When we want to add more space to our homes, we tend to think of building an extension or annexe. However, in cities and urban areas, this may not always be possible. Instead of expanding outwards, why don’t you consider building downwards with basement underpinning?
Here at Borehole Solutions, a leading geotechnical drilling company in the UK, we have many years of experience under our belts when it comes to constructing basements. We want to share with you some of the reasons why you should have underpinning and the process it entails.
What Is Basement Underpinning?
Underpinning refers to the process of reinforcing and lowering an existing foundation. This may include adding support to a structure that has degraded over time, fixing foundations that may have been subject to land sliding, or to prepare for additional weight. It’s important to dig under the new foundation, rather than excavate the floor of the basement, to prevent structural failure if carried out improperly.
The most common method used in the industry is the “mass concrete underpinning”. It’s suitable for shallow depth underpinning as well as heavy foundation loads for new basements. This requires excavating below the existing foundation and filling it with concrete. This is then cured before the next ‘pin’ is excavated. To transfer the load safely, a dry sand cement mortar is packed between the new and old foundation. Each ‘pin’ is connected withreinforcement bars, which are inserted into the sides of the excavations prior to pouring in the concrete.
What Are the Benefits of Basement Underpinning?
Basement underpinning is completed for a variety of reasons, including stabilising your home from structural damage or adding some extra living space. Here are five reasons why it could be beneficial for you:
- Ceiling height and lighting can be increased.
- Less expensive and less disruptive compared to adding an extension.
- Improves structural integrity of the foundations.
- Increased property value.
- Gain access to mechanical elements.
- Adds more living space to your home.
Do I Need Planning Permission?
You will usually require permission from building regulations to carry out basement underpinning; and there are several stages needed for approval. One of these stages involves testing and accessing ground conditions by digging a trial pit. Whether it’s excavated by hand or digger, it doesn’t matter to us – we can do both!
Basement underpinning will become a permanent fixture in your home, so you want to ensure that it’s done right. Here at Borehole Solutions, our experts have lost count of how many basement jobs we’ve carried out over the years! If you’d like to hear more about how we can help you, click here to fill out our contact form, or call us today on 01733 200501 to speak with the team directly.