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New Basement Entrance at Your House? What Do You Need to Know?

Introduction

In these tough economic times, many single family home owners tend to get extra income from their owned property. A very common idea for such extra income is the establishment of a legal basement suite within their property. Basement suites require normally two exits. One will be connected to the main floor through the internal stairs. The second entrance will be done from outside. This will require door opening in the foundation wall, excavation in the grade to reach the basement floor level and finally a retaining wall with its foundation surrounding the new stairs and landing. The city or municipality will require structural drawings for the intended opening in the foundation concrete wall as well as the structural design for the new retaining wall and its foundation. The new concrete foundation wall opening will act as the basement main entrance.


New Basement Entrance Documents

The following list is considered to be the minimum requirements for home owners in order to get their development permit for the new basement entrance.

  1. Structural drawings for the retaining wall enclosing the new exterior stairs from the grade level to the basement level.

  2. Concrete wall reinforcement details to accommodate the new door opening.

  3. Structural appraisal letter with the summary of the drawings and the recommendations to the construction contractor.


What is Next

Home owners and construction contractors should consult structural engineers for the preparation of the structural drawings and assessment letters required for the application of the development permits. Moreover, a suitable drainage system is also needed to avoid any hydrostatic pressure on the retaining wall.


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