basement for living space. You might want to add offices or even additional parking spaces in a commercial building. It is also an opportunity to upgrade your plumbing, wiring, and HVAC systems. You should also include waterproofing the foundation which will ensure protection against future water damage. City Wide Group can help you create the space you want while ensuring the integrity of your project and the near structures.

The City Wide Group takes pride in being a family-owned company operating in the Greater Toronto Area, Niagara Peninsula, Southern Ontario including the Tri-Cities. They don’t take short cuts and they treat your property like their own. Winners of a Consumer Choice Award for 23 consecutive years, customer satisfaction is key to their success.