Should I Build a New Basement Under My Existing Home?


Basements can provide an additional beautiful habitable space under an existing house and typically does not require significant work to the first and second floors.

Traditionally people built second story additions on top of their wood framed homes but with today’s seismic codes the existing foundations, first and second floor wood-framed walls would have to be re-built to meet current codes making it cheaper to tear down an old home and build new.

When a basement is added under an existing house, the first and second floors are typically left alone, and  only the new basement space needs to be upgraded to meet current seismic codes.  Additionally with todays waterproofing technologies basements stay dry for many decades.

Steel or wood beams with large spans and few posts are used to replace existing girders or new walls can be used as load-bearing walls.  

The stair opening can be one of the most challenging design aspects for this type of project. Window, stair or patio wells can be incorporated into the design and provide light and ventilation and can be used for egress requirements in bedroom spaces.

Contact your local builder or architect to discuss this type of project and learn more.  If you live in the Peninsula area we would be glad to discuss your basement project.

Contacts Palo Alto Concrete & Construction today!  650-321-5598