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Bringing Height to Your Basement Remodel

September 27, 2018

Thinking about a basement remodel and need a little headroom? There are a number of reasons to gain some height in your basement. Be it to make a legal basement suite or a more comfortable primary living space. Whatever your reason, I have two basement remodel strategies for you that we have successfully compleated many times. These strategies are major construction with a high degree of difficulty. Sorry DIY guys.

Let’s Dig down

The first piece of business is figuring out how deep the foundation goes below the floor slab. You can figure this out by finding a spot (preferably two) to dig on the outside of your home and keep digging until you find the foundation footing.  The top of the foundation footing is the lowest you can install the bottom of a new floor slab. Providing that a new lowered slab will meet your height requirements and city bylaws then you can move onto the difficult part

basement remodel

An opening in the foundation wall for the excavator

The difficult part entails a complete basement demolition including the concrete pad. First of all, the foundation walls are maintained, modified or replaced with beams (see engineer). Next start digging the basement by hand or excavator (if you can bring one in). At the same time, determine if you will lower your existing exterior drain tile system (very evasive and rarely practical) or install an interior weeping tile system.

Once you’ve got to your desired depth, install the interior weeping tile system, prep and pour the pad and install strip footings (per structural engineer). Upon completing the concrete work, you can begin the process of reinstalling mechanical, framing walls, plumbing, electrical etc.

In part 2 I’ll explain the system which involves lifting/raising the house from its foundation

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