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Can You Reuse The Basement of a Demolished Building?

You may have probably seen the basement foundation sitting alone after a house demolition on a given site. If you have, this is because the owners are considering using the old basement foundation in the new house.

This issue has brewed a very long discussion – to use or not to use the old basement of a demolished building. Well, this comes with its fair share of advantages and disadvantages.

This article looks at the pros and cons of using the basement of a demolished building so that you know what to expect if you decide to proceed with the plan.


  • It is Cost-Effective
demolition of a house

The basement is the foundation of any house and this is the reason it is known as a foundation. Without a good foundation, you will have a weak house that will present you with a whole lot of problems in the future. For those who have built houses before, they will tell you that the basement foundation involves a fair share of the construction budget. With that in mind, you may want to retain the old basement in the new construction. However, do this only if the basement is intact and in line with your design style and building codes.

  • Fewer Permits Involved

You cannot just wake up and jump into buildingĀ a house from nowhere. You have to visit the municipal headquarters and obtain some permits. Before you obtain such permits, you must have had some inspections done on your basement foundation. These are aimed at ensuring the building water, sewer, and gas piping is in line with the laid safety codes. Since such permits are sometimes expensive to obtain, you can forego them by retaining the basement of a demolished building.

  • Reduced Construction Time

The part that usually takes the longest when building a house is the basement foundation. A lot of excavation has to be conducted and then be filled with lots of concrete to make it solid. All these processes take a lot of time and they increase the turnover time by a very big margin. Reusing the basement of a demolished building bypasses the process of excavating the land and laying down the basement, thereby reducing the construction time by almost 1/3.

  • Environmental Friendliness

Excavation entails cutting through the ground and laying down the concrete columns that interfere with the area surrounding the construction site. At the same time, moving the construction materials and making the concrete produce lots of carbon that ends up in the ozone layer. Since we should conserve the environment, you can reduce the number of greenhouse gases that end up in the ozone layer by reusing the basement of a demolished house. This way, you will have taken part in the conservation of the environment so that we leave our generations a better world than we found it.


  • The Foundation May be Compromised

Sometimes people demolish their houses because they were heavily infested with pests and mold, beyond the point of remediation. The most serious problem with reusing a basement of a demolished building is that it may be heavily infested with pests and mold. Doing this means you are inheriting the menace or are planning to continue living with it, which is both expensive and exhausting.

  • The Foundation May Not Align with the Standards

At times the basement may be too old such that the utility lines and layout may not be in line with the new standard requirements. Failure to meet the necessary standard requirements may place you on the wrong side of the law. To bring the old utility lines to the current standards may also be very expensive for your budget.

  • The Design May Not Align with Your Style

One of the many reasons for demolishing a house is that it may be too old. When this is the case, the basement of an old demolished building may not align with new and trendy designs. It means that you will have to go through a lot of struggle to bring the basement in line with your new choice of design. At times, you may never achieve this and may have to go with the old design.

It is evident from the discussion above that the decision of whether or not to use the basement of a demolished house requires serious thought. You have to assess the nature and state of the foundation to make sure that it will not present you with problems once you decide to retain it.