Basement is perhaps the place which was underutilized for a long time. Previously, people used to use the basement for storage purposes but as the time has progressed, people have realized that basement could be used as living compartment also. You can add various features of a living room and voila! Now you can sleep in the basement with much comfort.
Since, space has become a rare commodity in recent times, hence people are trying to find innovative ways to increase the space. In order to do so, they have used various techniques so that every inch of the place could be utilized for the maximum.
And underpinning and benching are the latest addition to this. After realizing the potential that a basement could provide, people have tried various ways to utilize the basement to its maximum potential. And hence, underpinning and benching came into existence.
One main issue with converting the basement into a living space is the “height” of the basement. Since most houses are built with a basement to use it as a storage unit in mind, it’s the height that was put less concentration into. You could renovate a basement and make it a living space but then you will face the hurdle. You will realize that the basement is comfortable only when you are laying down or sitting. Once you stand up, your head may touch the ceiling and you have to be very careful while moving around the basement.
Hence to convert it into a living space, one criterion that must be met is to increase the height. But there comes a great difficulty to increase the height though there are various ways to address them also. Some come with a great price but could change the while basement into something else or you could simply opt for one of the cheaper options so that it stays within your budget though you will also have the opportunity to change your basement into somewhat lovely living place.
Underpinning or Benching?
Among these techniques, underpinning is somewhat expansive, and benching is less costly. It will depend upon your need and budget to decide which one you want to take. If your budget meets, you can go for underpinning which involves, building a new foundation after removing the old one thus, increasing the height of the basement. But there is some danger involved in it.
You could restructure only a few areas at a time as the while house is standing upon the old foundation and if you dig much deeper, the whole house might fall down. Hence, underpinning should be done very carefully where excavating the old foundation and pouring the new foundation into the place. Hence, underpinning though is costly, it offers way more flexibility than the other ones. Here you could restructure everything in the basement on your own.
Benching is a bit less expansive and is quicker than Underpinning as it doesn’t revolve much regarding digging. In benching, the original soil remains untouched. And this is a big difference between benching and underpinning wherein Underpinning, you have to excavate the old foundation whereas, in benching, you won’t even need to touch the old foundation. The new foundation is poured inside the old one and adds height to your basement
Which One Should You Choose?
It is highly recommended to choose a method which is most suitable to you. If you are getting overwhelmed with the involved procedures, it is highly recommended to get in touch with Underpinning experts who would guide you professionally keeping various factors in mind.