When it comes to a basement underpinning renovation, it’s either to stabilize the home’s structural integrity or to simply add more living space. Whatever the reason, basement underpinning will ultimately increase the value of your home with a great return on investment.
Preserves Structural Integrity
Basement underpinning is necessary when the existing foundation has shifted so substantially that it can no longer safely support the house. In some cases, the original support was inadequate for the area’s climate, soil condition or type. Also, it could be due to all or part of the original foundation resting on marginal land with a bearing capacity insufficient to hold up the home. In other cases, structural integrity deficiencies are due to inexperienced contractors whose poor work you’re still paying for.
Early warning signs:
- Changes in the shape of the walls(Sinking, bulging or sagging, etc.)
- Structural cracks
- Discrepancies in the alignment of windows and doors
In all instances of underpinning, professional assessment and design are required and the work must be done promptly before further damage occurs. Underpinning the foundation walls will stabilize the home for its lifetime.
- Underpinning your foundation opens the hidden mechanics of the home and makes them accessible for inspection, correction and improvement
- As underpinning is usually undertaken in older homes, there is old plumbing, electrical and insulation systems that can be replaced or upgraded with modern technologies. All these can be brought up to Building Code and to contemporary standards.
- Changes will have to be made to the waterproofing systems along with the underpinning so the life of the useable, dry space is prolonged.
- Long-term savings in energy costs
- Improved foundation strength
- Increases home value
Underpinning dramatically alters the usability of your basement by adding up to 50 per cent of the available living space in your home!
History of Basement Underpinning
The vast majority of basements were originally meant to be practical spaces for coal storage, oil tanks, and cold cellars to preserve produce. Later, dingy laundries and wood paneled play rooms or rec rooms became more common as the basement began to be thought of as living space.
Ceiling height and the amount of sunlight eventually arose as concerns as succeeding generations became taller thanks to access to proper nutrition. These obstacles were solved with underpinning. It brought more headroom and made basements attractive spaces to relax without that suffocating, cramped feeling that old cellars stir.
Remove Unnecessary Walls
In the process of opening the basement for underpinning, unnecessary walls can be removed and bearing walls supported in different ways so the basement is no longer characterized by small, dark rooms. The endless possibilities include using your basement as an office space, an extra bedroom, entertainment or home theatre, spa, a nanny or in-law suite, rental unit, and as added storage space.
If you’re ready to get the most out of your home with a basement underpinning renovation, give City Wide Group a call today at 416.283.5500 or fill out our form for a free estimate.