Many people want to have more space in their homes, but if you don’t want to lose any of your precious outside space and have already converted the loft, what can you do? In uncertain economic times moving house may not be an attractive option either, which is why increasing numbers of people are looking to extend downwards and create a basement. This is an especially popular option in cities and urban areas where land is at a premium.

Basement benefits

There are lots of advantages to a basement construction. It can provide you with valuable extra space without compromising the external appearance of your property. Basements are often used for a specific purpose, like creating a home cinema, a games or music room or a gym, but they also make a great office for people working from home or a den to get away from the rest of the family. All of these uses have been popular in North America for many years, where basements are used as utility rooms, storage and more.

Basements don’t have to be directly beneath the house. It’s possible to extend under the garden too. This has the benefit of being able to provide natural light via roof lights or light pipes. You can also provide external access to the basement directly. This means you could use it as a garage or as a semi-self-contained flat for visitors.

Basements tend to be inherently well insulated. This not only makes them warm but also relatively soundproof, so they’re good for noisy activities like music practice, which can be carried out without disturbing the rest of the house or the neighbours. The flip side of this is that they also offer a quiet space for work or reading.

Construction issues

In recent years basement companies in London have taken advantage of new construction techniques that make adding basements to existing properties more practical and possible than ever before. Advances in waterproofing and drainage systems mean that it’s possible to create a dry, snug environment below ground.

When designing a basement project it is important to take into account how the space will be used, as well as local conditions such as the soil type, position of the water table and so on. A good basement company will take all of this into account when selecting the best means of designing and waterproofing the project.

Planning matters

As with any extension to your home you need to ensure that you don’t fall foul of the planning rules. Converting an existing cellar or basement into living accommodation won’t usually require planning permission. However, excavating to create a new basement which is likely to involve major works to create the new accommodation is likely to require permission. Your local authority planning department should be able to advise you on what’s needed.

Any work to your basement will also need to comply with building regulations. These cover requirements for things like ventilation, damp proofing, electrical supplies and safe fire escape routes. If your property is semi-detached then you also need to take account of arrangements to protect party walls.