Thinking of finally getting rid of that musty, cramped crawl space and changing it into a basement?
You’re making a very wise decision…
Because a basement:
- Offers about 3 – 4 x’s the storage space of a crawl space
- Raises the re-sale (and total value) of your house by 20 – 40%
- Triples or quadruples the living space in your house (it basically adds a whole new floor to the home)
Sounds great, right?
But how do you actually make the change?
First, know that the process needs to be done by a professional contractor.
Many have attempted to add a basement by themselves and found themselves with a huge mess on their hands…a damaged house, big repair bills and a half-basement, half-crawl space monstrosity…
There is a lot of digging and special equipment involved, so don’t try this at home!
And, unfortunately, there are a lot of people giving out instructions how how to convert to a basement alone, like this horrible advice on ehow…if you read step 2, it says:
“Dig out the dirt under your crawl space until you reach the depth you want. Carry away the dirt with a wheel barrow.”
Yes, until you realize there are literally truck loads of dirt down there. And, while it’s being excavated, the home will need to be supported…they give no plans on how to do this…because it’s impossible to do without highly specialized equipment.
So, how does the contractor do it? First, know that the process can be referred to as a dig out, conversion or excavation. This will help you know the lingo and what to ask for when getting an estimate on the job.
- They will excavate the crawl space, digging to a depth of 5 – 8 feet, depending on how big you want your new basement to be.
- They will put in supports so your home still has a foundation while the work is being performed.
- Then, they’ll pour a cement floor. In our case, we also install external drainage systems so your new basement stays dry and never leaks or floods.
Once the floor is set and sealed, the next step is to form the basement walls.
Again, it is important that the new walls are sealed properly and are tied to the drainage system so that you don’t have water problems or damages down the road.
- This is a huge mistake that the DIY crowd makes when trying to perform a conversion.
Some bargain contractors will skip this step as well, giving you a few bucks off up front, but you’ll find yourself with a huge bill once the water comes pouring through the walls!
Next up is installing a set of steps and an outside entrance and, usually, an entrance inside the home as well.
- Now you have a brand new, full sized, finished basement. You can add rooms if you’d like or simply use the new space for storage.
You’ll also notice that your energy bills will decrease because basements are much more energy efficent than crawl spaces.
- Ready to add your new basement? Call us at 800-700-9171 and we’ll walk you through the process and give you a free estimate.