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How hard is it to build a basement in your house?

July 14, 2022
How hard is it to build a basement in your house

Adding a basement to your property can be a good idea. Perhaps you want extra storage space, a dedicated entertainment area, or to just raise your home’s value.

That said, there are many obstacles in the way. One is its costly sum to build, ranging anywhere from $50,000 to $200,000, and two, it affects your foundation, and three, a lot of work is needed for it.

So, let’s now explore the building aspects that need to be completed for your dream basement at your house. With this guide, you will know whether it is still a viable option for you.

Things to Consider When Building a Basement

Basement building is no easy task. So, first, you have to consider whether building a basement is worth your time, energy, and money.

Otherwise, it will only give you headaches and high maintenance expenses that you don’t have the initiative to do.

Besides that, there are risks you have to take such as sudden leaks, pest infestation, building anomalies, or other problems.

In short, some people will find building a basement worth it, but others won’t. But if you still aren’t sure, read on about the things you have to consider, as this can help you make the right decision.

  • Basement Underpinning

The project starts with the underpinning of your basement. In simple terms, it means installing a series of vertical bars under your basement to support it.

The holes into which the columns are installed should have wire rebar to stabilize and support them. Following this, concrete is poured around the holes to secure your basement in place.

  • Basement Digging
Basement Digging

The second step is to dig out your basement to convert it into a space for living. This is extremely hard to do manually even if you have a platoon of friends to help you.

Fortunately, you can hire a builder that has specialized equipment and vehicle to do it. But the problem with this is that some homes don’t have the space to accommodate these types of machinery.

However, they can use small digging implements and a conveyor system in order to perform the digging.

  • Foundation and Walls

When the underpinning and digging are finished, you have to build the foundation and walls of the basement.

The foundation beneath the basement should be tied with the pins and walls. Note that the basement walls have to be built thicker than the walls above them for strong and proper support.

From this point, you have to work on the waterproofing, insulation, plumbing, and electrical work, among other building aspects.

  • Waterproofing

To prevent any leaks or water damage in your basement, the sections on the wall and underneath the floors need to be waterproofed.

There are various ways to waterproof your basement. You can use a sealant or epoxy injection, fix damaged gutters and downspouts, and/or add a reliable drainage system.

  • Drainage

Drainage is another important aspect of your basement. Perhaps you want to do your laundry there, build a toilet, or safeguard the basement against floods.

You need a highly qualified plumber to do this hard work for you. They can ensure that the drainage work is done safely and thoroughly.

By the way, some of the common drainage jobs for your basement are installing a septic tank, sump pump, and main sewer connection.

  • Insulation

Lastly, insulation has to be incorporated within your basement walls and ceilings. Its purpose is to regulate the temperature of the area and provide a sound barrier.

Insulation typically involves using a thick layer of insulating material within the concrete walls and ceilings. Then drywalls can be built to complete your basement’s structure.


So, you’ve seen the building work that must be done to build your basement. It includes foundation support, excavation, drainage, insulation, and waterproofing.

All in all, the entire work can take from four to six weeks depending on the size and complexity of the project. Undertaking it can be easy for some people but hard for others given how their house was built and its location.

Don’t forget that you need to check the state or climate in your area too. If your basement isn’t suitable for these conditions, there’s no point in building one.

But if all these conditions are right—if you think you have enough space for a basement in your house, can afford the costs, and can deal with the building and future maintenance work needed, and the climate is perfect—then go ahead and build your envisioned basement!

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