I purchased a property in the Harbord Pillage area that included an old Victorian and detached legal-non-conforming coach house. Both houses had tremendous structural limitations and deficiencies and were in a complete state of disrepair.
The brick foundation of the front Victorian was only 1 coarse thick and bowing inwards due to lateral pressure. The biggest challenge for replacing the foundation of the front house was shoring and supporting the existing upper two levels of the house, alongside not disturbing the neighboring structures. The Underpinners supported the bowing brick foundation, sequentially replacing it by cutting out sections and using Insulated Concrete Forms to pour a new foundation. In the few areas the existing foundation walls were in tact, Daniel and his team underpinned the walls and applied a liner wall to reinforce the existing foundation. The finished basement ceiling height is 8’ 6” with a walkout entrance.
The coach house behind it was an old fishing lodge dating back to the early 1800s and in even worse shape. The foundation, where there was one, was completely falling apart and needed to be entirely replaced. When it rained, water would pour through the mortar joints in the degraded cinderblock. The challenges at the coach house were many. Among them, the existing 2 storey structure was sitting on rotted log beams and the remaining foundation needed structural reinforcement and/or complete replacement. As it was a legal-non-confirming building, the project required extensive shoring to keep the existing structure intact and safe to work under while the foundation was being replaced. Using steel piles and solid lagging, the Underpinners shored along the property line to support the neighbor’s garage and 12 feet of soil. This was done in order to maintain a safe work site for their employees and sub contractors. They then supported the entire house on temporary jack posts while forming and pouring new footing and foundation walls. The finished basement height is 8’ 2” with radiant heated polished cement floors and a walkout.
The project was complex and extensive from the start, with many logistical and unforeseen challenges. I interviewed many companies to contract out this large body of work and, after numerous estimates and site meetings, the only contractor I felt comfortable taking on the project were the Underpinners. In addition to being stand-up guys, both Daniel and Stephen have extensive construction knowledge and a thorough understanding of foundation, shoring and underpinning. The Underpinners completed both projects efficiently and safely, working alongside engineers and sub trades to ensure everything went smoothly. The Underpinners operate with a level of professionalism, honesty and integrity that is oftentimes lacking in the construction industry. It was a complete pleasure working with the Underpinners on this project and on others. I would very much recommend their services and continue to use them on my projects throughout the city.