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Low basement ceiling. What are my options if I want a usable basement?

Low basement ceiling. What are my options if I want a usable basement?

Old 04-21-11, 11:47 PM
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Low basement ceiling. What are my options if I want a usable basement?

My basement ceiling is low. Probably six and a half feet at the most. Is it possible to jackhammer the existing concrete floor and dig another 2 feet up and put down a new concrete floor? Or is it a better idea to jack the house up another 2 feet? Anyone try this?
Old 04-22-11, 05:30 AM
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Big job, either way you go. Digging will entail lifting the house and pouring a new footing/foundation. Lifting the house another 2' will require substantial professional help. Call in an engineer to see what your options are. There may be some hidden things you can't see right away that they will discover. Good money spent.
Old 04-22-11, 05:55 AM
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I've seen both done and Chandler is correct, a big job. My first thoughts are, will the resulting basement be well suited for conversion to more usable space? The success rate is often not so good.

Basements are the number one extra space around a home where owners look for expansion. They are also the most difficult to finish into quality long term living space. Moisture, in one form or another, is the primary problem and all basements, being essentially the bottom of a hole, are susceptible to water/moisture issues. But all of those potential problems are another thread.

If you choose to go up, that might entail some outside landscaping and that might be an opportunity to address some of my concerns above.

Is your house a free standing home, attached garage, on a slope, close to other homes, ranch, split, or 2 story, masonry chimney, walkout basement, and many more details to work out.

I have seen a few where they go down, they step inside the existing footings under your foundation walls. There can be drainage down there to deal with as well, like weep holes from inside to outside which would then supply water from outside to your new hole with no where to go. The final basement space is reduced by a foot or so around the perimeter but it seems to avoid installing all new concrete walls. As stated above, an engineer would need to decide if that is possible.

Get some professional quotes.

Old 04-22-11, 06:45 AM
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My grandfather did as Bud suggested. His old farm house had a cellar with a dirt floor and about 5' of head room. He dug down, set forms and poured a footer and wall that came up to the old stone foundation. The floor was poured a few yrs later. He didn't consult an engineer but that was 50 or so yrs ago.

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