London is one of the greatest cities on Earth. A truly cosmopolitan capital, it attracts millions of people from all over the globe to visit, live and work. If you are lucky enough to live in London, there is one thing we can all agree on: space is most definitely at a premium.

Most houses in the capital do not lend themselves to conventional expansion techniques. There is usually nowhere to build a side, front or back extension, and the ability to expand upward into the loft space is also probably restricted.

That is why many people have been casting their eyes downward to their basements in recent years in order to discover more space for their needs.

Why the basement? – Many older London homes have basements already. Most are dark, damp places used for storage, filled with unused bicycles, old toys or maybe a laundry room.

With the help of a London basement company, however, this underused space can be converted into bright, airy and useful rooms for the whole family to enjoy.

Growing in popularity due to high house prices and the desire to improve rather than move, basement conversions can give you everything from a larger kitchen to a games room or even a spare bedroom. Everyone is doing it, from local celebrities to former prime minister David Cameron.

Comparatively easy to get permission for and cost-effective compared to moving to a bigger house, basement conversions are a practical solution for anyone who needs extra space.

In addition to providing your family with more room to manoeuvre, a basement conversion will also add considerable value to your home.

What are the practicalities? – One of the first things you will have to consider when converting your basement is whether or not you need planning permission.

Converting an existing basement or cellar beneath your house from a storage area into habitable space does not usually require permission, unless you live in a Conservation Area or special designated area or your home happens to be listed.

If you are actually excavating beneath your home to form new space, are creating new windows or planning on reducing the floor level of a basement to improve the ceiling height, however, you may need to apply for planning permission. You will also need to take neighbours’ party walls into consideration.

Another thing to consider is the issue of waterproofing. Because basements are underground, special measures will need to be taken in order to ensure your beautiful new basement is not turned into a swamp three months after installation. Using a reputable company to carry out your conversion will ensure you do not suffer any damp issues further down the line.

A London basement company can help you explore the different options available in your specific circumstances, enabling you to take the hassle out of expanding or converting your basement.

They will assist you in designing realistic plans to suit your unique needs and lead you through every step of this often-complicated process.