What do you need the extra space for?
There are many ways to add extra space to your home, one of which is converting your basement. You can also convert garages or lofts or add single or double storey extensions; therefore, you need to consider what you need the additional space for to determine which is the best option for you.
For those who live-in built-up areas, such as the capital or other cities, the decision may be made for you if there is little external space to extend into or you do not have a garage.
Do I need planning permission?
Most basement conversions do not require planning permission; however, some do. Your contractor and architect should be able to advise you accordingly. While you might not require planning permission, your conversion will still need to meet building regulations. Unless the conversion is to be used solely for storage, you will need to meet the required standards for plumbing, fire safety, electricity and ventilation.
Is it a worthwhile investment?
From a lifestyle point of view, the answer is most definitely yes. The additional space families and homeowners obtain from a conversion can be invaluable and change their way of life beyond measure. From a financial standpoint, estimates suggest that you can garner up to a 70 per cent return on your investment; however, this will depend on the location of your property, the market in the area, and how much budget you blow on your basement. In general, where space is at a premium – such as central London and other sought-after cities – you will get a much higher return on your investment.
How do I find the right contractor?
A basement conversion is a specialist job and far more complex than something like a single storey extension; therefore, it follows that you should choose a specialist contractor. There are many specialist basement contractors London to choose from because this type of conversion is more popular as space can be very limited in the capital. While there are many to choose from, make sure you check their credentials. Ask about their range of experience and try to speak to clients who have used them previously.
One key consideration for any basement conversion is waterproofing – get this wrong and your lovely new space could be prone to damp and leaks. Check that any basement contractors London based or otherwise that you choose are a member of The British Structural Waterproofing Association.
How much will it cost?
This will largely depend on two factors: the type of conversion required and the standard of the fixtures and fittings you choose. It is much cheaper to convert an existing basement than it is to lower floors or excavate an entirely new space.