Wednesday, April 1, 2009

How to dig your basement from a crawlspace?

So you want to turn your crawlspace into a basement. We can do it, but I must ask why? Digging out a basement was very popular during the Great Depression. It was popular because labor was cheap, and it was the cheapest way to add space at that time. It's not so much cheap anymore. I find that most people that research this extensively, eventually come to their senses after finding a contractor to give them a concrete price. If after hearing a price range of 30k and upwards, most people realize it is always cheaper to build outward or upward. If you want a basement for storm protection or storage and the home is sentimental to you, then by all means build downward. I try not to discourage homeowner's from this process, but I do tell them the truth of the process, the price, and the alternatives. This decision should not be made lightly.

The worst thing I've seen over the years is all these "handy" homeowners attempt to do this themselves. Now I am all for someone fixing their home IF they know what they are doing. The problem with digging your crawlspace into a basement is that not a whole lot of average joes out there know what they are doing. Several things can go wrong real fast in this process.

We also can dig out your crawlspace for more space to inspect it, especially those crawlspaces that only have 12" of height clearance or less. Crawlspace Excavation is affordable and necessary for damp crawlspaces.

The best and most cost effective scenario for this project is in a home with an existing cellar or partial basement. If you have a partial basement or cellar and a partial crawlspace that you would like to turn into a basement, then give us a call @ 1-877-409-2837 or sign up for a free estimate at

Thanks for listening to the rambling thoughts of a crawlspace inspector,
Larry Ralph Jr.

1 comment:

  1. I run into a lot of basements in Atlanta that were dug from crawl spaces, most of them are structurally unsound. They usually didn't put up the proper subwalls (usually bare earth was left for the walls), and most of the time they are too close to the foundations. Fortunately, very few of them have failed catastrophically.

    One that I did see fail catastrophically was a newer house, built in the 80's that the owner dug out quite a basement space from the crawl spaces. He caused so much instability the front of the house collapsed during a rain storm (it was also being renovated).

    The same guy turned his dug out basement into a rifle range - we found 30-06 casings. Now, I've actually designed an indoor range, and normally there is a complex system of baffles that you use, along with a serious backdrop. A 30-06 shell can go right through the floor above and kill someone. The owner definitely wasn't too swift. Fortunately, he just made part of his house fall down, he didn't kill anybody.


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