When adding square footage to a home, most people look to expand up or out. But, in fact, a good solution might be right under one’s own two feet.
Jason Shaw of Denver’s Crawlspaces 2 Basements says that homeowners can gain usable, enjoyable space by converting crawlspaces into fully functional basements. You also can transform those dark and low-ceiling basements into bright, airy rooms with eight even nine foot ceilings and replace unsightly columns with steel support beams to create the open-concept so cherished today.
But renovators beware. Expanding under an existing home presents a number of challenges that in the wrong hands can lead to disaster. Just ask the homeowners of 701 S Washington, who saw their house partially cave in because of grossly negligent planning, engineering and execution (see picture). Failure to fix pre-existing structural problems eventually led to the building’s devastating collapse and ultimate razing.
On the other hand, the owners of 400 Eudora did it right, with the process being properly designed, engineered and entirely hand dug. When complete, this 1930’s two-story colonial will sport a 1250 square foot basement with 9 foot ceilings – where before it only had a 00 square foot basement with low ceilings an intrusive support poles.
Realizing this space can be pricey with estimates starting at around $70 a square foot just for the “concrete box.” Shaw says they typically provide a complete crawlspace conversion, depending upon finishes selected, for between $120 and $150 a square foot. But his can be a great alternative for would-be renovators, especially when lot size restricts other expansion. For more information on how to make over your crawlspace into attractive basement space, contact Crawlspaces 2 Basements at 303-598-9988 or visit their website at www.crawlspaces2basements.com