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Basement Lowering and Underpinning

Basement Underpinning

What is Basement Underpinning?

Basement underpinning is a method used for strengthening and stabilizing the basement foundation of an existing building, increase basement foundation depth to achieve more living space by lowering basement floor or repairing faulty foundations.

Underpinning basement might be the process if you plan to increase the height of your existing basement or crawl space to achieve more living area at the comfort of your house, add stories to an existing structure or when the foundation has been damaged and need repair.

Excavate sections in sequence to a per-established depth below the footing and place concrete on each pit. Repeat the method until the entire affected basement foundation has been underpinned.

There are two common methods by which the basement floor of your home can be lowered:

Underpinning Foundation Walls

Traditional underpinning, the mass concrete underpinning method is nearly 100 years in age, and the protocol has not changed. This underpinning method strengthens an existing structure’s foundation by digging boxes by hand underneath and sequentially pouring concrete in a strategic order. The final result is basically a foundation built underneath the existing foundation. This underpinning method is generally applied when the existing foundation is at a shallow depth, however, the method still works very well even at fifty feet (fifteen meters) deep. The method has not changed since its inception with its use of utilitarian tools such as shovels and post hole diggers. Heavy machinery is not called for in this method due to the tight nature of the boxes being dug. The process is labour intensive and shall be performed for experimented contractors.


The excavation is performed beside the foundation wall instead as below. A stable soil slope is maintained on the side of existing footing and a steel reinforced concrete bench is poured on top of the slope. This procedure is less expensive than underpinning but leaves a bench around the interior perimeter of the basement.


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