Some basement conversions and new constructions are straightforward but many are not, and they involve a host of different areas of expertise.
The first step a professional company undertakes is to help you evaluate your own requirements. They know that if your motivation and vision of the end result is not crystal clear in everyone’s mind there will be hiccups along the way. They can introduce possibilities you may not even have considered – basements two or more floors deep or extending under gardens, perhaps.
Investigating geological and structural viability is another preliminary step. A specialist contractor helps complete these twin processes for you before any actual architectural design is committed to paper. Land surveys will be referenced and building regulations investigated. If an actual planning application is required this could be a complex process all of its own.
A builder familiar with London’s planning landscape is as valuable as one that knows its geology.
If groundwork, load or drainage could affect neighbouring buildings an appropriate level of insurance will be needed too. Again, their expertise is invaluable.
It takes expertise to calculate how to deliver the right degrees of heat, light and ventilation to different areas of a basement space, and experience to suggest ways to do it naturally. Some green materials are subsidised, so they will advise you. Energy efficiency targets are also part of building regulations and they have to be calculated. Fire escapes may be an issue, and drainage solutions must be identified. Your contractor knows a variety of waterproofing technologies and can be trusted to calculate load bearing requirements in view of everything that is, or will be, above.
If the project involves excavation there will be a need for assessment of what lies beneath. From time to time in London this even entails consultation with archaeologists. Removed material has to have somewhere to go and traffic management may be an issue into which your neighbours have contributions to make.
All of this and not a brick has yet been laid.
Clearly, basement companies in London require experience to guarantee a successful project delivered on schedule. The best company makes all this seem simple for you – from your first thoughts right through to the interior design. With good management, a visit to your construction site is as relaxing and refreshing as a trip to your yoga or pilates class!
Strange but true – building work on some jobs begins without a project manager. Contractors come and go when it suits them and often it doesn’t end well. When your duct installer arrives to find the plumbers have installed pipes obstructing the ducting route, or the decorators arrive when there is still no plaster on the walls, you will have major delays and a lot of unhappy contractors.
Letting your contractor provide full project management ensures everything is delivered at the right time. Everyone is happy on a well managed site, and as a result everyone achieves their top quality workmanship.