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The Pros and Cons of Basement Lowering

If you are looking at growing the amount of livable space in your home, the basement is a great place to start. But what happens if you have an older home with an unwelcoming, unfinished basement with low hanging ceilings? That is where basement lowering, also known as underpinning, comes in to play.

Basement lowering is a very big job that requires additional input & analysis from engineers/architects and can result in big changes to the amount of living space in your home, but does it make sense for you? spoke with Tony Romanelli of RCC Waterproofing, a GTA industry leader in all things foundation-related, to get a better understanding of the pros and cons of basement lowering.


It’s A Big Job:  “Basement lowering has a significant architectural & engineering component which ends up making it a very big job.” Romanelli explains. Basement lowering is, to say the least, a resource intensive endeavor that requires a significant amount of time and labour in both the preparation and action phases. Depending on the logistics involved, you could be looking at over a month of work for the job to be done right.

It Isn’t Cheap:  “Basement lowering is a resource intensive job and the cost reflects that.” Romanelli explains.  You could be looking at anywhere between $20,000-$50,000 dollars to lower your basement, depending on the size of your basement and other contextual considerations.


Increased Livable Space &  Property  Value:  In Toronto’s hot real estate market, you can do wonders for the value of your home, without raising you property taxes,  by increasing the amount of livable space via basement lowering.  “ Often times we work with basements that are about 6 ft high, and we lower them by about 2 ft to provide a total of 8 ft of headroom, which is considered an ideal height for access and comfort.” Romanelli explains. The additional usable space that you will gain from basement lowering has the potential to completely change the dynamics of your home. Whether you want to rent the basement space out or create an entertainment centre, the opportunities are endless.

Improved Structure & Integrity:  “ Basement lowering will improve the structural integrity of your home, which is especially valuable in older homes.” Romanelli explains.  If you are living in an older home that you plan to be in for a while, the improved structural integrity your home will gain is a definite perk of the basement lowering process.

Thinking of having your basement lowered in the near future?  Don’t underestimate the size of the job and remember that a big job calls for a big name, so it makes sense to go with one that you can trust. RCC Waterpooring is a 3rd generation family owned and operated business that has been serving the residents of the GTA with Toronto’s finest foundation experts since the 1920s.  Interested in working with them? You can contact RCC via the contractor directory here on



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