QUALITY & DURABILITY
COMPLEX & CHALLENGING RESIDENTIAL PROJECTS
SERVING RESIDENTIAL CLIENTS THROUGHOUT DOWNTOWN TORONTO
790 BAY STREET
TORONTO ON M5G 1N8
The Underpinners Inc:Our Commitmentto Our ClientsSERVING DOWNTOWN TORONTO Underpinning can be one of the most challenging and complicated aspects of home renovation. Our clients trust us with the long-term stability and safety of their home, and we take that responsibility very seriously. The Underpinners Inc provides professional, high quality and competitively priced services for all underground structural alterations. We maintain an exceptional track record of safe and successful underpinnings across downtown Toronto. Our team of managers and foremen are professionally trained to safely and creatively plan, design, execute and monitor large and complex residential projects that other companies are not equipped to price, and wish to avoid. We work with a trusted group of consultants, use commercial-grade products and follow a standard of practice much higher than the legislated requirements. The Underpinners Inc holds an extensive commercial liability insurance policy, and all of our workers are covered by the WSIB Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. Every safety precaution, control measure and extra consultation is part of our promise to deliver work that is done right the very first time.
Our Process: Investigation,Planning, Drawing& Construction THE STEPS THAT GUIDE US W hile construction is full of unknowns, we keep our process transparent. With each new challenge we combine creative on-site problem solving with thorough planning and management; controlling costs and reducing risks along the way. We clearly outline the steps for our clients, keep them informed of our progress, addressing concerns. The Investigation PhaseThe existing condition of the building and site greatly affects the feasibility of underpinning. We start by investigating the nature of the foundation system, the soil, the building structure, the adjacent properties and surrounding site. We check the condition of foundation wall, determine the pressure of the soil on the existing foundation, and check how the structural loads are distributed. We search for cracks or apparent settling, and in the case of an abnormality, we enlist a qualified geotechnical engineer to conduct a soil investigation. Combined with a drawing review, this information is invaluable in determining the best and most cost-effective design and stabilization method for the underpinning before excavation starts. The Planning PhaseOnce we've gathered all of the existing documentation and conducted soil tests, we set out a clear and detailed plan of action. This includes an estimate of costs and risks. and how to address each issue. At this stage we decide on the best approach, the necessary equipment, and whether shoring or temporary stabilization is required. Our extensive experience with challenging projects allows us to find creative ways to provide high value at an economical cost. We provide a detailed quote for our clients to review. Once confirmed, we assemble the right team from our trusted network of experts and hold our first team meeting to discuss the scope of work. Design Drawings & DocumentationWe engage an architect and structural engineer to prepare drawings that include all of the information discovered in the investigation phase. These documents show the construction technique, the width of the excavation pits, the reinforcement, columns, beams and footings. We typically take extra precautions - reducing the width of standard excavation pits and specifying additional bracing and support depending on the specific site conditions. Next, we submit drawings and documentation for permit and co-ordinate inspections in order to move forward with the job. Construction PhaseEven with diligent investigation and comprehensive design documents, the success of any project ultimately depends on the proper execution of the work. Underpinning is done in stages to maintain the structural integrity of the building above, but too frequently, accidents result from the excavation advancing more quickly than the underpinning. We avoid this by precisely co-ordinating our excavations and underpinnings with routine safety inspections by our structural and soil engineer, as well as the building inspector when required. We plan out all of the critical activities in sequence, and then work as an integrated team to dig, monitor, and pour. After the underpinnings are in place, we carry out a water management plan to protect the basement from moisture. We apply a water proofing membrane to the interior face of all exterior foundation walls, and we install gravel, weepers, a sump pump/pit and new underground sanitary drains. Underpinning provides a clean slate - an opportunity to reconfigure the plumbing in a house and change the location of the kitchen or bathrooms above.We insulate the new concrete slab, and provide our clients with the option to add radiant floor heating. ComplexitiesDigging down we've found just about everything: large boulders, pipes, underwater streams and rivers, bones, horseshoes, axes, bottles, horse shoes. These surprises can sometimes add complexity and delays to job, and over the years we've learned to creatively overcome these problems and limit additional costs. In tricky situations, we benefit from owning specialized equipment that allows us to immediately deal with unforeseen issues, as they arise. Our EquipmentMany of the most challenging jobs are possible because we own and operate a fleet of highly specialized equipment, sized for tight access downtown sites. We use our mini diesel and electric excavating equipment and conveyors to get dirt out, and our in-house concrete pump gets concrete in. Using this pump allows us to provide consistency in the concrete mixes that we pour, and consistent drying times as the underpinning progresses. Having this equipment on hand improves the quality and efficiency of our work, and allows us to control costs while provide savings to our clients.
DANIEL GARFIELDfounder/director Founder Daniel Garfield first discovered his love of machinery at the age of 14. By his late teens he was running a landscape construction company while pursuing a business degree at the University of Guelph. Daniel went on to earn a Science and Construction Management degree from George Brown College. Throughout his education Daniel spent as much time as possible on site, working directly with experienced mentors. This first-hand allowed Daniel to excel quickly in his career. For three years, Daniel worked in marine construction, carrying out shoreline retention, stabilization and restoration projects along Lake Simcoe. This specialized experience in pile driving, barging, drudging, bank stabilization and soil retention on lake-front properties provided the basis for Daniel's knowledge in heavy construction. Daniel eventually decided to apply his expertise in marine construction to underpinning - seeing a huge opportunity to increase the livable space of Toronto's sought-after downtown homes. He formed The Underpinners Inc as a 50% sharehold agreement with a local Toronto builder. After four years of growing the company, Daniel took full ownership. Daniel's structural expertise allows him to creatively tackle extremely challenging underpinning projects.To date, he has completed well over a 100 underpinnings in Toronto's downtown core. Daniel believes that a great business is a function of the relationships built. He views his employees, tradesmen and clients as integral partners to any successful project. Building a business based on strong relationships and superior craftsmanship has earned Daniel the reputation of being committed to excellence and surpassing his client’s expectations. STEPHEN NEUsecond-in-command Stephen joined The Underpinners Inc in 2012 and very quickly developed into an exceptional construction manager - in charge of quality control and effectively leading the team. Stephen puts together the weekly plans for our projects and manages the sites. He has run well over a 100 complex underpinning projects, is an experienced equipment operator and carpenter, and possesses a vast knowledge of all of the structural services that we provide. Stephen graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Queens University before attending George Brown College for Construction Management.