When we think of increasing a property’s space, our mind is likely to wander to a luxurious extension or annexe. Inner-city homes, however, frequently need to go down the route of basement underpinning. In areas, like London, where spaces comes at a premium, building downwards is the only economically viable alternative.
In the industry, this type of excavation is known as underpinning. The Borehole Solutions team – well-versed in a wide variety of the geotechnical services underpinning requires – have taken a deeper look into the process.
Should I Consider A Basement?
Many people genuinely require more space – whether this is for storage, a games room or even a home-bar! Others seek to add value to their property and will view their new basement as an investment. Either way, it doesn’t take much imagination to see the attraction of developing a habitable space, right underneath your home.
Are Planning Permissions A Requirement?
Basement underpinning typically will require approval under building regulations. There are often several stages to attaining this approval. One of these stages will involve testing and assessing ground conditions, through the digging of a trial pit. Whether this pit is excavated by digger or hand, it doesn’t matter to our team; we have both!
The Party Wall Act of 1996
Remember: the potential implications of the Party Wall Act mustn’t be forgotten! Unless your property is standalone, that is. As established above, most basement constructions will be found in crowded, urban environments. It goes without saying that shared walls are prevalent in areas like this.
You can take a look at the more detailed guidance, here. To summarise very briefly, however, you must remember that your neighbour (whose property adjoins yours) must consent to the project before the basement underpinning can proceed.
What Is The Basement Underpinning Process?
The aim of underpinning is to provide adequate space for the upcoming basement. To achieve this, the existing foundations of the building must be lowered. The mass concrete pour is the most common of the several types of underpinning used within the industry. This technique requires holes to be dug below existing foundations, before being filled with either regular or reinforced concrete. Other processes are available, of course, such as the beam method. For the most industrial, heavy-duty underpinning projects, however, piling will be used.
How Much Will I Pay For Basement Underpinning?
It’s difficult to immediately pinpoint a precise underpinning cost, as it is with most construction/building projects. There are several factors, however, that can determine the price. These include your location, the depth and width of the required underpinning and any surveying costs incurred following Party Wall issues.
Identifying reputable contractors is hugely advisable when identifying the best price. Furthermore, whilst cheapness is ideal, if the prices seem too good to be true, you have to consider what corner they’re cutting. Basement underpinning is a serious and long-lasting project. It needs to be done right.
Our geotechnical services have proved essential in countless basement jobs over the years! If you would like to hear more about what we can do for you, then please get in touch! You can contact us today on 01733 200 501.