We are seeing more and more basement conversions taking place, especially in city centres. Homeowners are always trying to squeeze extra living space out of their houses. Basement conversions are one great way to do that. There are plenty of benefits to converting your cellar or basement space. There is very little structural or building work to do which is often the case with other extensions.
They also help convert previously unused space into something useful. They add room and - in most cases - value to a property. The ability to create something from nothing is enticing. Basement conversions are popping up in cities like London and New York where every inch of space is tight! Despite their appeal, there are some things involved that you may not have thought of.
Planning permission - Some people are put off extensions and conversions because of this. However, most basement conversions don’t actually need planning permission. This is one thing that makes them so great. Since you are converting a space that already exists, there is no need for permission. However, you will need to notify the authorities and there may be some applications involved.
Lighting - Lighting is the single biggest problem with a basement conversion. Of course, it is very difficult to get any natural light into the room. With that in mind, they don’t always make great kitchens or living rooms. We find that most basement converters use them as a gym or playroom. There are great things you can do with artificial lights these days. Unfortunately there is no substitute for natural light.
Damp proofing - It is really important that the room is damp proofed. Without it, you will encounter a lot of problems later down the line. Damp is not much of a problem in a dark and dusty cellar. It’s quite a different issue when it becomes a useable space. Remember, the basement is below ground and therefore surrounded by wet soil. Damp proofing can get quite expensive so build this into your initial budget.
Utilities extension - Another aspect to consider is the extension of utilities. Naturally, you’ll want electricity, internet and possibly plumbing to extend down into the room. You’ll need an expert to help you extend these facilities. 24Hourly can help you find the right people for the job; follow this link to learn more. Your room is no use if you can’t get electricity down there!
Added value - Lots of people extend down into the basement hoping to increase their property value. This should be done with a little caution. If you get it right, you’ll add loads of extra practicality and therefore value. But, if it ends up as a dark, unappealing room with a low roof, you’ll struggle to sell. If you take on the project, ensure it will be completed to a high standard.
There you have it, folks! There are a lot of things to consider when looking at a basement conversion. Get it right and you’ll have an amazing new room to show off! Best of luck.