Adding Square Footage to Your Home Through Underpinning Services

Posted on: 1 September 2017

In the past, basements were not thought of as actual living spaces. In fact, they acted as a storage area for timber and coal to heat the home and get homeowners through the biting cold of winter. That was then. Today, the basement acts a feature room in various homes, and most buyers are willing to spend extra on a home with a livable basement. So, for existing homeowners with low basements who wish to add square footage to their home by digging down instead of building up, basement underpinning is the ideal solution.

Underpinning services explained

This is a process of strengthening an existing, wobbly house foundation or digging up the basement floor and restoring it at a lower level to gain overall headroom. Lowering the basement floor is quite difficult, to say the least. That's why homeowners should leave the work to the professionals.

To start with, the contractors remove the entire wall and ceiling finishes as well as disconnecting utility systems in the basement. Next comes the hard part of breaking up the slab. A jackhammer comes in handy at this stage. The resulting debris is loaded onto a dirt conveyor and removed outside. The contractors then have to shovel out several inches of soil, a process that may take a few days of sweat. Because the basement floor is being lowered than the perimeter footings, contractors are supposed to underpin the existing footings using any of these three underpinning methods:

  • Traditional mass for low underpinning and beam and base that adds concrete beans for additional support.
  • Sectional excavation with grout used to seal the area between the new and old concrete
  • Mini-piled featuring steel support means which rest on more steady ground.

After excavating the existing slab and reinforcing the foundation footings, the next step involves installing a nice floor upgrade to kick start a typical basement remodel.


Basement underpinning allows homeowners to look beyond constructing above-ground additions and instead use the area underneath their feet. This helps homeowners avoid the hassle of seeking building permits from the council department for property extensions done around the property. Basement underpinning doesn't come cheap at first; nevertheless, the initial outlay is worthwhile as the usable space inside your home increases. Moreover, the overall value of your property goes up. Stand out from the rest of your neighbourhood with a finished basement boasting of a full ceiling height.