Many older homes in Toronto have leaky basements with low ceilings, uneven floors and moldy walls that are little more than cellars. Their owners often only go there to check their boilers, or store something they’ll never use again. That’s a great pity, because they never know the potential that they wasted as they closed the door behind them.
These days, basement lowering specialists use modern building methods to dig out cellar floors and convert dead space into living space, with good headroom at a fraction of the cost of attic conversions. The common method is known as underpinning, or basement lowering. They use technology to preserve the home above from any risk of damage as they go about their work. When their job is complete, they have added considerable value to their client’s home at a fraction of the cost.
Five Reasons to Do a Basement Conversion
- Create More Living Space – There’s hardly a home that wouldn’t benefit from an extra room. Teenagers suddenly need their privacy. Mom or dad decide to work from home. The family is growing up and needs an informal place to meet, or at least a place where the kids can play without driving anyone crazy. There’s no end of reasons. It just costs too much to move.
- Add Value to Your Investment – There’s no doubt that a home is still one of your safest investments, notwithstanding the fact that the real estate market’s taken a knock lately here in Toronto, but it always rebounds with a bang. It’s important not to over-capitalize. Digging out a basement costs significantly less than attic conversions and home extensions. This means greater profit when you sell someday.
- Create a Healthier Environment – Neglected basements accumulate dirt, damp and mold. Nobody in their right mind would leave the spare-room looking like that upstairs. If they did, they would be at risk of respiratory infections. The same applies when there’s mold and decay on the far side of the door leading to the basement.
- Benefit from Extra Income – As time passes, kids leave home, and retirement age is reached, many Canadian’s suffer income contraction as they enter a new phase. There are always clean and decent youngsters looking to establish their first base. This brings income that makes holidays affordable again. While there are hoops to jump through in order to have a legal basement apartment in Toronto, it can be done.
- Achieve the Impossible Dream – Many of us have “secret hobbies” that we enjoyed when we were younger. These could include dressmaking, building model cars and boats or even something more artistic. A lack of dedicated space often holds us back from rediscovering them. Dig out the cellar, and you’re on your way to doing what you love….or even replacing your day job one day!
A Word of Caution
A cellar or basement with low head height still bears the full weight of the home above it. This is definitely not something to be done by amateurs as you can see from the news lately here in Toronto. I the hands of professionals, it’s a safe and painless process.
There’s good reason to hire a foundation specialist who also understands the importance of effective ground-water management. They can ensure that there’s no structural danger at any time, and that the living space above is unaffected while the job is on