The Basics of Underpinning Your Basement

 - by Leon Tsebro

If you are renovating your house you may have come across the term underpinning, and you may be wondering what it is. In a nutshell it is a constructional procedure which is used to reinforce the foundation of the house. Regardless if it is required because of a poor quality of work or because of degradation of the material, underpinning is very important to support the weight of your home. Naturally, one should take a larger insurance when this job is in process of being complete.

UnderpinThis procedure increases the functional space of your house, which raises the price and the value of your home. An increased amount of living or storing space can make your life more comfortable and convenient, if you chose to live in your home. If you are planning to be selling your house, this extra space can significantly increase the financial value of your house, which is sometimes up to 10%. Alternatively this new space may become a source of income if you chose to rent it out.

Underpinning is used by contractors to deepen the basement to create a full-height basement, or to create a high ceiling for your basement. Basement lowering is when a contractor transforms a crawlspace or storage-space into a full-height basement. Simply excavating the floor would affect the balance of the foundation, causing damage to the building. To avoid this problem, contractors dig under to create a new foundation. Besides physical damage to one’s person, it would take a large amount of money to fix the structural damage caused to this house. Because of the dangers of this procedure it is best to trust this task to the professionals.

The process itself starts when an experienced, licensed structural engineer to prepare the proper documents and grant approval for the project. After this a small section of the existing foundation is removed to gain access underground, replacing it with load-bearing joist. Layers of soil are removed in 3 stages to reach the desired elevation; shuttered reinforced concrete is used to support the exposed sections of foundation. After the three stages are complete, and balance of the basement underpinning is set, the new plumbing is installed; the interior drainage system must be installed to make the property waterproof. The floor should then be laid and the new interior should be built.

For more information about basement underpinning, and a free consultation, contact Zetta Construction.