A Guide to Basement Conversions
Basement conversions are a great way to create a lot of extra space or increase the value of your home.
Depending on what you’re planning to convert it into, basement conversions can be very simple or very complicated. As long as you’re not planning to change the size or shape of the basement or the level of the floor, you shouldn’t need to apply for planning permission, but you will will need to apply for building regulations.
Basement conversions can usually be completed pretty quickly, but if you’re making any structural changes, it could take several months. The average basement conversion will cost around the same as a loft conversion (usually around £750 to £1500 per square metre). If you need to change the size/shape of the basement, it’ll end up costing much more and if you don’t have outside access to the basement, you’ll probably have to temporarily move out during the conversion process.
The most important thing to keep in mind during a basement conversion is that the basement needs to be well ventilated and waterproof. In order to make sure that it’s done correctly, you should always hire a qualified surveyor. Another important consideration is lighting. If at all possible, you should use any natural light to its full potential. The last main consideration is how you’re going to heat the basement. The main two options are gas or electricity. Electricity is the easiest and least disruptive option as gas heating required a flue in order to discharge emissions. If you decide to go with electricity, always check that your mains can support the extra current. If not, a separate mains will have to be installed.
Lastly, as a bad basement conversion can be very expensive to correct, always make sure you hire a reputable, qualified tradesman to help you plan and carry out the work.