• Last Updated:
  • Jun 9th, 2020 2:54 pm
Tags:
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 26, 2016
22 posts
8 upvotes

Walk-up Basement

I have purchased a new detached house in the GTA. I would like to get a walk-up basement. The option is available but I was told by the builder that it was not possible to get a walk-up basement because of the grading of my specific lot. I am kind of surprised by this because I thought a walk-up basement is always possible, as opposed to a walk-OUT basement. Is there situations where a walk-up basement is not possible? Would there be a reason why the builder would not want to do it? Could I hire a third party to do it afterwards? If someone could enlighten me on this I would really appreciate it.
26 replies
Sr. Member
Nov 6, 2014
727 posts
1119 upvotes
Woodbridge, ON
More complicated to form or cut foundation. Potential issues with water needing to be weeped out, drained from the pit. Exposing the lower foundation to freeze thaw causing potential cracks and warranty issues as well as he may need a permit to add that to the house. Don't assume is easy with no issues. You can do it after but you need a permit and a contractor who specializes in cutting the foundation, drainage, forming stairs....etc. Good luck
Sr. Member
Mar 10, 2004
650 posts
214 upvotes
Is it obvious to u there s a grading issue? Pics?
Deal Fanatic
Jan 25, 2007
9639 posts
5036 upvotes
Paris
Do stairs in the back of your garage to the basement.
Sr. Member
Jun 26, 2019
795 posts
596 upvotes
Got any pics, or a survey plan of your house?

Also, where are you planning on putting this, front, sideyard, backyard?

Grading of a lot wouldn't really be a reason you couldn't do it, unless you were blocking a full sideyard or another drainage path. I could also see offsets giving you issues.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Oct 13, 2008
4572 posts
1584 upvotes
You would require a permit. Ask the City.
16'x11' Living Room 11' Cathedral Ceiling. Hisense 65Q8G. Denon AVR-S740H 7.2 setup. Jamo Classic 10 280W Towers - FR+FL; Polk S35 - Center; Klipsch R51M - RR+RL; Klipsch R14M - Dolby FHR+FHL; Polk HTS10 Subwoofer x2. Unlocked Android Boxes from Taiwan x2
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 16, 2011
3930 posts
3480 upvotes
The NORTH
Jerico wrote: Do stairs in the back of your garage to the basement.
Won't be able to be a basement apartment then...
Deal Addict
Nov 17, 2012
3166 posts
2136 upvotes
Toronto
Simplepleasures wrote: Could I hire a third party to do it afterwards?
Naturally this is an option, and it may be what you have to do. If the builder isn't interested in doing it, you don't have much of a choice. If you've already bought, then that ship has sailed and you're working with whatever the builder has planned and the lot allows.

You'll have to take a good look at the lot plan, where mechanicals are being run, electrical panel, plumbing, duct work, gas lines etc. and see if there is an obvious location for an opening in the foundation wall/access dug into the ground. Get those plans from your builder and discuss with a 3rd party.
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 26, 2016
22 posts
8 upvotes
I am planning to use the basement as a rental property. I do have a side door option but if I use this option then the square footage of the rental space is too much violating the zoning by-law. The property is in Oakville. It must be at most 807 square feet. I asked the city zoning rep. if I could block off some of the basement space for me only and he said if the tenant has access and you don't have direct access it can't be considered.

To answer some of the other questions raised:

-I would like a walk-up basement entrance in the backyard. I just read the email I received from the décor centre and the email says "no your grade does not allow it", which doesn't make sense to me.
-I don't have survey plans yet. I will ask the builder for them.

Questions:
Does anybody have another work around solution using the side door option?
Can someone recommend a third party for a walk-up basement in the Oakville area?
Any other suggestions one can offer?

Thank you very much.
Deal Addict
Nov 23, 2003
2048 posts
520 upvotes
12000 to 15000 dollars can be done at a later stage with permit. This is so common here in Brampton.
Sr. Member
Jun 26, 2019
795 posts
596 upvotes
Simplepleasures wrote:
-I would like a walk-up basement entrance in the backyard. I just read the email I received from the décor centre and the email says "no your grade does not allow it", which doesn't make sense to me.
This doesn't make sense for the rear lot, assuming minimum offsets and everything, grades shouldn't cause an issue.

I'm wondering if the decor centre is confusing your request for a WALK-UP basement with a WALKOUT basement. Could confirm they are clear on this point.

That said, it is possible they just don't want to be bothered with it.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Oct 16, 2008
7973 posts
2666 upvotes
Maple
Simplepleasures wrote: I have purchased a new detached house in the GTA. I would like to get a walk-up basement. The option is available but I was told by the builder that it was not possible to get a walk-up basement because of the grading of my specific lot. I am kind of surprised by this because I thought a walk-up basement is always possible, as opposed to a walk-OUT basement. Is there situations where a walk-up basement is not possible? Would there be a reason why the builder would not want to do it? Could I hire a third party to do it afterwards? If someone could enlighten me on this I would really appreciate it.
Not all lots can be converted to walk-out basement. It depends on grading. Most of the time, builders will deny the request if the lot is not walk-out basement.
By the way, is walk-out same as walk-up in your mind?
Deal Addict
Nov 17, 2012
3166 posts
2136 upvotes
Toronto
teoconca wrote: Not all lots can be converted to walk-out basement. It depends on grading. Most of the time, builders will deny the request if the lot is not walk-out basement.
By the way, is walk-out same as walk-up in your mind?
OP understands the difference - says as much in their original post. A 'walk up' basement is a below grade entrance to the basement accessed by a set of stairs leading down to the footing level from grade. The 'walk up' refers to the perspective of being in the basement and having to 'walk up' to get out of it vs. simply a 'walk-out' where the exit is at grade level.

The OP simply wants a door in the foundation wall, excavation/retaining walls/drainage to access the door from the yard.

Given you (OP) want a rental unit in the basement, have you factored in all the egress from bedrooms needed? Windows are the right size/type/height from floor for this? Have enough electrical (200A?) service in the house to run a 2nd kitchen/laundry?
Sr. Member
Mar 10, 2004
650 posts
214 upvotes
SubjectivelyObjective wrote: This doesn't make sense for the rear lot, assuming minimum offsets and everything, grades shouldn't cause an issue.

I'm wondering if the decor centre is confusing your request for a WALK-UP basement with a WALKOUT basement. Could confirm they are clear on this point.

That said, it is possible they just don't want to be bothered with it.
Agree completely. Ask builder for more clarity. And hope that it s simply a misunderstanding.
Sr. Member
Mar 10, 2004
650 posts
214 upvotes
Singh_21 wrote: 12000 to 15000 dollars can be done at a later stage with permit. This is so common here in Brampton.
Would this void tarion warranty if done during warranty period?
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 26, 2016
22 posts
8 upvotes
torontotim wrote: OP understands the difference - says as much in their original post. A 'walk up' basement is a below grade entrance to the basement accessed by a set of stairs leading down to the footing level from grade. The 'walk up' refers to the perspective of being in the basement and having to 'walk up' to get out of it vs. simply a 'walk-out' where the exit is at grade level.

The OP simply wants a door in the foundation wall, excavation/retaining walls/drainage to access the door from the yard.

Given you (OP) want a rental unit in the basement, have you factored in all the egress from bedrooms needed? Windows are the right size/type/height from floor for this? Have enough electrical (200A?) service in the house to run a 2nd kitchen/laundry?
I have made multiple trips to the city planning dept. to gather information. The builder won't allow changes to the windows. If I make a bedroom then I have to ensure there is a window in there. If I keep the basement one big open space and have a walk-up basement exit I should have all things covered. I know there are subtle differences in regulations from city to city.
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 26, 2016
22 posts
8 upvotes
tempperm wrote: Would this void tarion warranty if done during warranty period?
A finished basement is part of the deal so if there is a leak in the basement after altering the foundation, I could see Tarion warranty being voided. This is something I don't know but that would make sense. A point to consider...
Deal Addict
Nov 23, 2003
2048 posts
520 upvotes
tempperm wrote: Would this void tarion warranty if done during warranty period?
Possibly. I am not sure. I got the entry done after 7 years. Not necessarily because of that but just wasn’t interested in renting out the basement before.
Sr. Member
Mar 10, 2004
650 posts
214 upvotes
Simplepleasures wrote: A finished basement is part of the deal so if there is a leak in the basement after altering the foundation, I could see Tarion warranty being voided. This is something I don't know but that would make sense. A point to consider...
Have u already signed? If not then i might hesitate on finishing basement if they won t do the window and walk up.

Top