Are you thinking about building a basement in your existing home? Before you get a shovel in the ground, you’ll need to consult a contractor about many factors including where your home is located and the size of your home. Not all regions are conducive to including basements and there may be a reason why your home doesn’t have a basement in the first place.
So can you build a basement under a house? The answer is, yes! And in this blog, we’ll cover the criteria that must be met before a basement construction can be approved, in addition to how much it might cost you, as well as what you can use your new basement for once it’s inevitably built. And after all of that, if you’re ready to get started, we’ll explain how the basement renovation experts at Harmony Basements can help!
Why Add a Basement to Your Existing Home?
Adding a basement to your home might seem like a daunting task in terms of financial demands and the perceived stress of long-term construction. However, with Harmony Basements, we make adding a new basement to your home a painless process.
Adding a basement to your home increases the amount of livable space you have for your family and will only serve to boost the resale value of your home. If you’re looking to add more space, in almost every situation, adding a basement will be cheaper than installing a second storey on your existing home.
Timeframe to Build a Basement Under a House
If you want to add a basement, that can take up to one year or longer depending on the complexity of the project and the geographic location of your home. It’s a big project with a lot of details to consider so the planning stage may take up to 6 months. You’ll work closely with your contractor to design the perfect basement for your home while ensuring that you’re not compromising the original home’s structural integrity.
Moving onto the building phase which includes digging out the basement and pouring additional foundation and waterproofing may take up to another 5 months, but can be done in as little as 3 months. Completing the final details of your basement renovation including drywall, plumbing, electrical and painting can take another 1 to 2 months.
Is the cost to dig a basement under an existing house worth it? While it’s worth it for many homeowners, the cost of adding a new basement or expanding your current one is not an inexpensive venture. If you plan to undertake this type of renovation, it can cost you anywhere between $55 and $80 per square foot. Those costs generally include the excavation of the basement and the essential underpinning of your current home. Expect to pay an additional $1,000 or more on the total if the project requires crews to break up and dispose of any old concrete floor.
Determining the final cost of adding a basement to your home requires you to consider many factors like the type of soil underneath, the area you live in and the size of the home, but you should expect to budget at least $50,000. Then you must consider how you will finish the basement. If you want to turn it into a fancy recreation room, home theatre or wine cellar with room to entertain your family and friends, you could spend up to an additional $100,000 on this project.
Add a Basement vs. a Second Story
It depends on where you live, how big your home is and what features you want your new basement to have, but generally, it is cheaper to add a basement to your home as opposed to building an entirely new second storey.
Whereas adding a new basement might cost you about $70 per square foot, building a second storey may run you anywhere between $100 and $300 per square foot.
Benefits of Installing a Basement
There are so many benefits when you add a basement to a house. You will immediately increase the amount of livable space that lets your family have that playroom, billiards room, or entertainment room you’ve always wanted.
A basement will also guarantee extra storage space for those holiday decorations or the kids’ old stuff that they just don’t want to throw away! There will also be space for you to store your emergency supplies like bottled water and canned foods.
Can You Build a Basement Anywhere?
Adding a basement isn’t for every homeowner and it all comes down to geographic location. If you live in a region that gets a lot of rain or regularly floods, then adding a basement might spell disaster. Check with local building regulators and your home insurance company to make sure that you would be covered in the event of a flood or other natural disaster.
Some areas are also too shallow or close to bedrock. Other locations may be too close to a large body of water and therefore too sandy or moist to build a reliable base for your home.
Building a Basement Adds Value
Most importantly, no matter what you use the basement for, the extra square footage is guaranteed to increase your home’s resale value, meaning that you’ll make back a big chunk of the money you decide to invest in renovating your basement.
Having a fully finished basement that looks dry, cozy, and is packed with modern amenities for entertaining and living is very attractive to all prospective buyers and your house will stay on the market for less time as a result.
For more than 20 years, the professional contractors at Harmony Basements have been providing first-rate basement renovation services to satisfied homeowners across the Greater Toronto Area. Whether you’re looking to hit the refresh button on your current basement, or you need to add an entirely new basement to your existing home, we’re a team of talented experts who can help you navigate the construction and remodelling process to get you the basement you want. Contact us today to book your consultation.