When renovating a Basement, a Homeowner usually sees empty unused space that could form a new living quarters that could potentially generate revenue, a place for the teenagers to hang out or a “Man Cave” where you can shoot some pool or have the guys over to watch the game. But before these can become a reality there are many obstacles to be overcome first.
I will now discuss some of the biggest Issues that may lead to you thinking twice about renovating your Basement or at least help you to understands some of the hidden costs that may raise their ugly heads throughout your renovation.
Issues that may arise
Before you begin you would know yourself if you feel like you are in need for head-height within your basement but remember it’s not as simple as going down a few centimeters. You need to take up the original floor, grade and soil to get your depth for new services which may mean going below your footing. Here are some measures needed for your Basements Head-height : 2,100 mm over at least 75% of the basement area except that under beams and ducts the clearance is permitted to be reduced to 1,950 mm.
If you do need to dig down there is a chance of going below original footing. If this happens one option is to underpin. Underpinning is the process of strengthening the foundation of an existing building or other structure. This may be the only solution and it can be a costly one also. Have this in mind as it can raise construction costs considerably.
- Structural Integrity
Before a pen is put to paper hire a Structural Engineer to guide you through what load bearing issues may arise by moving walls in the Basement. Usually Steel Beams are the best way of rectifying any problems with structure if you pan on opening up space in your Basement.
- Water / Dampness
The fact you are going down means you are getting closer to the Water Table. If you see dampness coming through your walls that means you may need to Tank the exterior of your Basement that is below grade level. Consult with your engineer to exam possible solutions that can be applied to keep the water out. Remember the costs involved for sumps also.
These are just some of the issues that may arise when thinking of doing a Basement Renovation but remember there are many Pros that come with renovating a Basement such as Increasing your properties value, more space for people in your home or Potential Rental Income.