Your Source for Basement Renovation and Lowering Jobs in East York

Renovating a basement can add value and extra living space to your house. The foundation of the house is the most important consideration in any renovation. At Belvedere Home Improvements Ltd., our staff has more than 50 years of experience performing various basement renovations jobs in East York and throughout the Toronto area.

Maintaining a Strong Foundation

The foundation supports the structure above it and resists the pressure of the soil around it. Addressing foundation problems before you renovate is essential to preserve the durability and structure of your home.

The foundation of your house may be a full-height basement, a crawlspace, a slab-on-grade foundation or even a combination of two or more types. Foundation materials include poured concrete, unit masonry, stone and preserved wood. Each type of foundation or material has its own associated issues.

Common Structural Issues

The most common structural and ground-related issues are:

  • Cracks in slabs, walls or footings
  • Crumbling mortar or concrete
  • Unstable or weak ground
  • Uneven settlement
  • Warped or bowed foundation walls
  • Adfreezing (frozen earth sticking to the foundation and lifting it) or frost heaving
  • Low ceiling height
  • Inadequate support of the main floor system
  • Soil gas or radon infiltration
  • High humidity
  • Pest infestation

Basement Lowering Methods

Belvedere relies on two methods for basement lowering jobs.

Underpinning Method


In this method, a sequence of holes are dug out from under the footing of your home. The footing is the concrete or brick pad which spreads the load of the foundation walls onto the soil. Typically, a series of 4’ wide holes, separated by 8’ of undisturbed soil, are prepared and filled with concrete. The top 2’’ of the concrete filled hole is packed with non-shrink grout, rather than filled to the top with concrete, so as to avoid the possibility that air pockets are present.

Once the first series of holes are filled with concrete, the adjacent 4’ wide segment is dug out, and the underpinning process continues. The idea here is that you extend the footing of the house to a lower level, which then permits you to dig out the soil from the inside of the basement, without undermining the foundation walls of the house. The entire process is very labour intensive, and quite costly.

Bench footing method

Bench Footing

In this method, a stable dirt pile is maintained between the lowered basement floor level, and the underside of the original footings to avoid undermining the footings. Then, a steel reinforced concrete “bench” is poured over top of the stable dirt pile to ensure that the slope is protected. This process is less expensive; however it leaves you with a concrete bench around the interior perimeter of the basement.

Past Basement Renovation Projects

This photos shows a finished project that started with the lowering of the basement by 18 inches. We also finished the basement, adding a fireplace and crown mouldings to make the renovation complete.

In this photo, the basement was lowered by 18 inches, allowing another happy Belvedere customer to turn their unusable basement into a finished living area.

Facilitating Your Basement Renovation Needs

These photos represent just a few of Belvedere’s quality basement renovation projects. If you can dream it, our team can produce it. We have an in-house design department to work with your ideas, drawings and permits, if required. Each year, we receive a growing number of requests for basement renovations.

Our goal is to simplify the process by handling all of the work for you. For more information about our basement renovation projects in East York, please contact us today to get a free estimate.