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Basement Underpinning Contractors Toronto

Where Quality & Good Price
Meet

Our Basement Underpinning Contractors in Toronto bring several benefits to your project. A variety of floor-lowering techniques are executed to the highest standard of quality.

 

  • Turn-key project Management & Planning

  • Years of Experience

  • Licensed & Insured Contractors

 

Get a FREE estimate today!

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Definition

What is Basement Underpinning?

Basement underpinning is a construction technique used to increase the depth and stability of an existing basement foundation. It involves excavating underneath the existing foundation and strengthening it by adding additional layers or replacing weak or damaged sections. Underpinning is typically done when the existing foundation is not strong enough to support the weight of the structure or when the basement needs to be expanded or renovated. It is a complex and extensive process that requires professional engineering and construction expertise.

Underpinning project in progress at 1 Toronto Street

Why Lower the Basement Floor?

Benefits of Basement Floor Lowering

Basement underpinning and floor lowering services come with a number of benefits. When lowering the basement floor you will enjoy the benefit of having more headroom in the basement, it will become a more functional space, foundation of your home will become stronger, while value of the property is likely to increase. These and other benefits are often talked about in Toronto GTA.

 

  • Increased ceiling height - by lowering the basement floor, you can increase the ceiling height, making the space feel larger and more open. This can greatly enhance the usability and functionality of the basement, allowing for better headroom and more comfortable living or workspace.

  • Expanded living space - lowering the basement floor can result in additional square footage, providing more usable living or storage space. This is particularly beneficial for homeowners looking to add more bedrooms, a home office, or recreational areas like a home theater or gym.

  • Improved natural light - lowering the basement floor can also allow for larger windows to be installed at ground level, which brings in more natural light. This can make the basement feel brighter and more inviting, reducing the need for artificial lighting during the day.

  • Enhanced property value - by increasing the usable space and improving the overall functionality and aesthetics of the basement, basement underpinning and floor lowering can increase the value of a property. This can be particularly advantageous if you are planning to sell your home in the future.

  • Structural stability - underpinning reinforces the foundation of the property, making it stronger and more stable. This can help prevent structural issues such as cracks, settling, or shifting, ensuring the long-term integrity of the building.

  • Waterproofing opportunities - when underpinning and lowering the basement floor, there is an opportunity to improve the waterproofing system. This can help prevent water intrusion, dampness, and mold growth, providing a healthier and more comfortable living environment.

 

Basement underpinning projects are complex, costly  and require professional expertise. In order to execute basement underpinning you need to consult professional contractors to design the project, get necessary permits and approvals etc.

Cost of Basement Underpinning in Toronto

How Much Does Basement Underpinning Cost?

Basement underpinning in Toronto costs from $79-$350 per square foot. Total cost of basement underpinning projects for a small residential home ranges from $10,000-$25,000, while it can cost up to $100,000 for basement underpinning of large homes and commercial properties.

More About Concrete Cost

Basement Ceiling Heigh Increases

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Should you Choose Underpinning or Bench Footing Toronto?

We Offer Some of the Best Residential & Commercial Concrete Repairs

Choosing between bench footing and basement underpinning it is important to keep some of the benefits & considerations in mind. Here is a couple pros & cons of bench footing to consider:

Bench Footing Pros:

  • Speed – bench footing is less time-consuming compared to basement underpinning.

  • Cost – is often more affordable compared to basement underpinning

  • Excavation – bench footing requires less excavation work

  • Common Walls – a good way to lower the floors of your basement if your neighbor won’t allow you to do the foundation work (needed with underpinning)

  • Enjoyment – basement floor lowering will turn your basement into a more enjoyable space.

Bench Footing Disadvantages:

  • Decreased Living Space – one of the disadvantages that in some cases makes people choose basement underpinning as a preferred floor lowering service is having less living space. Once the project is complete concrete benches will be left. While they can be functional or hidden inside furniture this will slightly reduce the amount of space.

  • Doesn’t Cover Crack Repairs – unlike basement underpinning, bench footing services won’t include crack repairs. However, if you need crack repairs included, we can easily include this in our estimate.

What to Expect from Basement Bench Footing Process?

Basement Underpinning Process – Summary

Overall, basement underpinning is a complex and intricate process that requires the expertise of professionals. It is crucial to work with experienced engineers and contractors who have the knowledge and skills to ensure the success and safety of the underpinning project. Underpinning process - example summary:
 

  • Evaluate the condition and stability of the existing foundation

  • Obtain necessary permits and approvals from local authorities

  • Install temporary supports to ensure the stability of the structure during the process

  • Excavate the soil underneath the existing foundation in small sections

  • Remove and replace weak or damaged sections of the foundation as needed

  • Add additional layers of concrete or steel reinforcement to strengthen the foundation

  • Monitor and adjust the temporary supports as the underpinning process progresses

  • Waterproof the new foundation to prevent water infiltration

  • Backfill the excavation and restore the surrounding landscape as necessary

  • Conduct post-construction inspections to ensure the structural integrity of the underpinned foundation.

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Property Assessment

The first step is to assess the condition and stability of the existing foundation. A professional engineer will examine the foundation, looking for signs of cracks, settling, or other structural issues and will provide the underpinning drawings.

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Temporary supports are installed to maintain the stability of the structure during the excavation and underpinning process. These supports may include shoring, cribbing, or jacks to hold up the building.

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As part of the underpinning process, it is important to improve the waterproofing system to prevent water intrusion. This may involve installing drainage systems, applying waterproof membranes, or adding insulation to the exterior of the foundation.

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Permits and Approvals

Before starting the underpinning process, it is important to obtain the necessary permits and approvals from local authorities. This ensures that the work meets safety and building code regulations.

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Foundation Reinforcement

If the existing foundation is weak or damaged, sections of it may need to be removed and replaced. Additional layers of concrete or steel reinforcement, such as new footings or pilasters, are added to strengthen the foundation.

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Backfilling and restoration

Once the underpinning is complete, the excavated area is backfilled with suitable material. The surrounding landscape is restored to its original condition, and any disturbed areas are repaired.

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Excavation

Excavation is done in small, controlled sections to minimize the strain on the structure. The soil is removed from underneath the existing foundation to create space for the underpinning work.

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Throughout the underpinning process, the temporary supports are carefully monitored and adjusted as needed. This ensures the stability of the structure and prevents any shifting or settling during the work.

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Post-construction inspections

After the underpinning process is finished, post-construction inspections are conducted to ensure the structural integrity of the underpinned foundation. These inspections help verify that the work has been done according to engineering specifications and building code requirements.

Recent Underpinning Projects

Use of Basement After Underpinning

After basement underpinning, the newly strengthened and lowered basement can be utilized in various ways, depending on the needs and preferences of the homeowner. Here are some common uses for a basement after underpinning:

 

  • Additional living space - one of the primary benefits of basement underpinning is the creation of additional living space. The lowered floor and increased ceiling height can transform the basement into a comfortable and functional living area. It can be used as a family room, entertainment area, home theater, game room, or even an extra bedroom.

  • Home office or workspace - with the rise of remote work and the need for dedicated workspaces, an underpinned basement can be converted into a home office or workspace. The ample space provides room for a desk, storage, and other office equipment, creating a quiet and productive environment.

  • Rental unit - if permitted by local regulations, an underpinned basement can be converted into a separate rental unit. This provides an opportunity for homeowners to generate additional income by renting out the basement as an apartment or studio. It typically requires the addition of amenities such as a separate entrance, bathroom, and kitchenette.

  • Storage area - the increased space in the underpinned basement can be utilized for storage purposes. It can serve as a dedicated storage area, allowing homeowners to declutter and organize their belongings. This is particularly beneficial for households with limited storage options in other areas of the home.

  • Home gym or fitness area - with its larger size and improved headroom, an underpinned basement makes an ideal location for a home gym or fitness area. It can accommodate various exercise equipment, yoga mats, and workout space, creating a convenient and private space for physical fitness.

  • Laundry room or utility space - the underpinned basement can house a laundry room or utility space, freeing up space on other levels of the home. It provides ample room for the installation of laundry appliances, storage cabinets, and utility fixtures.

  • Recreational area - the underpinned basement can be designed as a recreational area for various activities such as pool, ping-pong, or home bar setup. It offers enough space for entertainment and leisure activities.

 

Ultimately, the use of the underpinned basement depends on the specific needs and preferences of the homeowner. It is important to plan and design the space accordingly, considering factors such as lighting, ventilation, insulation, and any necessary functional requirements for the intended use.

Methods to add Basement Ceiling Height

Other Floor Lowering Techniques

Aside from basement underpinning, there are alternative techniques for lowering the basement floor. These methods may be suitable depending on the specific needs, constraints, and conditions of the existing structure:

 

  • Benching - benching, is also known as bench footing. In this technique, the floor is excavated in a series of steps or benches along the perimeter of the basement. The benches create a tiered effect, allowing for increased headroom while minimizing the need for extensive underpinning. Benching is typically suitable in situations where the existing foundation is in good condition and does not require significant reinforcement.

  • Combination of Underpinning and Benching - in some cases, a combination of underpinning and benching may be utilized. This technique involves underpinning the areas with lower headroom requirements and benching the remaining areas where additional ceiling height is desired. This approach can provide a balance between maintaining structural stability and increasing usable space.

 

It is essential to consult with a qualified engineer or contractor to evaluate the feasibility and suitability of these alternative techniques for your specific basement lowering project. They will assess the condition of the existing foundation, the desired outcome, and recommend the most appropriate method to achieve the desired results.

Basement benching in progress
  • How much concrete leveling cost vs concrete replacement?
    Concrete leveling normally costs about 25%-50% less compared to concrete replacement. Exact price will depend on the specifics of the property, type of concrete that needs to be repaired or replaced and other requirements of the project.
  • How long will concrete repair last?
    Concrete repair normally lasts between five to ten years, however this can vary greatly from property to property depending on how frequently concrete is used, exposure to the nature and other factors.
  • How much does asphalt driveway cost vs concrete driveway?
    Asphalt driveway in Toronto typically costs $3-$5 per square foot, compared to concrete driveway at $5-$7 per square foot. However, in the long run concrete will likely last longer, require less maintenance. Concrete is also considered more durable and will likely last longer.
  • How much does an average concrete driveway replacement cost?
    You can expect to pay between $5-$20 per square foot of concrete driveway. An average total cost of concrete driveway construction in Toronto ranges from $3,000 to $20,000+.
  • Can I pour concrete myself?
    In some cases you may be able to pour the concrete slab yourself (provided that you don’t need a license or permit in your location). However, this is not recommended as there is a limited time you have before the concrete cures. If not done properly, your concrete slab may crack, or have limited durability, which will require concrete repair or replacement.
  • How big of a concrete slab can I pour myself?
    In some cases a diy project may be possible to pour a relatively small concrete slab (for example for bbq). However, larger projects like concrete sidewalks, driveways or even patio concrete slab pouring will require professional help. This is primarily because you have limited time to finish the concrete properly. If not done correctly, your concrete may not be as durable, will crack or break. In addition, in some locations and some projects may require permits or a license. Always speak to an expert before making decisions about concrete projects.

Basement Underpinning Service Areas

Concrete Repair Toronto & Beyond

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Work Process

How it Works

Basement waterproofing services include a variety of services of different complexity. Get one of our experts on the phone and we will be happy to recommend the best solution for your specific scenario.

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More complex projects require on-site estimates.

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We sign the papers to make our work official.

Paperwork

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We do the work, you get results. Covered by warranty.

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