We all desire to have as much usable space inside our homes as possible.
Despite the fact that American houses have been gradually increasing in size over the past few decades, many homeowners today still feel the urge to expand their homes. Lowering your basement is one of the best ways to get more livable space around the house.
The two main techniques used to lower a basement are benching and underpinning. Despite the benefits accrued from these methods, it’s important to hire an experienced basement lowering contractor to ensure that all the structural adjustments are done correctly.
Here’s a concise guide to lowering your basement:
- Break the concrete floor
The first step to lowering your basement should involve breaking down the flooring. Having the right tools − a jackhammer or sledgehammer − is essential when performing this operation. These tools can either be bought from a hardware shop or rented. However, if you’re using a competent foundation repair contractor to lower your basement, they’ll cater to all tools and accessories needed for the job. Underpinning not only helps create more usable space around the house, but it also fortifies the foundation by rectifying any cracks or holes that may have existed previously.
- Dig to the desired depth
After breaking down the concrete floor and carefully removing the chippings, it’s now time to dig down. You’ll probably find some gravel that was used to fill up the foundation. Remove this gravel and continue digging until you’ve reached the soil. This work can be quite labor-intensive. Once at this level, ensure you keep digging until the desired depth. It’s also important to dig 10 inches deeper than your preferred floor level to allow room for backfilling and laying of the new foundation. Once you’re done digging, Place 5 inches of gravel and level out the surface.
- Lay the concrete
Once the gravel is spread out evenly, get some concrete and lay about 4 inches of it to create a level floor. The height of your floor should be almost similar to that of the footing. Many residential homeowners prefer benching to underpinning because it’s quicker and less expensive to complete. However, the benching method doesn’t add as much living space as underpinning. Ensure you talk to your contractor about which basement lowering technique is best for you. Some of the factors that could affect this decision include your home’s sewage system, soil conditions and your allocated budget.
- Conduct basement waterproofing
Waterproofing is necessary to prevent moisture from seeping into your new basement space. Your contractor may install a dewatering channel that collects all the seepage and directs it towards the sump pump. Covering your gravel with a vapor barrier also helps to waterproof your basement. Impressively, lowering your basement floor can be done within a few weeks depending on your schedule. Such massive home projects can’t simply be turned into DIYs − you need to engage the expert services of a professional foundation repair contractor.
The benefits of lowering your basement are too remarkable to be swept under the rug. Better yet, this process is cost-effective so you won’t have to dent your wallet.