Creating a basement under a house where there was not one before represents structural, waterproofing and construction challenges. Whilst the excavation occurs the whole house above, along with the adjoining neighbouring house must be supported to prevent collapse. Waterproofing was a challenge as this property already had a small basement which needed to be incorporated into the new basements waterproofing design. Construction wise, working and making significant changes to houses that are 150 years old is always very tricky as unique problems are always around the corner.
Beautiful Basements was asked to take the lead on a retro-fit basement project in central Leicester to create a brand new, self-contained apartment, and make liveable. During the project the whole house needed to be supported and all works be carried out around these supports to avoid disaster. During the design phase it was very clear to all that a basement expert was required to carry out all the works, and so Beautiful Basements was the natural choice.
The first step was to excavate externally for the new stair and light wells. Once formation was reached, the concrete slabs could be cast and the excavation could begin under the house. Done in one meter sections, the existing walls were underpinned, and the central spoils were removed, creating a concrete walled basement. The new concrete floor was tied into the new walls and the ground floor supported above with new steel beams. Once the shell had been finished the basement could be waterproofed and finished as any normal conversion.
The basement, once complete was waterproofed internally with a cavity drainage membrane system (CDM) linked to a sump and pumping station, which in turn is monitored by a Hades Sump Monitor. The existing basement waterproofing was lapped and incorporated into the new system and the new access stairwell and light wells were incorporated in the drainage.