Want to Dig Your Basement? Important Factors to Consider

Even after you have done a rough shake “layout” of your lot with a builder, there are still a few other factors you should take into consideration before you start work on your basement.

  1. Next you need to finalize what the elevation of the first floor will be in relation to the curb and subsequently what the grade will be at the back if this is a walk-out or a gradually slopping lot (either to the front of rear). The elevation of the 1st floor will affect your driveway the back yard. Adjustments can be made by increasing the height of the basement walls and/or having more or less steps from the garage into the house. If you’re not careful you could end up with a steep driveway and many steps into the house.
  2. Basement ceiling height – if you decide to increase the height of the basement walls to bring the basement floor down closer to the back yard grade, the benefits can be:
    1. Few if any steps to the back yard.
    2. Higher ceilings to hide duct work and make the “basement” more friendly.
    3. Allow use of modern drop ceilings which allow 100% access to all systems and is a good sound insulator.
  3. The last and sometimes most important reason to carefully re-check the elevations of the 1st floor and basement is drainage. Be sure you have good front, side and rear yard drainage and you don’t flood or get flooded by your neighbor.

By carefully considering these factors, you can ensure that your home excavation will be done properly and fully meet your expectations!