With the cost of housing increasing each year, building code restrictions, and scarcity of available land in Toronto and GTA, basement underpinning has become a leading trend and is considered a great option to add value to your house. Basements in many older homes in Toronto were meant to be used as storage rooms and cellars and not as living space. These days, such utilitarian basements are no longer sufficient for family needs and are considered unpractical and old-fashionable.
Smarter home owners recognize that they can make improvements and expand their living space by turning an unusable area of an old and damp basement into a bright and livable space with a brand new recreation room, home gym, a play room for kids, a private apartment for your adult children or virtually any other use that your budget permits.
What is Basement Underpinning?
Basement underpinning is the process of reinforcing an existing foundation or lowering the basement floor to increase the ceiling height. To do that, the soil below a crawlspace and a concrete slab are removed and the basement floor and the soil below are excavated out. After that, new concrete footers, walls, and floor are added.
There are three methods of basement underpinning and their use is determined by the purpose of the project:
- Traditional mass method for shallow underpinning
- Beam and base method that incorporates concrete beams for additional support
- Mini-piled underpinning with steel support piles that rest on the stable ground
- Sectional excavation when non-shrink grout is used to fill gaps between old and new concrete
All these processes require professional expertise. Tornado Plumbing team is trained in every underpinning method and can finish the job right in a safe and cost-effective way.
Advantages of Basement Underpinning
Basement underpinning is a desirable option for many homeowners in Toronto because of a number of benefits that they can get:
- Improve structural integrity of your home
Underpinning process will strengthen the structure of your home and increase its lifespan. It’s especially important in areas with extreme weather conditions such as drought which is frequent in Toronto and southern Ontario. Except for extreme climate, foundation damage can be also a result of aging or caused by soil type. No matter what your reason for underpinning was, the new foundation is sure to strengthen the entire home and lessen the risk of severe damage.
- Expand the available space in your home
Homeowners who need extra space can use crawl space area that was used primarily for storage and mechanics instead of building above-ground additions. Being a time-saving and cost-effective alternative, lowering your basement can potentially give you up to 50% more usable area.
- Uncover hidden problems with mechanics
When lowering your basement floor, you will uncover hidden plumbing, insulation, electrical, and HVAC systems. In this way, they will become easily accessible for inspections, repairs, and upgrades. This is especially important if you live in an older house because now you will be able to modernize your home by replacing old electrical, plumbing, insulation, and waterproofing systems and increasing energy saving throughout a year. That can help reduce your heating and cooling bills.
- Have healthier and drier home
Older basements may have cracks and leaks that allow water seepage. Basement moisture problems lead to mold growth and musty odors. Lots of types of mold can pose a health hazard to homeowners and during the underpinning process, you will be able to repair any problem areas. You will be able to install waterproofing components such as sump pump and improve the air quality in the added room by keeping it dry and get rid of mildew and mold.
- Add more value to your home
Remodeling your basement costs money but you will get a great return on investment when selling your home. Basement underpinning will add more living space and increase the value of your home up to 10% because homes with finished basements appeal to a greater number of potential buyers. When you home includes a trendy entertainment room, media center, game room, home office, you will be able to sell your home at a higher price and more quickly.
These advantages make the basement underpinning one of the best and cost-effective ways to add more usable space to your existing house.
If your home is like many older homes, and you want to make remodeling and finish your basement to fit your modern lifestyle, basement underpinning may be a perfect solution. When underpinning is required, it important to contact experienced professionals like Tornado Plumbing that have a record of completed jobs before starting your project. Underpinning is one of the services that we offer to homeowners in Toronto and GTA. If you want to transform your basement into a place that your family can enjoy, call us for a free estimate and on-site inspection.