Construction Technology | October 29th, 2015

Dwelling on a Basement?

Basement or no basement…that is the question. If you are considering buying a modular home, one of the critical decisions that will need to be made is what type of foundation will be required for the structure of your home, the soil conditions on your lot, the budget you are working within and, of course, your lifestyle.


Structural Considerations. Most home plans of two-storeys or more will require the structural support of a full basement foundation. Structures contained to one storey in height are well supported by a piling foundation.

Soil Considerations. The depth of the frost line, height of the water table, soil gases and bulk water are all things that need to be considered when installing a basement foundation. Basements can have significant moisture issues – proper site drainage and grading is a key factor that will need to be addressed by your basement contractor.

Budget Considerations. A properly installed basement foundation is not inexpensive. Expect to add 40 – 60% of the cost of the house to your budget to cover the cost of a properly installed basement. Cranes and onsite finishing work will also need to be factored into the total budget. A piling foundation, by comparison, will add roughly 5 – 10% of the cost of your home to the total cost and cranes may not be required.

Lifestyle Considerations. Basements are more complicated and more costly than a piling foundation, but for a great many of our homebuyers, there is no other lifestyle option. If you are considering a basement solely for the extra storage opportunities it will provide you, there are likely more affordable alternatives. If you are considering a basement because you need to have a “man cave”, or if you have a large family, then it absolutely makes sense. Those will be questions that only you are able to answer.

Most of the homebuyers that come to see us are thrilled to discover that installing our homes onto basement foundations is part of the process that we will coordinate. Indeed, we insist on it. Our customers are welcome to use their own basement contractors if they choose, but Jandel Homes will manage the project. That is not to serve as a hindrance to our customers, but rather, ensure that our buyers are well-protected.

Making the decision to build a house is not something that should be done without serious consideration of whom you are entrusting the build to. In the modular construction industry, or if you are embarking on a self-build, this will include all of your sub-contractors. Jandel Homes has the experience, the knowledge and the resources to co-ordinate all of it on your behalf.

For more information on basement installations, please contact one of our Housing Consultants toll free at 855.463.0084 [Edmonton] or 877.504.5005 [Grande Prairie], or read through the additional information provided in the links below.

  • Hiring a Professional Contractor – Get it in Writing! – This website is the fantastic end result of a collaboration between the Government of Canada and the Canadian Home Builders Association. It contains everything you need to know about hiring a contractor, before you hire them.
  • Site Grading and Drainage to Achieve High Performance Basements – A document that reviews strategies and key elements involved in moisture protection for basements. Compiled by the National Research Council of Canada.
  • Keeping the Heat In: Basement Insulation – Basements can account for 20% of a home’s heat loss. This guide, from Natural Resources Canada, reviews details to consider.
  • Healthy Basements – While it was designed as a basement renovation guide, this resource from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation outlines some key considerations for a healthy basement once you scroll past the first paragraph.

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