How to design a residential basement

The desire to equip the basement in a residential house is understandable. Such a room can perform many useful functions, and therefore is quite often arranged in residential buildings. The basement can be used to store food and things used in a particular season, as well as to organize a full-fledged living space. However, in order to use the basement for their purposes, it is necessary to properly equip it. About how to do it correctly, what materials and technologies to choose and what recommendations to use, and we will talk in this article.

The device of the basement

The residential basement in a private house should be arranged so that it was comfortable and safe to be in it for a long time, and this means that it must necessarily take into account the following elements:

  • Thermal insulation. First, it must be warm, which means that during the construction it must be properly insulated and finished exactly the same way the living floor of the building would have been finished. All elements of the basement, including floor, walls and even ceiling, are insulated and treated with suitable building materials.It is important to take into account the fact that heat loss in the basement is not less than on higher floors. As a rule, standard insulating compositions are insufficient to achieve a comfortable temperature in the room for life, so basements are often equipped with additional sources of heat, such as batteries, that is water heating, or warm floors.
  • Ventilation. One of the main problems of basements is poor ventilation, which is usually represented by several small windows. For the arrangement in the basement of the living space requires the installation of additional ventilation, which can also cost the owner of a country house is quite expensive.
  • Protection against water and moisture. Water leaks or excessive moisture will not allow a long exploitation of the residential basement, moreover, they can destroy the interior decoration, furniture and equipment.

Technical basement in a private home

Technical room differs from other types of basements, first, its purpose. Such a space is intended to house the communications that go to a private home. The utilities located in the basement space include elements of water and sewerage, electrical cables and wires, components of ventilation systems and some other equipment.

At the stage of designing the technical basement, it is extremely important to make a complete characteristic of all the rooms of the house and their sizes. Also, the technical room must comply with the requirements established in the documentation of the particular region. As a rule, such documentation is approved by local authorities.

Sometimes the occupants of the house decide to organize a boiler room in the basement. This is a great way to competently arrange the free space, because in this case, the pipes, radiators and chimney will take up much less space in the living area, that is, on the ground floors of the building.

It is important to understand that the maintenance and repair of communications requires full access in order to get into the room without any difficulty to the people responsible for the operation of the equipment installed in the technical basement. That is why the technical basement must be organized full passage with a hatch or door, where a person can pass without any problems.

Basement construction technology

Technology of basement construction may differ from each other, depending on what conditions are planned to equip the basement and what kind of structure has a basement of a country house or any other building.

The technology of construction depends on the following factors:

  • The time when it is decided to perform the device of the basement – during the construction of the house or when the house is already built;
  • Type of foundation – slab foundation or strip foundation;
  • The material from which the walls are made – monolithic, FBS blocks, bricks or other composition;
  • Presence or absence of groundwater. 

When erecting a new house, building or structure

If the basement is planned during the construction phase of a building or private home, there are usually no problems when erecting it, since such a structure will be part of the whole house and will have the necessary design documentation and preliminary calculations. 

Construction of the basement in the construction of a new house can be carried out in several ways, for example, by digging an excavation or using the technology of pouring in the ground. When digging an excavation, the foundation of the future basement can be a monolithic slab or a strip structure made of monolith or various blocks, such as FBS.

The technology of the foundation slab under the future basement:

  1. A cushion of tamped sand and crushed stone is prepared;
  2. A stiff concrete slab is poured of concrete, usually with a reinforced mesh or reinforced frame;
  3. The cut-off waterproofing is laid; 
  4. A reinforced frame is installed;
  5. Reinforced cage is poured with concrete not lower than grade M300;
  6. Lay a layer of waterproofing on the surface of the poured monolithic slab;
  7. Next, from the edge of the basement slab is made a small indentation in the center of the slab at 15-30 cm and the walls of the future basement are erected of concrete, blocks or bricks.
  8. After the walls are erected, the outer side is covered with waterproofing, taking into account the waterproofing of the slab that was previously left out.
  9. After the device protects the walls from water and moisture, thermal insulation is mounted on the base.

Monolithic walls of the basement:

For their device is initially knit reinforced frame, and then at the junction of the future wall and the slab is installed a special swelling bentonite profile or cord, whose task is to protect the future cold joint from water penetration.

Basement block walls:

FBS blocks or other types of blocks are laid on the foundation slab using different types of mortar and taking into account the performance of cut-off waterproofing.

The technology of constructing a wall in the ground or basement with a strip foundation

The process of pouring in the ground begins with the excavation of ditches with a depth of 1.5-2 meters and a width of 50-70 cm in the areas of installation of basement walls. The bottom of each ditch is equipped with a reinforcing frame, which is poured with concrete mortar. Frozen concrete is the basement wall, which now needs waterproofing and drainage. After that, the ground is removed from the surface down to the floor level of the future basement room.

In fact, strip foundation, as well as the wall in the ground initially has no floor slab, which means that the future basement floor will rest exactly in the strip structure and must be made according to a certain technology.

Arrangement of the basement floor slab:

  1. The base is tamped
  2. Lay a cushion of crushed stone and sand, taking into account the layer-by-layer tamping;
  3. A concrete base is poured;
  4. Laying of waterproofing with outlets on the walls;
  5. Thermal insulation is laid through the geotextile;
  6. Ties up a reinforced frame;
  7. A polyethylene film is laid.
  8. Along the perimeter of the reinforced frame at the junction of the walls and the future floor slab in the middle of the reinforcement, a bentonite cord is installed (to protect the future cold joint from water penetration);
  9. The concrete floor slab is poured.
residential basement

Construction of the basement under the existing house

Arrangement of the basement in the house, which was built earlier, is carried out by professionals. It is worth understanding that this is a rather costly event, which requires a significant investment of time, labor and materials, so it must necessarily be something motivated. In addition, deepening of the existing foundation, which is almost always necessary during the construction of a basement in an existing house or office building, often requires a comprehensive approach in terms of strengthening the structure and its waterproofing.

Due to economic and technical considerations, specialists recommend building a basement only under a part of the house and not under the entire first floor. Basement walls in this case will not be connected with the walls of the main structure and will not affect them.

One method of construction is represented by the following works:

  1. Along the perimeter of the selected room, the soil is excavated to a depth of approximately 2 meters;
  2. The base of the floor is rammed and there is laid a cushion of crushed stone and sand;
  3. A rigid base, e.g. with asbestos cement sheets, is installed along the perimeter.
  4. The waterproofing is placed on the rigid sheets;
  5. A concrete base is poured on the floor;
  6. On the concrete floor, the waterproofing is laid, and a water seal is applied to the walls;
  7. Then comes the device of reinforced framework for pouring the floor and wall slabs;
  8. In the areas of cold joints (future concrete joints) bentonite swell cord is installed;
  9. The next step – is the installation of form work and pouring of the floor slab and walls, concrete grade M450 and above, taking into account waterproofing additives;
  10. After the device of the floor and walls, if necessary, the form work is installed, reinforced frame and poured floor slab (basement ceiling).