Recently, we started construction of West Coast style walkout basement home on the North Shore for two clients from Vancouver who have had a summer home on the Shuswap for many years.
The plans called for a generous nine foot basement, but when excavation for the foundation began, we quickly encountered poor soil conditions. As always, our commitment to quality dictates building on only the most stable of soil conditions. We put our heads together with the clients and quickly came up with a solution: over-excavating until we hit stable, natural soil, and increasing the height of the foundation to maintain maximum main floor in order to maximize the view and retain a level driveway.
The new 12 foot foundation required an engineering prescription for strengthening through the use of larger and more frequent intervals of rebar reinforcing, which was quickly obtained. The only other change necessary was to modify the interior stairwell. The ceiling height in the basement will result in a very spacious, light-filled lower level.
All of this was quickly and flexibly achieved, with the end result being little change in schedule--the goal is to finish the home in time for the clients to enjoy some use in the summer and fall.
Work on the foundation has finished, and framing is underway. Currently, we're working with the clients to finalize all interior and exterior finishes--cabinets, flooring, fireplaces, and stair railings inside; windows, siding and trim colours outside.
Below you can see a photo of the foundation forming, along with artists renderings of the plan from front and back.