There are two options for people who wish to unlock the space in their basement: converting an existing below-ground space and building an entirely new space. Noble Structures are experts in both of these basement construction projects. This article will break down some of the reasons why you may want to do this, giving you some food for thought before you (quite literally) take the plunge.
I’m in a built-up area, what are my options?
For many people in the UK, their garden or yard space is of sufficient size that a home extension is a viable option. Extending a kitchen or building a conservatory is fairly common, easy to gain planning permission for and relatively straightforward to complete in most cases. For many of us in built-up areas such as London, this is simply not an option. Even where garden space is large enough to build on, it may well be so precious that another option needs to be explored.
In these cases, the only way is down, which makes basement construction the hottest topic when it comes to extending a property.
Basement construction plans
If you’re now set on extending your property downwards, your next job is to work out what your extension is intended to be used for. This will inform all manner of aspects of your build, from the anticipated depth required to the amount of light, power outlets and other essentials such as water and drainage.
As a general rule of thumb, the deeper a basement needs to be, the more expensive it is going to be, so ensure your calculations here are spot on.
Similarly, the more plumbing, drainage and electricity work which needs to be carried out will impact the budget upwards. Being as clear as possible on your plans at the outset of the project will ensure your budget is as realistic as possible.
Do good neighbours make good friends?
Constructing a basement is a costly and potentially risky job causing disruption to the homeowner and neighbours, so getting them onside is a vital part of this process.
In some London areas, ‘super basements’ have been constructed which contain multiple rooms and even multiple storeys. Whilst this is beyond the scope and budget of many people, the possibilities are almost endless. Who can forget the long-running feud between neighbours Robbie Williams and Jimmy Page over the ex-Take That singer’s intention to build a below-ground swimming pool?
The Led Zeppelin guitarist objected that the construction work would do irreversible damage to his unique Grade I listed home, which led to a lengthy legal process. In September 2019, it was ruled in court that Williams’ swimming pool could be constructed, but only using hand tools.
This case shows how important it is to be open with your neighbours throughout any basement construction project, especially given the fact that most planning objections for construction jobs come from people who live closest to the property.