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Hard Flooring

Lowering a concrete floor to make more headroom

Hi - we are thinking of buying an old cottage (mid 1800's) with very low headroom in two downstairs rooms due to original exposed wooden beams. To accommodate me - I'm 6'4 - there would need to be about another foot - 18inch of headroom. The house was converted in the 50's or 60's from two cottages and at that point a concrete floor was laid under the two reception rooms.

Would this be a feasible job to contemplate or would we be better looking at a different property?

The house is not listed so there shouldn't be any problem in doing the work provided it complies with building regs.

thanks in advance for any advice.

Edit 25-September:

Thanks for the replies - very informative.

One more thought - would it be possible to remove the beams to make some more room. Some/all of them are structural but the property is not listed - so an alternative support that didn't take up as much vertical space may be possible. Would this be a cheaper/easier alternative?

thanks again.

2 Answers from MyBuilder Flooring Fitters

Best Answer

The first thing you would need to consider is how far below ground level you can go without disturbing the foundations, as older properties were constructed on brick built tier style foundations it may be necessary to underpin the property before being able to dig up the existing floor.
The second thing to consider is that because of building regulations the new floor would have to be correctly insulated and a typical insulated concrete base would be around 300mm therefore to gain the extra 300-450mm head height you would actually have to excavate anywhere between 600mm and 750mm.
I wouldn't imagine this type of structural work would significantly increase your property value if at all and therefore the only way this type of work would be feasible is if you are making this property your home for many years to come in which case you would need to be comfortable.
However depending on the scale of your home this would be quite a large amount of work to be undertaken and I would recommend carefully considering your options before making any decisions.
As a final point I would recommend the first person you contact regarding this is your local building control department who will be able to give you a more detailed conclusion as to wether or not this is a viable solution.


Answered 22nd Sep 2012

to lower the floors to give an extra18 inches you would have to excavate a minimum of30 inches to allow for hardcore/insulation/concrete, this will take you under the footings, sugest you abandon this idea, regardsTerry.


Answered 22nd Sep 2012

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