Home Improvement

Published on June 28th, 2018 | by admin

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What you need to know before you start your basement conversion

Converting your basement

You love your house; the area is perfect and you really don’t want to move. But you have outgrown the space and need an extra bedroom or a home office. What to do?  A basement conversion can add vital space and considerably increase the value of your home. In fact, it’s recognised as a great way to get energy efficient and waterproof additional rooms. But not all properties are right for a basement conversion. So whether you plan to start from scratch or are converting basement to bedroom or home gym, it’s very important to research whether your property fits the criteria.

How low can you go?

This project will stop before it starts if you cannot dig down low enough to house a basement. If you have a period property with a lower ground floor, you’re halfway there. This will reduce the amount of digging required or eradicate it completely. But some properties were built on foundations that are not right for a basement construction.  Or there may be so many pipes and wiring beneath that it’s just not cost-effective. Get professional advice from an architect with experience in basement renovations. These professionals can access the original plans of the building and can confirm if your project will get off the ground – or under it!

Planning permission

Once you know it is possible then you need to find out if it’s allowed.  A full-scale excavation will almost certainly require planning permission. But any basement conversion should be checked out with your local authority in advance. Do you share any walls with neighbours? If you do it could pay to get your architect to liaise with surveyors and get a party wall agreement in place. Thinking ahead could save you money and hassle in the future.

Waterproof it

Technology has evolved so much in the world of home conversions that there are many options available to keep your new room dry.  A cavity membrane system works by fixing a membrane behind walls and floors. This layer collects any moisture and the water is pumped out. This innovative system can make the basement the warmest and driest room in the house, but that may not be right for your home – a simple damp injection course may be enough. It’s important to take advice from a damp-proofing expert to take the right course of action.

Let there be light

Your basement will benefit from as much natural light as possible. Not only will it be a more comfortable living space, but more light increases your chances of acquiring planning permission.  Ask your architect to factor in a bay window, if it’s in-keeping with the front of the property. Glazed flooring will help internal spacesor a light shaft can add light – and a lovely design feature too.

Bluelime Home Design offers architect and home extension services to London and the South East.  We can plan, design and construct your conversion with minimal fuss. Contact us for a free, no obligation design survey in your home.


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