Whether you are trying to sell your home or simply need more living space, every square foot counts. Raising the height of your basement ceiling by lowering the basement floor increases both the usable living space and the value of your home. According to the Journal of Light Construction (JLC), simply by increasing the height of a ceiling from six feet, eight inches up to eight feet, you can increase the usable living space in your basement by over 800 square feet!
In homes built before the 1940s, basements were designed for utility, containing furnaces, water heaters, and electric breaker panels. Most of these ceilings were not designed to be high enough for living space, such as a family room or bar area. Fortunately, professional basement and foundation repair companies, such as Basement Masters Waterproofing, have the capability of lowering your basement floor to add height for expanded living space.
There are several benefits in lowering your basement floor, including:
At Basement Masters Waterproofing, there are several considerations to take when lowering a basement floor. We take into account things like your foundation’s type, depth, and condition and use the most effective method for your situation.
Each type of foundation has unique structural qualities that we measure by to ensure the safety of your home’s structure. Common foundation types include poured concrete, concrete block, or stone.
Part of the time and cost to lower a basement depends on the desired depth of the new floor. While you may want to add only 12 inches to the floor, safety standards require a 4-inch gravel base in addition to a 4-inch concrete floor. This process involves excavation of at least 20 inches.
If your home has cracked or bowed walls or a weak foundation, it may not be able to handle the additional stress of lowering the basement. In those cases, walls and foundations may require reinforcement or repairs before the process of lowering the floor can begin. Basement Masters Waterproofing is an expert in foundation repair.
Because lowering the basement floor changes the level and effectiveness of any current waterproofing system, a new interior waterproofing system at the new floor level is highly recommended. This is especially true since you will be creating a new living space with floor coverings and furnishings. You will always want your basement to be completely dry. Basement Masters Waterproofing also specializes in basement waterproofing systems.
Once the basement is excavated, a four-inch gravel base is laid, and a four-inch concrete floor is poured. This layering process provides lateral stability and prevents the formation of cracks.
With the addition of new living space, chances are you may want to add a new bedroom or apartment. Building codes require the installation of egress windows and egress window wells whenever there is a bedroom at the basement level. Basement Masters Waterproofing can assist you with a beautiful egress window installation.
Basement Masters Waterproofing provides Northern Virginia and Maryland homeowners expert basement lowering, foundation repair, basement waterproofing, and egress window installation. We have won the Angie’s List Super Service Award six years in a row. Contact us today at (571) 371-0959.
This post was originally published on 8/17/2017 and updated on 10/21/2021 for accuracy and a larger scope of information.