In recent years, basement lowering has increasingly gained popularity as a way to increase living space or to create a basement rental unit. Prospective clients are always pleasantly surprised to learn how much increased useable living space can be created when lowering a basement and underpinning their home.
Basement underpinning refers to the reinforcement of an existing foundation. It may be required to bring an old foundation up to code, or if the basement has degraded over time. The choice of a homeowner to hire a basement underpinning company may also come about if they would like to have the ceiling raised in their basement. In this case, the basement underpinning may be referred to as "basement lowering" as the basement floor will be dug out and replaced at a lower level, increasing the overall ceiling height. Underpinning is an extremely complex job that should only be attempted by professionals. For this difficult home renovation, it is vital to hire a licensed contractor experienced in underpinning, like Maximum General Contracting. Working in small sections around the basement perimeter, earth is excavated, footings are poured at depths lower than the original, and then the wall is rebuilt in stages. Care must be made to ensure that as the load is transferred it is evenly supported to protect the integrity of the home. When the deeper foundation walls are finished, the basement floor can be safely dug out to create a higher ceiling depth.
Another way to increase the ceiling height in a basement is through a process called bench footing or bench-pinning. This type of basement lowering is less expensive than lowering the floor through underpinning and is quicker to do, but it has the disadvantage of reducing the basement's square footage of useable living space. With bench-footing, a new foundation is built inside the existing foundation, creating a perimeter wall or bench around the basement which decreases the size of the basement by several feet. As with basement underpinning, bench-footing (bench pinning) is not a home renovation project for the do-it-yourself. This is a job where you want to hire a professional contractor who specialized in basement lowering. Maximum General Contracting is a top-rated Toronto general contractor that has years of experience underpinning basements and repairing foundations in the GTA.