Types of Foundation for Additions

Why a new foundation?

The foundation is the most important part of any construction. It is essential that the foundation has been installed properly – that means, it’s level, it’s water tight, it’s square and built to Ontario Building Code Standards. If any area of the foundation has been poorly built it will cause greater problems as the construction continues.

When looking to have a foundation built, it’s best to have the professionals do it. When you hire an experienced home renovator, you can rest assured knowing that the necessary permits have been filed, building best-practices have been executed and the work is guaranteed by the contractor’s warranty.

When preparing your home for an addition, there are several types of foundation styles available that based on the type of addition and the lifestyle of the homeowners. In Toronto, it’s required that the foundation be below the frost line, minimum of four feet. This ensures that the foundation is secure and won’t be upset by the freeze/thaw cycle – which can be incredibly damaging to the structure of the building.

1. Full Basement – Kingsway

For this two-storey addition we excavated a full basement, the ceilings are between 8 and 9 feet high. A full basement requires a significant amount of digging and soil removal. The full basement was really the best choice for this homeowner, it gave them not only a foundation for the addition but also more living space. We added a family/games room, a kitchenette, and a workout room.

2. Crawlspace – Ardaugh

The crawlspace can be used in different scenarios. The crawlspace must comply with provincial building codes, so the foundation must be at least four feet deep. It is less expensive than a full basement however, it cannot be converted into living space. It can be used for storage although, there are limits to what can be stored in such a space. Typically, you’d only store items that are seasonal like, decorations, garden tools and sport equipment.

3. Slab –Pitfield

The slab is made from poured concrete, it is often reinforced with rebar and wire-mesh. It can only be used for a one-storey building at grade level. Though this option is economically priced, it doesn’t allow for any further stories to be added, nor does it provide storage. The slab is not a popular option in a densely-populated area like Toronto, it has too many drawbacks and any enhancements would be extremely costly and would probably require demolition.

4. Helical Pier – Scarborough Rd.

Helical Piers have a few different terms, such as Pole Foundations, Screw Anchors or Screw Foundations. The footings still need to be drilled below the frost-line but, almost no soil is disturbed. However, like the slab, you will not be able to add a full basement. Pole footings are often used in areas where a full basement or crawl-space wouldn’t be feasible. We have used this technique in The Beaches area. We chose this method because of the poor load bearing capacity of the soil and because we were preserving the roots of the mature trees on the lot. Interestingly, with this build, the downspouts empty below the house thus, feeding trees the with air and water.

Are you looking to build a new foundation for your Toronto home? Contact the home renovation experts at Bryant Renovations.