Building/ digging a cellar in a victorian terrace

Postby dipstick » Fri Feb 08, 2008 12:06 am


I have a victorian end terrace, and I am thinking how useful a cellar would be to me and reaslised that digging one is quite common. I know that getting this built by experts would cost the same as the house value and therefore considering most of the work myself. Can anyone advise or direct me to any useful resources in this area. CAn I just get a structural Engioneer in to advise and just get on with it. I am skilled but not a builder and would be happy to graft each night, but have no idea where to start with structure and foundations etc.

I of course have no problem taking my time with the project but as I have no building knowledge I am worried about even getting the engineers in.. feels like chicken and egg.. the current gap under the floor is about 2.5 feet.

Appreciate any thoughts?!?!? or help anyone can give!

I have trawled the internet and cannot find much in the area of digging a cellar from scratch under a house.. although plenty of companies will do it for about £2.5k per metre (WOw!) thsts about £60k for one room

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Postby arbco » Sat Feb 09, 2008 9:02 pm

This is no easy job and not for the feint hearted. It will definately involve a structural enginner to design the order of the underpinning pads to form the basement, and a pary wall agreement with the nieghbour(s). You will also require b regs and a lot of patience from the wife after carting all the excavated material thrugh the house. A very competant builder would be an advantage.
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Postby matchmade » Sat Feb 16, 2008 4:54 pm

I don't know that it is that common to add terraces to Victorian terraces - it's not an easy job at all, especially if you've nothing to start from. The depth of Victorian foundations are generally small, and you do not want to start undermining your own house! You will need to underpin and although it's not difficult technically, it has to be dug out and filled with concrete in carefully coordinated sections, 1 m3 at a time.

You most definitely need an architect or engineer and a party wall agreement (£1000 minimum if they commission a survey). Also, are you really sure you need the space and that you will add value? Why not just sell up and buy a bigger house? Or build your own, when you could add a cellar as you build - the new pre-cast concrete cellars on the market makes cellars much more affordable than they used to be.
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