Basement conversions can be a fantastic way of increasing the living space of your home and while basements typically have limited natural light that doesn't have to pose a problem if your main use for the basement is an entertainment room or a utility room for example. In many cases it doesn't even require planning permission (but read on for more on that). If you're thinking of your basement as a dark and potentially damp space then don't worry as our professional builders can transform that space into a warm and welcoming living area.
A standard conversion of an existing basement into a living rather than a storage area is normally covered under the permitted development description and doesn't need planning permission. There are some exceptions however. If you're living in a conservation area or your building is listed then you will need permission before making modifications. There are exceptions; lowering the floor level of a basement in order to get more headroom can be construed as an extension and therefore require planning permission. Any structural change that might affect a party wall with the neighbouring property and that will need permission. Because the work on a basement is not usually visible from outside even when planning permission is required it is rarely refused. Building regulations, on the other hand, must be adhered to whatever the status with regard to planning permission. Let us take a look at your property, talk you through the options and spell out what needs to be done to stay on the right side of local regulations.
Basements with Separate Entrances
Larger basements offer the potential for a basement with a separate entrance so that it can be a granny flat or a home office in its own right. That really changes the potential of your home and while it does involve extra work and care with regulations and consent it can also significantly increase the value of your property.
Renovating Existing Basements
This is the easiest approach to basement conversion and typically sees a musty, dank, underused space totally transformed into a warm and pleasant part of your home. Things that we would pay attention to here are the insulation, particularly thermal insulation below the soil level, wiring the new living space for safe heat and light, and taking care of existing plumbing which may well have been installed with little worry for looks or inconvenience.
Building a New Basement
While the easiest route is clearly to repurpose an existing basement there may be situations where it is possible to create a new basement where there wasn't one before. This obviously requires proper surveying to ensure that it will not disturb the structure of the building or run the risk of subsidence and that means that both the architecture of the property and the soil type of the substrate must be taken into consideration. With those factors approved however there are many examples of new build basements that can be excavated under homes.