03:09AM | 08/18/04
Member Since: 08/17/04
16 lifetime posts
I am in the process of purchasing a home that has a slab foundation. Unfortunately it does not have a basement, or a garage. Being it is in the city, it has a relatively small lot.

I guess the first question is, how costly is it to convert a slab foundation to a basement (a little over 1000 sq. feet on the first floor)? I'm assuming that this can be done, but I could be wrong..

Has anyone seen this done before? I searched online and could not find much on doing such a conversion. Secondly, if this were done, wouldn't they need to remove the concrete slab currently serving as the floor and put in a wood frame?

Secondly, I might consider putting a 2 car garage under the first floor, intead of a full basement. It is very common with older houses in this town to add a garage under the house (a lot size issue again..). This would probably be cheaper than a full basement, but it is still an option that I may consider.

I would like to do this, but I am also looking at the cost side of a conversion. I would more than likely use the garage/basement as a workshop. Another probably cheaper option would be to add a second floor and use a room on the first floor as a workshop.

This house is in southern WI, and we experience colder winters. Is there a way of insulating this slab from the inside to assist in lowering the heating bill? I heard that slab foundations are more expensive to heat, which I can see due to obvious reasons.

I am getting a very good deal on this house (divorce's are good for first time homebuyers!). I already had a professional inspector go through the house and look it over. Most problems were cosmetic and easy to fix.

Thanks much in advance


09:26AM | 08/18/04
Member Since: 07/01/03
558 lifetime posts
You may have ambitions that cannot be economically fulfulled. This project requires lifting the house (see house and building movers). The slab would need to be broken up and a new foundation and basement excavated. Utility access would need to be restored, including new sewer lateral or lift pump. The foundation and basement walls would need to be build or poured up to a new sill plate that would support joists. A subfloor would be laid on this deck and the the house would then be lowered and attached. The difficulty of such a project is tremendous and it will be very expensive.

If a basement and garage are important to you, pick another house. This project is probably not economically feasible as you will not recover the cost if you need to re-sell. Obtaining financing will be difficult depending on the appraised values with and without the basement. Even though you are getting a good deal, by the time you pay for such an expensive addition, you may have the most expensive house in the area. Better to spend a little more and get a house that already has the features and room that you want.


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