Underpinning is a technique used to lower the basement floor. This can be a necessity due to foundation cracks or just an optional way to create more space in a house. Also, underpinning can be a great way of adding extra space to a home that may not have the space for expansion.
Why You May Need Underpinning
There may be times when underpinning is needed to keep a house structurally safe. The foundation of a house can shift over time, and this can cause cracks which is a sign of a faulty foundation that could use new reinforcement. If left untreated, it can have a negative effect on the walls, causing cracks and further foundation damage that may leave the home unsafe.
It is also a great option for those wanting to expand but do not have enough space on their lot to create a new addition. By underpinning a basement, you can have an almost new living space that you can turn into any type of room. Not only does it essentially add height to your home, but it also adds value.
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Underpinning is not something you should attempt yourself. You should always leave underpinning to professionals due to the demanding work involved and safety concerns. Swift Renos offers a professional underpinning service led by experts for those in the Greater Toronto area.
The process involves lowering the basement floor by forming and pouring new concrete footing underneath the existing footing (if there is any). The depth that can be dug depends on each circumstance but usually 8ft finished height is doable in Toronto, and our structural engineers, which Swift Renos will provide you with, will be able to advise on that. Factors will include the size of the foundation wall and the height of the main drain for the home.
However, older houses do not always have this straightforward process, but instead they may be laid with bricks. This can be a problem since bricks tend to crumble and a structural engineer will need to determine the right steps to take.
We will also help with the drawings and city permits that may be needed. Although this can sound like a stressful process, it does not have to be by any means with help from us. Our engineers and architects are experts in their field and fully insured! There are things that can go wrong in the underpinning process, but our experts are aware of this and are prepared to sort any issues that come their way.
After permits are out, to start with underpinning, first you have to shore and support existing joists, then soil is dug in sections from under the footings, formed, and new concrete footings are poured. The dirt from the outside is always pushing in, so if all the dirt was removed, the walls would become very unstable, crack, and cave in. This is why we do it in sections to ensure the walls stay structurally sound and safe.
After the underpin is done, the process does not end there. The next step involves weeping tiles, waterproofing, plumbing and pouring a concrete slab, framing, electrical, drywall…basically all the things you need to create a sufficient living space.
Waterproofing is particularly important to basements that are below ground. This involves using sealant materials that stop water from penetrating into the foundation to stop damage such as cracks from happening in the future. Sometimes a drain or sump pump my need to be installed. Swift Renos can provide all of the trades needed, so there is no need to stress about finding different companies for different projects.
Our tradesmen work together bringing their expertise to the table, making sure there is no shortcuts in the process and everything is done in the order it should be to ensure a safe process and leave you with a new and improved space to do whatever you want with. If you are left with a small space but are keen to expand, consider underpinning. Swift Renos offers underpinning in Toronto and the surrounding areas.
We are with you from the very start of the project to the end, with no need for subcontractors and no waiting around for tradesmen. Swift Renos also takes care of all of the paperwork, including permits, giving you one less thing to worry about.
We provide everything you need for a quick service that does not cut on quality. There’s no need to make this process more stressful for you. Leave major work like this to us. If you are concerned about your house structure or want to look into how you can utilize the space as something exciting, get in touch, and we’ll offer some advice.