Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions we receive about underpinning, basement lowering and waterproofing. If you don’t see the question you have, please call or contact us, and we’ll gladly answer your question. In fact, we may even include your question in this list.

How deep can we dig out the basement?

There are two determining factors for the depth your basement can be dug out. Firstly, the engineer will look at size of the foundation wall and the distance from finished grade to the top of new slab and calculate distance permitted. The next determining factor is the height at which the main drain enters the home. This will determine the height. The only time this is not important is if a sewage ejector is installed.

How much does it normally cost to do underpinning?

The base cost of underpinning is usually priced per linear foot. The cost, on average, to excavate two feet deep is between $400 – $450 per linear foot. 1ft. Bench footing averages between $270 and $300 per linear foot, with 2ft. bench footing at $400 per linear foot. That means you measure the length and width of the home (each side), add them together and multiply x price per linear foot. Therefore a home that is 50 feet long and 20 feet wide (50 + 50 + 20 + 20) = 140 feet x $300 = $42,000.00

How long does it normally take to complete this type of project?

The average basement lowering project takes approximately 4 to 6 weeks to complete.

Who takes care of the permits and permissions?

At MGC Underpinning, we do all that we can to ensure that your basement lowering or home renovation project runs smoothly, from start to finish, with as little inconvenience to you as possible. That’s why we take care of all the paper-work. We look after getting all the proper permits, so you don’t have to.

Are you insured?

Yes, we are completely insured for this type of work.

Do you have references with whom we can check?

Absolutely. All you need to do is ask and we shall gladly provide you with references for the underpinning / basement lowering projects we have completed. We also invite you to check us out on the renovation services rating site HomeStars for Toronto foundations and basement renovation. HomeStars is a free service that lets consumers find the best reputable contractors and renovators by searching its extensive database of companies and browsing thousands of customer reviews.

For how long have you been in this business?

Maximum General Contracting Inc. has been in the business of underpinning and basement lowering since 1998.

Do I need to waterproof on the outside?

If you are planning to keep the property for a long time, it is recommended that you do the waterproofing on the outside, due to the better protection it affords in the long-run, however, waterproofing from the interior is far less expensive and is the usual choice for those planning to renovate and sell the property.


What is the normal cost for waterproofing from the outside?

On average, for a four to five foot dig-down to the footings, pricing ranges from $120 to $150 per linear foot. If digging down from 6 to 8 feet, the price ranges between $160 and $180 per linear foot.

How long does it take to obtain the necessary permit(s)?

Depending upon the city in which the permit is being issued, and the engineer involved, it is normally around a 2 week wait.


Do I need to get a sump pump installed?

It is always recommended that you have a backup system for pumping out water in case of a power outage. Two possible backup systems would be one battery backup and one water pressure backup in order to prevent flooding of the basement.