Extremely low basement ceiling.

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.
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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 floor drains. the slabs in older buildings are generally very thin.
bill

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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:

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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.
www.concretenetwork.com/concrete/footing_fundamentals/why_soils_matter.htm
http://www.khdavis.com/residential1.htm
The job needs a qualified structural engineer (and permits).
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Right right..... but if I'm only lowering a few inches... is it possible that I wont reach the bottom of the foundation?? This is an old home.
Old Fangled wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote in

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.
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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:

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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 plain enough?
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.

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Don't invite tall people into your basement.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote in

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.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

How about you give us some joist dimensions: depth, width, span, spacing
The ceiling is now at 73" how much more are you looking for? 76? 60?
anything is doable but at what effort & what cost?
cheers Bob
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On Fri, 13 Oct 2006 13:03:26 GMT, "bill allemann"

Whoa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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 another house.
Ken
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My advice. Keep house looking. You are looking at and for a mess.

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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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