Assess Your Needs – We’ll all seen some of the luxury basement conversions that include gyms, pools and home cinemas. If money is no object, then there’s no limit to how far you can dig down. But for the average family the choice is generally between the need for more living space or more bedroom space. Though a basement space can be multifunctional, traditionally loft conversions provide more sleeping space and basements more living space. Assess what it is you need before making your plans.
However, a loft extension will be constrained by the shell of the building, whereas a basement extension can significantly extend your home, especially if you choose to dig under the garden. Converting a basement in London has become the popular choice for a reason: it delivers much more usable space.
Define Your Budget – Obviously, a basement conversion is the most costly option – not just in terms of pounds per square foot but also disruption to your daily life. A loft conversion, particularly if it doesn’t include dormer windows or any kind of roof alteration, can be quick and relatively simple. A basement conversion that doesn’t include an extension or lowering the floors can also be straightforward. But if you’re taking the opportunity to extend, or need to adjust head height, then you’ll need to be prepared for some level of inconvenience.
Where basement conversions win is in the opportunity to extend your home without altering the existing shell of the building. If you love your location but need significantly more room, then invest in a proper basement conversion.
Planning Permission – For a straight conversion of the existing space, neither conversion needs planning permission. You will need to comply with building regulations, so whichever conversion you choose it pays to do your homework and use a professional contractor.
Warm and Dry – You must make sure that your basement conversion or extension is properly tanked to prevent damp. But once this is achieved, and if you have a pre-existing suite of basement rooms, you’ll have a serviceable dry space that will suit a variety of needs. The problem with attic conversions is not only the often limited head height but the problem of regulating the temperature in the roof void. Your loft space may be too hot in summer and freezing in winter, and balancing the temperature from your existing heating system can be costly. Basements, on the other hand, benefit from the naturally insulating properties of the earth around them.
Whichever solution suits your needs and your budget, you’ll be reclaiming and gaining valuable space – particularly if you keep it simple and stick to square shapes. But the basement conversion, with its flexibility and possibilities, is the conversion that will give your home the wow factor.