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Toronto Underpinned Basement
Architecture & Building, Homeowner Tips

How to Hire The Right Underpinning Contractor

Underpinning is a meticulous construction job that require requires a structural engineer, and trained contractors. Although many renovation jobs may be completed by handymen, underpinning is an extremely sensitive construction task as it involves the property’s foundation.

Basement underpinning involves digging a home’s foundation and then reinforcing the structural piles around it. The result is higher ceilings and a stronger overall foundation for the property.

Receiving Approval for Basement Underpinning in Toronto

Firstly, before any underpinning or construction can begin, the project must receive a stamp of approval from the local municipality.  Whether you’re in Etobicoke, Scarborough or Richmond Hill, you will require approval from one of five local municipalities in order to proceed with a major construction project.

The Greater Toronto area consists of five municipalities; Toronto,Durham, Halton, Peel, and York. Each of these municipalities have their own bylaws and building codes that pertain to basement underpinning.

In order to obtain that stamp, your local municipality must see a list of statutory documents and a detailed map of the home’s underpinning job.  Once your proposal are complete, a designated engineer will be responsible for obtaining the final stamp of approval for the building project.

Hiring a Structural Engineer

Hire an engineer with a proven track record in basement underpinning. This will also improve your likelihood of gaining approval to complete the construction.

The on-site engineer will be responsible not only for collecting the documents, but also developing the underpinning plan. Furthermore, an effective project plan will ensure that the construction process is completed on time and within budget.

After the project is approved, a basement-underpinning contractor must be hired. In Toronto it can be difficult to find a contracting company that supplies both workers and an engineer.

Factors to Consider When Hiring an Underpinning Contractor in Toronto

  • A written guarantee that the task with be completed within budget.
  • Valid construction Insurance in Ontario, and proof with the relevant documents.
  • Evidence of prior projects and references
  • Paid estimates are usually a red-flag. There are exceptions for larger and more complex properties.

You have invested too much money and time into your home to hire a contractor that could potentially damage your property. If you’ve been wronged by an underpinning contractor, do not be hesitate to contact legal advice and report the company.

At Icon Builders, our team consists of experienced contractors as well as a seasoned structural engineer that are assigned to manage individual projects.

How Much Does Basement Underpinning Cost in Toronto?

The cost of an underpinning project can vary based on several factors. Experience and knowledge should always be prioritized when hiring contractors for such a sensitive construction project.

Base cost is typically calculated by a price per linear foot, which is multiplied by the proposed excavation depth and bench footing. As well, the properties overall surface area and structural intricacies must be considered in the project cost.

Can Underpinning Prevent Water from Flooding my Basement?

Homeowners should know that basement underpinning and waterproofing are much different projects. Underpinning is intended to raise ceiling heights and add aesthetic value to a basement interior.

Waterproofing involves structural repairs to a building foundation, which prevents future moisture and leakage. If you’re planning on investing in basement underpinning, we recommend you ensure that your property is fully waterproofed.

Cracks in a home’s foundation allow for easy water access and moisture build-up. Spring in southern Ontario usually starts slushy and ends with heavy rainfall. For homeowners in the Greater Toronto Area, the spring can create flooding and leakage issues. Visit our blog to learn more about flooding and leakage issues in Toronto homes,

Homeowner Tips

Protect Your Home from Basement Leaks in Spring

In Toronto the most common source of basement leaks is from heavy precipitation. Unfortunately, melting snow and thawing ice is just as detrimental for a home’s basements. Basement leakage is common in homes across the Greater Toronto Area. If your basement is not sealed or underpinned appropriately, the spring months of March and April can be catastrophic and wet.

As Southern Ontario experiences frequent weather changes, areas such Richmond Hill, Vaughan, Thornhill, and Toronto, often fall victim to the chaotic basement leaks. A leaky basement is not only a hassle, but can pose serious threats to your house.

How does a basement leak affect your home?

    • Basement leaks depreciate property value! History of a leaky or damaged basement can be noticeable for potential buyers or investors. The house value equation will always involve “living space”- which considers a property’s basement space.
    • Often times, our basements serve as a place of storage of vintage wines, electronics, and family heirlooms. These items are priceless and virtually irreplaceable for many of us.
    • Leakage in your basement can serve as a tunnel for unwarranted and dangerous bacteria, posing health threats to your household and family.
    • Building materials such as wood and drywall that are exposed to moisture over time can crumble and deteriorate. This can affect your properties entire infrastructure.
    • Anything that accumulates moisture can result in mold and mildew growth. Mold naturally grows and causes damage that can be extremely expensive to remove and repair. In addition, it can be a serious health risk for humans and animals.

Foundation Cracks and Repairs

After ice turns into water, water takes its natural course and follows the path of least resistance. Furthermore, water continually builds up and enters the basements through concrete that can no longer withstand the pressure.

The main gateway for water to infiltrate the basement is the through the soil surrounding the foundation. Cracks can even result in flooding and mold growth. That’s why it’s crucial to contact a waterproofing specialist as soon as you suspect vulnerability or spot cracks in your floor.

Why Hire an Experienced Waterproofing Contractor?

Basement waterproofing requires an experienced construction team. Issues in a property’s foundation can be difficult to detect and may require an engineer.

It’s also imperative to work with a contractor that’s familiar with Canadian building codes. A failed waterproofing job can destroy your basement. Waterproofing is complex task that requires removing the existing foundation, balancing the basement after stripping the foundation, sealing any cracks, and laying-in new support. In some cases, a new foundation and footing must be built or repaired, which requires the property’s foundation to be dug out.

If you’re renovating or underpinning your basement we recommend having your property evaluated by a waterproofing contractor. It should be noted that basement underpinning does not waterproof your basement. If you’re interested in learning more about basement underpinning, read our basement underpinning blog article.

Learn more about our basement waterproofing services in Toronto.

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