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Superior Construction workers feeding materials into a home

Increase Your Living Space with Underpinning

Growing your family? Just bought that almost-perfect home? Want to install a pipe organ? Whatever your reason, you want to add space to your house. But what if you don’t have much property? Local building codes mean you can’t go up or out. Have you considered going down? Many homeowners in the Washington metro area have added square footage to their homes and enhanced their lifestyle by lowering their basement with underpinning.

From Crawl Space to Bright Space

Plenty of homes have crawl spaces or low-ceilinged basements (about 6 feet down to 4 feet) with exposed ductwork that weren’t intended to be living spaces. This is especially common in older homes.

Today, many of us like our basements to be a space where we can spend time as well as store our things. Lowering the basement by 2 feet gives 8 feet for headroom, a height that can make the space very pleasant.

Basement lowering goes a long way to improving your home’s livability, as well as adding value to your home. Now you can add more storage, or have it finished for games, movies, study, and more.

How Does Basement Underpinning Work?

Underpinning requires digging a staged sequence of holes several feet deep under the footing of your home. The footing is the concrete or brick pad that spreads the load of your home’s foundation walls onto the soil. The excavation happens in sections, with each section being dug out all the way down to the desired depth. Finally, the underside of the excavated area is cleared of all debris, and the footing is cleaned.

Workers then put concrete forms in place and pour concrete reinforced with steel bars. When that section’s concrete is poured and cured, the workers start on the next section and repeat the process. Then they can safely dig out the soil from the inside of the basement without undermining the house’s foundation walls. We do this by hand to take care of your space.

Sometimes new posts are required for existing beams; temporary jacks are installed to support the beam and the house as the new footings are put in place. The process is safe and straightforward when managed by experienced professionals who understand the underpinning process. As long as the underpinning process is completed before excavation the basement can be excavated.

For a standard-sized home in the DC area, the average underpinning time is 2–3 months. You can live in your space while we work.

Bigger On the Inside

By lowering a basement, we can take a dark, musty crawl space that no one wants to be in and turn it into a bright, comfortable place fit for storing mountain bikes and having some quiet time with a book.

Are you interested in exploring underpinning or basement lowering options for your home? Contact Superior Construction at (202) 465–4330 to find out if your home is a good candidate.