Underpinning, also known as basement lowering, often includes lowering the basement floor, adding floor drains, a laundry room, insulation, stud wall partitions, waterproofing, reinforcing the foundation, and sometimes a basement walkout and the cost and time it takes will depend on exactly what work is being carried out.
Methods of Underpinning
There are several different underpinning methods that can be used to lower your basement, the method used depends on your foundation, soil type, height increase you desire as well as your underpinning budget.
You can dig a basement as deep as you please, but of course, more work is involved the deeper you go. if you’d like to go further than eight feet then the foundation walls may need to be reinforced. But before you get started, drawings and permits need to be taken care of. In general, the structural engineer will take care of these and obtaining permits may take as long as two weeks or even more. The cost of the permits will depend on the job’s linear footage and this will also include the drain and plumbing permits.
Finding a Qualified Underpinning Contractor
It’s also important that you take the time to find a properly-licensed contractor who is specifically insured for underpinning work since this particular job isn’t covered by the company’s general liability insurance. Be sure to view a copy of the insurance certificate and it should be for a minimum of $2 million. It should also include your name and address. When searching for a contractor, you may want to ask for references and to see a portfolio of their previous work.
How Long Does Underpinning Take To Complete?
During the underpinning process, there can sometimes be an unforeseen issue or two along the way, especially with an older house. If this is the case, it will typically add a bit of time to the project. A typical underpinning job will usually take four to six weeks to perform. However, this often doesn’t include the finishing work. Other factors that will influence the length of the job will include the specific conditions of the job and the engineering details.
For example, water lines or meters may need to be moved or installed as well as electrical panels, HVAC systems and basement stairs may need to be rebuilt or extended. Outside waterproofing is usually recommended as it offers better protection and that’s why it costs more than interior waterproofing. A backup sump pump system is also recommended for water removal in case of power failures.
Predicting the exact length of time for a basement underpinning project isn’t something that’s easy to do. For more information on underpinning jobs please feel free to contact us at your convenience at Nusite Contractors in Toronto. We’re fully experienced, licensed, certified and insured when it comes to contracting work. We’ll be able to provide you with a better estimate on the length of the job after visiting your home for a free, no-obligation inspection. In addition, we’ll take care of all of the pre-planning such as drawings and obtaining the necessary permits.