Possible to dig out the rest of basement

Fox9920September 3, 2005

Hello all,

The basement of my house is currently half dug out and finished. My wife and I want to dig out the other half of the basement and finish it to roughly double the basement area. I have heard that this may sometimes not be possible depending on how the fondation of the house was poured. I am posting here to try to get some feedback on this from anybody who may have any experience or suggestions for this. I have takent pictures of inside the crawl space (the first one shows the door that leads into the crawl space) here:


Any help is greatly appericated. Thanks.

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You need to talk to a structural engineer.

It might be possible, it might make the house collapse.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2005 at 6:01PM
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Second opinion: same as the first! Do NOT undertake this without first seeking a consultation with a structural engineer. If done incorrectly you risk loss of your house or life. You may also need a permit from your building/code enforcement department.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2005 at 10:18PM
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Sometime in the late 1950's, when I was a mere child, my aunt and her SO decided to put a basement in her tiny home. I do remember a permit and I'm almost sure they had someone come out to tell them how it was to be done... I also remember the house jacks, all the dirt, all the mess, the cracked walls that had to be fixed afterwards and the year and a half wait... But the house is still standing... LOL


    Bookmark   September 3, 2005 at 11:36PM
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It's certainly possible, the question is only how much time and money it will cost to do it properly. You can lift the entire house and build a new foundation theoretically.

I third talking to a structural engineer and/or an architect. They will take a look at your foundation, where you footing are (if any) and how deep you want to dig to make the ceiling height reasonable (at least 6'8" is code for most areas).

It's a messy job. There will be lots of dirt to dispose of. Depending on your lot, you might be able to get a bobcat down there to speed the process. It also most likely cost more per square foot to do then you will ever recoup in resale.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2005 at 11:34PM
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