Basement Floor/Slab Lowering?...
I am a new home owner and somewhat compromised on the the basement... It is an older house with a stone foundation, and unfinished. The ceiling height is a bit low. But I would like to eventually finish the basement. i.e. Rec Room, Bath, and other living space...
So my question is if its viable to remove the existing slab and lower the floor to create more ceiling height to make the space more livable?
If anyone has gone through this experience and can give some insight on the process and costs involved or knows of some good resources for information, that would be great.
How many support posts under there?
What condition are they in?
What kind of footer piers are they sitting on?
If you dig around them, could they topple over and collapse?
Could the footer cave in while you dig the inside out?
These are all questions that a seasoned pro would ask before he started.
I know I do this a lot but this is another case where an engineer would be very beneficial. You should NEVER alter the integrity of a home without getting a professional plan and following it to the letter. At the very least, your family will have someone to sue when your home collapses on you.
I would follow Square Eyes advice and go the engineered route.
Your soil conditions , land slope and bearing points all need to be considered.
Maybe someone here from from Canada has some good sources. I would check my local lumber yard and see who they recommend for this. Get an engineer experienced with this type of work, you end up with more solutions this way.
I've essentially seen this done to many homes when I lived in Wisconsin where basements and crawlspaces were prevalent. There were companies that would make the partial crawlspace into a full basement sometimes even deeper that the existing basement. This is not much different than replacing a basement wall that was cracked or heaved by frost. If done to a whole house it probably wouldn't be much different than what a house mover would have to do-- watch those MegaMover episodes on TV.
So the simple answeer is that it could be done but I agree with SquareEye in that you will need a professional to completely do the job which may end up to be cost prohibitive--- unless of course you are attached to the house or location and won't move...
I havent done it myself, but the previous homeowner did the exact same thing on my 1926 house. It seemed to work out fine.
One piece of advice. While your doing it, go as deep as you possibly can. The one mistake my house has is that they should have gone another foot deeper IMO. In the scheme of things, one more foot of digging isnt much for what you get.
I suggest you figure it like this. Figure out what ceiling height you want at the lowest part of the ceiling, usually under the support beam, then add a foot more depth. Its easy to lower a ceiling in the future if you want, but once the concrete is poured, its hard to go deeper.
Oh, one more thing to consider. If your house is like mine, I have a 6" x 8" wood beam with several support poles. If you can afford it, replace that now with steel. You can usually get rid of all or most of the support columns and it will make your life easier when your trying to plan the rec room space.
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