Underpinning vs. Benching

Underpinning vs. Benching

Underpinning vs. Benching

Basement renovation is a popular way to increase your living space and add value to your property. Two common methods of basement renovation include underpinning and benching.

Recognizing the differences between these two techniques is crucial for homeowners planning a basement renovation. It is important to be able to carry out a comparison between underpinning and benching when it comes to your needs as a homeowner, as well as to understand how to find the right contractor for your project. 

Basement Underpinning

Underpinning refers to the process of reinforcing and stabilizing a building’s foundation by digging out the soil beneath its existing foundation and pouring new concrete footings. This method allows homeowners to increase their basement’s height and create a more functional living space. 


  • Increases headroom and usable living space 
  • Provides additional structural support 
  • Addresses existing foundation issues 


  • Improved Structural Integrity: Underpinning addresses existing foundation issues while improving ceiling heights and lighting capabilities.
  • Updated Features: Underpinning your basement allows you to update the electrical fixtures in your basement, along with plumbing and insulation features.
  • Increased Value: The basement underpinning process can help you boost the value of your home and your property.

Basement Benching

Basement benching, also known as bench footing, refers to a technique that involves constructing a new concrete shelf or bench around the perimeter of your basement, leaving existing foundation intact. Benches are built at the desired floor level, and the existing floor is removed or lowered in order to achieve your desired basement height. 


  • Retains the existing foundation 
  • Creates a bench-like ledge around the basement perimeter 
  • Increases headroom without altering the foundation 


  • Cost-Effective: Benching is generally less expensive than underpinning, as it doesn’t involve altering the foundation. 
  • Less Disruption: Benching is less invasive, reducing the risk of damage to the existing structure. 
  • Quicker Process: The benching process is typically faster than underpinning, allowing homeowners to enjoy their new space sooner. 

Choosing Between Basement Underpinning and Bench Footing

Choosing the right basement construction method for you depends on your specific needs and circumstances – both underpinning and benching offer unique advantages, and understanding the differences between the two is crucial when it comes to making an informed decision. 

In order to make the right choice, remember to:

  • Assess Your Goals: Consider what you hope to achieve with your basement renovation. Are you creating a new living area, increasing headroom, or addressing structural issues?
  • Evaluate Your Budget: Determine how much you’re willing to invest in your basement renovation. 
  • Consult with Professionals: Speak with reliable contractors and engineers to determine which method best suits your needs. 

How to Choose the Right Contractor

Selecting a reliable, experienced contractor is essential for a successful basement renovation project. The right contractor will ensure your project is completed safely, on time, and within budget. In order to choose the right contractor for your basement renovation, consider the following: 

  • Research Potential Contractors: Search for reputable companies online, read reviews, and ask for recommendations from friends and family. 
  • Verify Credentials: Ensure contractors are licensed, insured, and have a proven track record of successful projects. 
  • Request Quotes: Obtain detailed quotes from multiple contractors to compare pricing and your desired scope of work. 

Choosing between underpinning and benching for your basement renovation project can be an important decision that requires careful consideration. By understanding the features and benefits of each method, you can select the most appropriate solution for your specific needs.

When it comes to selecting a contractor, thorough research, verifying credentials, and comparing quotes will help you ensure you can find a reliable, professional, and economical partner for your project. Investing time and effort into choosing the right contractor for you will result in a successful renovation job that can add value, functionality, and comfort to your home. 

At MAGCOR, our team of professionals is here for you to help you guarantee that your basement renovation project will go smoothly and be completed with the highest level of quality. Reach out to a member of our team today to get started.

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