Is it possible to dig out a crawlspace to transform it into a basement? Learn more about excavating a crawlspace to transform it into a basement with detailed explanations from Bisson Expert!

Have you ever thought about excavating the crawlspace in your house to transform it into a basement? This uninhabitable space, also called a cellar or crawlspace, provides a great opportunity to increase the living space of your house and its market value. This is why several owners wonder if this type of project can be carried out in their house?

At Bisson Expert, we say that everything is possible with proper planning and the expertise of experienced professionals! Even if you live in a building that is attached on either side, like in Montreal for example, you can transform your crawlspace into a basement. Read this article for more information about the secure solutions that are available.

Why excavate a crawlspace to transform it into a basement?

• Increase your living space
Land is expensive and the lots are small. Adding an extension to your house is not always possible. To maximize your living space, excavating the crawlspace and building new rooms in the basement is often the best solution.

• Increase the market value of your property
A crawlspace turned into a basement is undeniably an added value to your house. In fact, increasing the number of rooms in your house also considerably increases its market value.

• Avoid moving
When you love your house, you obviously want to stay in it. If your needs have changed or if your family is growing, excavating the basement in your house is a solution to meet your new needs.

• Add an apartment
Transforming your crawlspace into a finished basement allows you to build an apartment and generate additional income. Or, keep the apartment for a parent and turn your home into an intergenerational home.

• Improve your house
If you have structural or foundation problems

Take advantage of the excavation work that will be done to transform the crawlspace into a basement. In fact, these problems can be repaired during the work.

What steps must be taken to transform a crawlspace into a basement?

To transform your crawlspace into a basement, the ground must be excavated. However, before undertaking the work needed to excavate the basement, proper planning is required. It is in fact a highly complex procedure: care should be taken to properly support your house during and after the work.

It is therefore important to take into consideration your house environment and its particular issues. If you are living in a building that shares a wall with another building, for example, the excavation work must be adapted to this issue. This is why all our excavation projects start with rigorous planning. Our multidisciplinary team, comprising one engineer and our foundation experts, goes on site to carefully examine the environment and plan the work sequencing.

As soon as the work is approved and the site is set up, the excavation can begin. Generally speaking, transforming a crawlspace into a basement takes approximately four weeks. Here are the various steps that must be undertaken :

1. Support the structure
2. Secure the site and excavate
3. Install the formwork and pour the underpinning concrete
4. Waterproof and drain the new foundation
5. Pour the slab concrete

To learn more about these various steps and to see an example of a crawlspace transformed into a basement, click here.

Avoiding the risk of serious damage when excavating a basement

When you want to transform your crawlspace into a basement, it is extremely important to deal with professionals who are recognized in this field of work. Just think about it: your house has been resting on the same foundation for many years, sometimes a century! An improperly carried out excavation could have devastating consequences on the foundation of your house and that of your neighbours.

Keep in mind that a professional will carry out the work step by step and will know how to support the foundation every step of the way. Furthermore, some processes must be followed to ensure the stability of your house and to avoid problems in the long run. At Bisson Expert, we are specialised in foundation work and we have developed cutting-edge knowledge in excavation. Thanks to this expertise, we are particularly well-known for the following:

• The way we carry out our formwork and underpinning concrete operations
• The way we constantly support the structure and building
• The way we waterproof and drain the foundation

Thus, to properly support the house, we pour the concrete at different phases of the project during which the crawlspace is transformed into a basement. We then make sure that there is no water infiltration and that a proper drainage system is installed. We also check the foundation waterproofing, which helps to avoid future water infiltration and prevent cracks from appearing in the foundation.
Unfortunately, these steps are often omitted by several companies who excavate basements. They thereby expose your house and the neighbours to serious problems that could have significant consequences and could expose you to civil liability.

To avoid potential problems, make sure you choose an experienced professional. If you have questions on how to transform a crawlspace into a basement, call our team at 514 990-2519. We will be happy to provide information and to examine the distinctive features of your house.

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