Traditionally we have looked to add more space via rear extensions and loft conversions however where these options are not available or have already been exhausted, basement conversions are becoming increasingly popular. Done right, a basement conversion transforms a dark and dingy cellar or storage room into warm, light, beautiful and airy space.

Urbane Design Architects are experiencing more and more enquiries from home owners and developers about transforming wasted space into amazing rooms such as home cinemas, gyms, swimming pools, spare bedrooms and home offices.

Due to the nature of basements they often make perfect rooms for a noisy hobby such as playing the drums or a place to rowdy teenagers to spend time as basements have a natural sound insulation.

If you are embarking on a basement conversion it is essential to seek professional advice as there are many important aspects to consider including:

1.Assess to viability
Urbane Design start by assessing your property’s potential for conversion. An ideal property for conversion is a house with a small existing cellar or basement. If headroom is restricted, the floor would need to be lowered. Should you not have a cellar then a basement can be created but this involves digging by hand which of course makes it more expensive.

2.Structural considerations
If you are constructing a new basement, you’ll need to underpin foundations on either side which means digging deep under your foundations to support them with concrete and reinforcements.

3.Making your basement habitable
Because basements are naturally damp areas specialist treatments will need to be carried out to ensure your basement is dry and habitable. The basement will require a waterproofing lining membrane to keep dampness and water out as well as  tanking with a cement lining.

4.Light it up
Getting the light right is essential if you don’t want to end up with a dungeon. Digging out light wells can be a great way to introduce light and make your space more inviting.

5.Statutory consents
You would require planning permission to develop your basement if you are adding a light well or creating a new habitable space. If the property shares walls with a neighbour you will need consent from your neighbours before starting work via a party wall agreement. All work will also have to comply with the building regulations.

Urbane Design can help you with all elements of these stages.
If you would like to discuss the possibility of a basement conversion please contact us on 0208 996 0601.

Need specific advice on a project? Call us on 020 8996 0601


Residential architecture, we deliver projects across London and the South East. Discuss your next project call 020 8996 0601.


Urbane Design
Based on 8 reviews
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14:03 24 Apr 20
Robert offers a very professional service. His vision for the space was aligned with ours, so that is why we wanted to work with him to fully... renovate our house. He advised us that we could reconfigure the loft conversion under permitted development and go down the planning application route for the single story rear extension. He drew up plans, providing various different options, and was open to our suggestions for changes. Robert drew up our plans, submitted our applications and ran our tender process to select an appropriate builder. We were very happy with Robert's more
David Jones
David Jones
14:43 07 Apr 20
We worked with Urbane Design during the renovation of our house in West London. They exceeded expectation, had great ideas during planning, great... support during the build and the finished product is better than we even imagined it would be. Would highly more
Chris Stenzel
Chris Stenzel
11:18 06 Apr 20
We decided to engage Urbane to design, submit planning and arrange the tender process with builders after speaking to a number of local architects... and builders. The project involves an internal redesign, extension to rear, side and loft. Robert has come up with amazing design ideas, bearing in mind our budget and focused on how we wanted to use the space. Project is currently in build phase Happy to recommend and provide a more
Ross Nicolson
Ross Nicolson
08:41 06 Apr 20
We used Urbane Designs to renovate and extend our house. From initial consultation to completion, Robert was a pleasure to work with. We'd never... taken on a project like this before, but Robert was great at setting out each stage of the process, with transparent, itemised costs for each. He was also very responsive and helpful with our (many) questions, and of course came up with an excellent design for our more
roland oakshett
roland oakshett
14:11 25 Sep 19
We've used Rob Speight and Urbane Architects twice over the last 10 years. Once to do a ground floor extension and refurbishment and then once to do... a loft and first floor extension.On both occasions Rob was clear and responsive in communication and thoughtful and adaptable in design. We certainly wouldn't have used Urbane a second time if they had not done a good job the first time round (and we did encounter problems with some of our contractors first time). more
Simon Oldham
Simon Oldham
10:05 05 Jul 19
Were great to work with and provided 3 great builders to work with. We could not recommend them more highly for kitchens and extensions.
Deborah Armstrong
Deborah Armstrong
13:39 27 Jun 19
Urbane Design Architects are a wonderful team to work with. Over the course of 18 months they supported us with feasibility, planning permission,... tendering the job, building control approval and contract administration with the builder. Together we carried out a major renovation including a basement, ground floor and 1st floor rear extension. Robert Speight & his team were incredibly responsive throughout, producing exciting and effective designs with lots of detail.I would have no hesitation in recommending Urbane Design Architects to my family & friends, they were a great pleasure to deal with more
Dianna Pierce Burgess
Dianna Pierce Burgess
11:06 18 Jun 19
Most definitely 5 stars! We had a great experience with Urbane Design Architects and their team when we recently extended and reconfigured the... ground floor of our Georgian terraced house in Chiswick W4. Robert Speight was our project architect. He listened to our brief but then made us consider some alternative, exciting ways of thinking about the spaces and materials. He combined his experience of local planning policies, working relationships with local suppliers and our budget to deliver a new home that we are in love with! When we were going through planning permissions and the tender process, the team walked us through all the requirements step by step with us, which was great. Very highly recommended and sensibley priced!read more
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