The challenges facing basement contractors in London

Basement construction continues to present an attractive way to extend your home. But what are the challenges facing basement contractors in London?

With house prices and moving costs in London continuing to rise, basement constructions continue to present the best value proposition when extending your property. The grand ‘iceberg’ homes may hit the headlines, but the majority of planning applications are for flexible extra accommodation for semi-detached and terraced properties.

These constructions require detailed finishing and specific local knowledge for the best possible outcomes. But what are the challenges that face a London based basement contractor?


You may have secured a party wall agreement, but safe and secure underpinning is a critical part of the process for your and the neighbouring properties. Carrying out effective underpinning can be a real challenge when there’s mud, dirt and walls that don’t conform to the straight lines drawn on a blueprint.

Your contractor will often have to implement plans drawn up by a structural engineer that don’t conform to the challenges of the space, and effective temporary underpinning then becomes crucial. It’s absolutely essential that any temporary works are completed to the highest standards – if not they could compromise the safety of the entire build.

Lost space

Using an experienced London basement constructor can make the difference between maximising your floor space and ending up with an expensive and over-engineered space that is barely usable. That can add up to a huge loss in potential resale terms.

Space saving decisions usually relate to underpinning and waterproofing, so it pays to use an experienced basement contractor who knows the terrain and any potential challenges. They’re more likely to come up with cost effective and proven solutions that make the most of the project’s potential footprint.


The correct waterproofing method is designed to protect your basement against damp but there’s no one size fits all solution. Basement contractors in London will already have worked in similar conditions and can meet the challenges of a high water table or other waterproofing issues.

The choice of waterproofing method will depend on the composition of the local soil, the level of groundwater and anticipated movement in the ground. The design of your basement construction should be directly responsive to any risks and highly detailed when it comes to effective waterproofing whether your contractor advises simple tanking or a pump dependent cavity drain system.


Planning permission has been tightened up considerably in recent years and is always evolving. And unless you’re planning a multi-storey iceberg basement it may not be necessary at all. If you’re planning a conversion of an existing space permission is generally not necessary unless you alter the appearance of the facade.

Even if you intend to have a basement constructed, most projects will fall under permitted development rights although there are limits on where you can dig. Working with a knowledgeable London based basement constructor like Noble Structures will ensure that your new basement conversion or construction meets and overcomes any challenge.