Adding a Basement to Existing 2 Level Home on 4ft Crawl

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Posted by: from Surrey
4/6/2013 at 2:01:44 AM

Looking for information, tips, references, links, do's, don'ts...

Is a contractor the best place to start or an architect? Have approached municipality & house-raising company, is the next step getting a home inspection on the foundation to see if it's even possible? What about testing the water table, soil etc?

Currently a 2 level 2190 sq ft home on 4 ft crawl, with not enough space for a young family of 5. Love the location & lot, just need more space!

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Date/Time4/6/2013 at 9:09:08 AM

Hello Brenda,

We normally recommend getting a contractor that has a design team or access to one. We find this route tends to stream line the design phase, beause the designer always have one way do the work and the contractor normally has a similar but different approach. And at the end of the day the contractor need to complete the work, not the designer.

If you can find a good comtractor that has done this work before, they should be able to review your existing conditions and let you know if your project is possible or not.

A simple way to know if you can have a basement in your location without any excavation is to look at your neighbours, if any of them have a basement you can to.

Their will be several different option depending on your existing foundation detail.

If you have an existing masonry or concrete foundation you may just need to underpin it.

If you have grade footings or pier foundation you will need to support the house then install a foundation.

I hope this helps a little.


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Michael from Nothing But Bathrooms in Toronto
Date/Time4/6/2013 at 9:47:06 AM

If more space is what you need is an addition an option. Add 15 feet to the back of the house? Because an underpin/lowering of the basement is by far the most costly way to add space to a home. I understand sometimes due to lot size it's the only way to add space though.

I did an underpin on a home last year. What a job. Couldn't get any machines in had to hire help and have the basement dug by hand. Lowered the basement 2 feet and one section of it 6 feet ( was a crawl space )

I agree with previous. Ask the neighbors if they have basements then there is no reason you can't.

Adding a Basement to Existing 2 Level Home on 4ft Crawl
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Date/Time4/6/2013 at 5:23:41 PM

Hi we have added basement, another floor. With a complete basement still intact. Your best option is a general contractor license. And a sructual engineer which if they license like us they will have access of one on speed dial.

Don't let anyone try to convince you this will of great expense. You are under the category of addition. If you look at our portfolio you will see a pic with red door and the next one is construction of new house at wood frame. While I did this there was a complete 60000.00 basement reno completed.

Steve Chandra

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Date/Time4/25/2013 at 1:12:00 PM

I would recommend you start with a company that can look after all aspects of the project. If you are simply raising the house and installing a new foundation then most house raising contractors can look after the entire project.

If you are planning on other renovations in addition then a general contractor experienced in all aspects of the project may be your best starting point.

Henry Schmied

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Brenda in Surrey
Date/Time4/26/2013 at 1:51:00 PM

Thanks for yor replies everyone, looks like the municipality doesn't allow us to raise our house anyway, so we've bought a basement home a few streets over to accommodate us.

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