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.
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.
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.