I'm possibly buying a house, it has everything I'm looking for except
for the fact that it has a very low basement ceiling.
The ceiling joists make the head room in the basement around 6'1. It
has been completely remodeled and has every thing else i'm looking for.
It is a row house, so you can't jack up the house. Are there any other
solutions and if so, how costly are they? Can I replace the ceiling
joists with smaller steel joists and raise the head room that way? Is
there any cost efficent way of doing this?
I'm really only looking for about five more inches. I'd just like
people to be able to walk into the basement without slamming their head
on the ceiling joists.
lowering the floor is your only option.
it's a bunch of grunt work, to be sure, but low tech.
a possible dicey plumbing issue, though, is how deep are the laterals to
the slabs in older buildings are generally very thin.
The basment floor has been broken up towards the front of the house and
brick was put in to replace it. So I'd assume it to be very thin. it's
also not flat so perhaps it would be a good thing to do and possibly
get some walking room out of the basement. Any idea what something like
this would cost to have done. the basment is aproximately 33'x17'
bill allemann wrote:
Digging a deeper basement is seriously high tech. The foundation walls are
supported by the soil, and if you just dig straight down on the inside, the
entire foundation's structural support is compromised. Either the walls
will need to be underpinned, or a bench will need to be build around the
inside perimeter to protect the load bearing soil.
The job needs a qualified structural engineer (and permits).
Anything is possible, but do you really want to take the chance of your
entire foundation collapsing? If you really want to know, hire a
structural engineer to make a site visit; it's not that expensive, and
worth every penny.
No one has yet explained to me why the old and huge ceiling joists
cannot be removed, the foundation walls lenghtened (another row of
foundation) and new, smaller steel joists put in their place.
Old Fangled wrote:
Let me try. What you propose will undoubtedly cause the house to
fall into the basement and reduce the ceiling height by another
6'-1" all the way down to the existing basement floor. Is that
It's going to collapse anyway, wouldn't it be cheaper to just burn
it down and start over?
All the money you are wanting to spend on the ceiling height could
be applied to a house that you did like instead of one that you
will wish you never seen.
It's possible, but the new steel beams may not be as much smaller as you
think. In addition, those beams are heavy -- getting them into the
basement can be a task for some heavy machinery.
Again, hire a structural engineer. They don't charge that much, and they
can answer all of your questions definitively.
How about you give us some joist dimensions: depth, width, span,
The ceiling is now at 73" how much more are you looking for? 76? 60?
anything is doable but at what effort & what cost?
It ain't nearly that simple. Digging a basement deeper disturbs the
soil around the footings ... compromising them.
You can spend a couple of hundred bucks on a visit by a structural
engineer .... or ....
unless you are lacking risk and adventure in your life, look for
Boy reading the replys was like watching someone get beaten up.....
Look tony one person hit it right on the head this is not rocket
science it is VERY do-able however there are some potentially major
concerns one of which (also was already mentiond) is your plumbiing
connections depending on where you are on the street you may be right
at your max. but if you are lowering the floor only 5 inches (which
means you will have to go down 9" to accomidate a 4' slab) I doubt it
will be an issue but it definatly needs to be looked into FIRST because
if it is it creates a whole other set of problems.
As far as disturbing the soil this is really a non issue for what you
want to do. Chances are that you will not even hit the footing that
the walls are built on and unless you jack hammer that out or even
parts of it (footing) and flood the basment with water for a week they
are not going to move it just doesnt work that way.
When I lived back east my father and I did a couple of these floor
lowerings if you are in a row house the only route out for the dirt is
through the front door or back door right? Do you really want to go
through that? Call a concrete contractor and have them give you a ball
park cost it may make your descision much eaiser..
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