Could You Expand Your Basement Downwards?

Have you ever heard of the term "underpinning?" This refers to a process where engineers and builders carry out work to support the foundations of a property, and it is often used when the soil has shifted or other geological events have occurred. Yet, underpinning can sometimes be used strategically and not just as a response to an emergency. Why should you look at this approach if you want to make better use of an existing basement?

Opening up Your Basement

Many older homes have a basement in place, but the owners may not use it as access is not practical, it may be in a poor state of repair and, crucially, the headspace is too small. If you're in this position, you may wish that you could use that area to help you deal with your growing family or even to create a small, self-contained area that you could rent out.

Expanding Downwards

In this situation, it may well be possible to lower the foundation of the home and thereby create some additional and liveable space below. Much will depend on the geology, the underlying base and room to work, but it is perfectly possible to achieve all of this while your family remains in place above.

How It's Done

To begin the process, you need to talk with contractors who are experts in this area and tell them your plans. Once you have agreed, they'll then be able to put in place a process that can support the existing structure through concrete underpins while getting rid of the appropriate soil or rock below. They will also consider utility pipes and other access points and ensure that the property's load-bearing walls remain protected.

Permits and Process

Your contractor will also work with the local authority to ensure that they have the right permits in place. When the appropriate amount of space has been cleared, they will also work with a builder to install the right type of flooring, moisture management and utility connections. This should make the space perfectly liveable and could transform the overall property.

Always Work With the Experts

Remember, home underpinning is not a straightforward task and requires a great deal of expertise and a good deal of planning. Always ensure that you bring in contractors who have performed this type of expansion before and who know all that is required with this kind of work. To learn more, contact a home underpinning service.