Lowering a Basement Floor - Images 1-8

In the original basement, a low-ceilinged family room shared space at the front of the house with a large utility area.

The basement utility room

To minimize the need for supporting columns and bearing walls, we planned to support as much of the first-floor system as we could with new steel beams.

Before we could excavate for the footings, though, we needed to break through the slab at these locations with a rented jackhammer.

With a newly poured driveway on one side of the 40-foot-wide lot, a deck and spa area in the back, and a landscaped parking bay in the front, there was only a small section of yard available for staging material and operating the skid steer.

Boyer's crew broke up the rest of the slab floor with their jackhammer, then hand-loaded the debris onto a rented 26-foot-long portable dirt conveyor.

The three-man crew shoveled out another 17 to 18 inches of soil (approximately 50 cubic yards), a process that took three days of hard work.

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