When seeking extra space in a property, most people think of adding an extension at ground level or converting the loft. If those things have already been done or there’s no room to extend, where do you go?
The answer might well lie beneath your feet. If your property has an existing basement or cellar that you’re not using, you already have a starting point. If not, it is often possible to add a new basement to a property. This is something that is proving increasingly popular, especially in cities where space for conventional extensions may not be available.
While many home owners may have shied away from the idea of using a basement on a regular basis in the past, modern construction and waterproofing methods can make it an attractive and habitable place to be.
Construction methods – There are a number of methods that can be used for basement construction in London. Which one you use will depend on the type of property and the area in question. Most sites can benefit from a basement, but you need to have a proper survey carried out before starting work.
If a site has a high water table, for example, or is in an area that is prone to flooding, while that may not rule out a basement completely, it will add to the building costs. Similarly, you need to know the position of any cables, pipes and sewers. If these have to be relocated, it may add to the costs.
New basements are generally made of concrete. This is often cast in situ around steel reinforcement. However, other methods, such as pre-cast concrete slabs, can be used, too. Once constructed, your basement will need to be waterproofed. Modern waterproof membranes can keep your basement dry and add insulation value at the same time. Depending on the site, it may be necessary to have a pump in order to remove the ground water that runs down the membrane and prevent it making the basement damp. Any decorative finishes are then fitted in front of the membrane, making for a neat and attractive room.
Of course, you also need to give thought to heating and lighting in order to make your new basement a welcoming and comfortable place to be. A specialist in basement construction in London will be able to advise you and help you make the most of the space.
Popular uses – A basement can be used for many different things. As they’re below ground, they’re a good choice for games rooms or home cinemas. If you need an office to work from home, the basement is a popular choice as you will be situated away from the comings and goings and distractions of the rest of the household.
You could also simply use your basement to add extra living or bedroom space to your home. A well-designed basement with carefully thought-out décor and lighting can be a warm and bright place to be.