Can the height of a basement be increased?

Answered by Jeffrey Anderson ~ May 12, 2013 ~ No Comments

Is there any way more height can be put into an existing building's basement? The height of the unfinished ceiling is six feet. The whole basement is unfinished and it has no subfloor.


Jeffrey Anderson

Sharron, I'm afraid there isn't an easy fix for your problem. When you mention that there isn't a subfloor, I assume you mean that there isn't a concrete slab in the unfinished basement. If that is the case and the floor is dirt or gravel, you may be able to remove several inches to increase your basement height. Unfortunately, unless there is a way to get machinery into the basement, that is going to involve a lot of difficult and labor-intensive handwork. You will also need to be careful about removing too much as it is possible to undermine the foundation that supports the house.

It may also be possible to jack up the house and increase the height of the basement walls. However, that is normally a very expensive undertaking and may not be worth it just to gain a few more feet in basement height.

You might want to have a local architect or contractor take a look at your basement to see if they have any easier and less costly suggestions. I don't know what type of joists you have supporting the floor above the basement, but it may be possible to gain a few inches by installing smaller joists with tighter spacing. That again could be very labor intensive, but when combined with removing some of the floor, may be able to increase the unfinished basement height by as much as a foot.

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