Digging out and finishing a basement

6 Replies

Good morning all!

I am interested in doing a basement dig out and finish and I want to do the work myself. I would like to touch base with an engineer type for some quick guidance and approval (obviously at a cost). Any recommendations on who I might be able to reach out to on this? Thanks!


Home Depot has good prices on shovels!

(Just kidding, I don’t know much about dig-outs, but couldn’t help it!) :)

@Scott Bowles , you may want to also talk with the city.  Moving a lot of dirt like that might cause inspectors to stop by.  Just had that happen on a house I was doing.  Even if its your primary, they still may want a permit pulled.  You can always take a chance, just giving you a heads up since it just happened to me.  Good luck!

I would suggest you do a search for a local structural engineer in your community. When you start digging out a basement that was never meant to be one, you stand a chance of compromising the integrity of the foundation by exposing or undermining the footers, removing soil that was used for stabilization purposes, etc. I would suspect Salt Lake City has no shortage of qualified civil structural engineers if you Google it. In any case, you might find the cost will be more than just trucking away excess dirt (or relocating it on site, if you're that lucky). 

Structural Engineering is actually what I do for my day job. Send me a message and I would be happy to come look at your project and give you a few recommendations. Digging out a basement can be extremely expensive. Getting it done from an engineering stand point is one thing, but making sure that the deal justifies that kind of rehab would be another. I looked into doing it myself an a project a couple years ago. I just couldn't justify the amount of work/time/money. There is no way that the payoff was high enough for me. I hope you that the numbers work for you though. I know of an investor who uses that strategy regularly and does fairly well. Good Luck!!