Holyoak X in Santaquin & Elk Ridge, UT offers a full service for your basement entrance project. We will install the full package from start to finish.
We can also do any amount of the work you don't want to. It starts with the basement entrance design process and preparing the plans for city approval. We can also excavate and hire the subcontractors for all of the work required.
Installing a basement entrance to your home is a process with multiple phases. Because of this, basement entrances take planning and preparation. The possible processes of installing a basement entrance include the basement entrance design process, excavation, cutting the foundation wall, framing a header inside the basement, installation of the sump, form and pour footings, form and pour the foundation wall, backfill foundation and prep for stairs, form and pour stairs, foundation plaster, door installation, guard railing and handrailing. Each step will be explained individually below.
The initial excavation process is typically done with a mini excavator. The hole dug into the ground is typically dug about 2-4 feet wider than your basement entrance to allow for enough room to form and pour the basement entrance. The spoils from the excavation can be either hauled off or graded on site. Typically, the dirt is piled up nearby for backfilling purposes. Once backfilled the extra material can be hauled off or graded out. You might consider land clearing before your project begins.
Cutting The Foundation Wall
A special concrete saw is used to cut the 8 to 10" thick concrete foundation wall. This is done by mounting the saw directly to the foundation with a track that allows the saw to cut a perfectly straight line in all directions. The concrete is then broken with a jackhammer and hauled away.
Freshly Cut Door For a Basement Entrance
Framing A Header Inside The Basement - Typically most engineers will require a header to be installed inside of the basement. This helps support the load of the house above that would typically rest on the foundation. This should be done before the hole is cut in the wall. This is not always a requirement but will be done anyway as the door will need a framed opening inside of the house.
To prevent flooding of the basement a sump is installed in the landing pad at the bottom of the stairs. This will have a drain in the concrete that feeds to a perforated pipe or box surrounded in gravel. As the perforated basin collects water from the drain, the water percolates out of the perforations into the gravel surrounding the box or pipe.
Drainage Sump Design
Concrete footings are necessary to ensure your foundation wall is sturdy and does not settle. These can be bank poured or in other words just poured against the dirt or they can be formed. Rebar is installed per plan to ensure the strength of the footing under loaded conditions.
Basement entrances require a foundation wall to be poured to hold back the dirt as a retaining wall. It is also something used to pour the stairs against. Rebar must connect the Wall to the newly poured footings. With that, the foundation wall should also be dowelled into the bouse foundation to prevent any shifting in the backfilling process and anytime in the future. Concrete should be vibrated or beaten into the forms to prevent weak rock pockets within the concrete.
Once the concrete footings and foundation wall are poured, the foundation must be backfilled and compacted to prevent potential falls or cave-ins against the foundation. During this time the excavator will prep for concrete stairs. It is best that the stairs are already formed up to this point so the excavator can see exactly where the gravel should be placed for the stairs forms. Gravel is used as a backfill material because it doesn't require any compaction. Which is an easier way to work in confined places such as a basement entrance.
After gravel is installed stairs are ready to pour. Typically the concrete contractor will form the stairs before the gravel is installed by the excavator so the excavating contractor can prep exactly to the right elevation to prevent over run on concrete. Stairs are broomed to a rough finish to prevent slipping under wet or icy conditions. It is important that each step and landing slopes slightly forward to push the water off of each step towards the bottom where the sump is installed. Where possible stairs should be poured in one pour to prevent any cracking that may occur.
Foundation plaster is an optional product rubbed on the raw foundation walls. Typically, this is installed to hide the concrete imperfections that come from the forms and ties during the foundation pour. This is well worth the money as it provides a beautiful finish to the foundation.
Foundation Plaster Gives a Nice Finished Look
The final touch for a basement entrance is a guard railing on the top of the foundation wall and a handrailing following the stairs to the bottom. Both are typically required by code and should be highly considered for safety reasons. These can be easily attached to the concrete with tapcon screws.
Guardrailing and Handrailing
- Permitting for any basement entrance is required in almost any city. This is because a basement entrance should be built to meet modern code requirements. Most cities will require a stamped set of plans that an engineer can design and stamp for a relatively low cost to ensure the project is structurally sound.
- Do you have landscaping you want to save? Basement entrances are a messy project with excavators and concrete trucks. If you want to protect your landscaping around the construction zone, the price will generally go up. The dirt will need to be hauled away and a concrete pump will need to be used to pump the concrete from the street.
- Clean your drain regularly as leaves and dirt may clog the drain and prevent water from entering the sump.
Separate basement entrances are known to substantially increase the value of a home. A basement entrance gives the homeowner the ability to rent out a basement apartment. Many new homeowners like to have the option to rent out their basement to provide them some more income to help pay for their mortgage. A basement entrance is also a great option to access a restroom from your backyard. It can also be a great access to bring furniture into the basement.
Cross Sectional View
Plan View of a Basement Entrance Design