basement conversion

Are basement conversions worth it?

A basement conversion might well be the only option available for property owners who are looking to extend the liveable space within their home. Many homeowners love their home and don’t want to move, but need more space. Often the only answer is a basement conversion. However, property owners need to know that this will often only be worthwhile financially in areas where the price per square metre of living space is higher than the cost of the conversion. 

Any new basement conversion in London is more than likely to have difficulty with natural lighting, so if you’re looking for extra living space such as a living room or bedroom then you’ll need to plan carefully and more than likely you’ll need to make a few compromises. If you’re after a gym or just extra storage space, then things will be a lot easier.

Added value

If you manage to create a space with enough natural light in addition to plenty of ventilation, then a property owner can add as much as 15% onto the value of their property. Basement conversions in London are definitely financially viable, even in the city’s outer suburbs. In fact, they’ve become so popular that Kensington and Chelsea borough has had to place restrictions on how many applications they approve.

Things to think about

Neighbours can always be a problem when it comes to basement conversions, especially if you end up extending under their house. This is definitely something to think about as you may well end up not getting along with the people living next to you.

A property owner will also require the necessary approval of the building regulations in relation to building a basement conversion. This approval is required no matter the type of conversion and property owners will need one regardless of whether they are creating a completely new excavation under tdheir house or simply converting an existing small basement. 

Is it possible?

The best thing to do is to take a look around your neighbourhood and see which properties have benefited from a basement conversion. Then check out the associated documents published on your borough’s town planning consent website. By looking at these documents you’ll be able to judge whether your basement designs will be possible or not. It’s also a good idea to check out when it comes to finishing your planning application. 

It is difficult for the local planning authority to refuse a basement conversion in London if the conversion doesn’t alter the look of the building. Planning policy has been reviewed, however, when it comes to super basements which can reach a depth of several storeys.

In some instances, the stability of a building can actually be enhanced with the conversion of a basement. This is because many homes built in the 19th Century were built without adequate foundations which your new basement would provide, so why not take the plunge yourself.