Basement Walkout – Basement Renovation ideas
With rent soaring now in the city of Toronto, a basement renovation can be an excellent investment, and a great way to earning extra income and increasing the property value. Once complete it can give you the freedom to rent your basement out whilst having minimal impact on your life.
Time frame for Basement Walkout
It typically takes 2- 4 weeks to complete a basement walkout in Toronto; there are a few things that can affect the time frame, such as underpinning requirements, ground conditions and access restrictions.
Underpinning for Basement Walkout
Normally, underpinning has to be performed for a small area where the basement walkout will be located; usually, it’s in an area around where the existing footings meet the new basement entrance. It’s vital that all the footings are 4 ft lower than the finished grade height, and since the footings are now exposed to frost, from experience, it is typically 5-6 ft wider in both directions from the new basement access.
Ensure your Underpinning contractor is experienced & fully insured. Contact us now!
The Process – Walkout Basement
Stage 1 – Excavation, demolition & footings
Once all permits & planning have been approved by the City, getting started on the excavation is the first step. Depending on the basement entrance access, the excavation could be manual hand digging or, in an ideal situation, an excavator can be used.
When excavation is complete, the footings can be formed ready for inspection. Provided the City or a qualified engineer signs them off, then the concrete footings can be poured. Mace Masonry uses only high grade concrete.
Stage 2 – Block work up to grade
After the footings have had the correct curing time, the new concrete block work can be laid. It’s a good technique to install rebar throughout the webs of the blocks & fill with concrete for extra strength.
Stage 3 – Waterproofing & parging
Before backfilling, a parge cement coat is applied to the outside perimeter block walls of the new basement walkout. This is to give strength and prevent moisture. Once dry, a tar coat or first layer waterproof membrane is applied, then the final layer of hard waterproof membrane installed.
Stage 4 – Drainage & backfill
Weeping tiles would also be installed at the base of the new foundations. It’s vital that no dirt has contact with the weeping tile; only gravel should be used to cover the weeping tile before backfilling up to grade. Ensure that the drains are correctly fitted to the sump pump (or have a sump pump installed, if required). Backfill should be clean fill and free from foreign materials.
Stage 5 – Pour concrete steps & landing for walkout basement
When pouring concrete for the steps and landing, the basement steps are first graded and then insulation is installed onto the correct bed of gravel. Rebar cages are fitted, to reinforce the steps & landing. The steps and landing are formed and the concrete can be poured.
Stage 6 – Masonry repair and basement finishing
The last few items to complete would be the new basement door opening, any installation of handrails and installing new door & lighting. Mace Masonry can work with you to complete all these items.
Mace Masonry also offers basement finishing & basement renovation in Toronto, as well as walkout basements.
Things to Consider:
Excavator Access – is there at least 8 ft wide access to the basement walkout location.
If not, does your neighbour have an easier access route – this would be great to work out with them before construction start. For example, we worked with a past client whose neighbour removed a fence panel to gain us access to their work site.
Dirt Bins will be used to remove the excavated ground and an area needs to be available for them to be dropped – ideally near the work site. If there is only the road available, street permits from the City have to be obtained.
Before starting any project of this type, City permits are required.
Drawings will be needed for the City permit application.
Neighbours should be informed of the project.
Do you really need it?
Is your sole purpose of the walkout to rent out your basement? – if so, then you definitely need one. It allows convenient private entrance for your renters.
Or, do you only use the basement for personal use? If you’re unsure a basement walkout is really needed, we can come & take a look and give you our recommended expert advice.
Ensure your contractor and all tradesman are fully insured. You can request a Certification of Insurance from them.
The tradesman’s should also have active WSIB accounts.
Your contractor should have a valid City of Toronto Business License that can be shown on request.
Mace Masonry is full licensed & insured – Contact us now!