The one thing the majority of modern families want from their home is more space. With house prices continuing to rise, particularly in our Capital and other major cities, the demand for larger dwellings increases, whilst the number or larger homes on the market falls. This combination obviously causes a bit of a stale-mate for people looking to up-size. The next best option is to extend your current property in one direction or another and here at ProTen Services we are seeing a definite increase in the number of basement conversions taking place. With this in mind we have put together our top five tips to help you convert your basement from a dark, dingy space into an underground slice of luxury.
- Planning Permission
For a large proportion of properties planning permission will not be needed for a basement conversion as it should be covered under your homes ‘Permitted Development’ however, if you live in a listed building or in a conservation area you will need to gain permission for the works.
You will however need Building Regulations approval regardless of any change of use, or the creation of an extended basement through excavation. The Building Regulations are a statutory minimum in construction to ensure your basement meets standards and is of course completely safe. It is worth noting that a renovation to an existing basement with no change of use (for example a storage space that will remain a storage space) is exempt from these regulations. Speak to your architect or builder to find out your obligations.
- Stop the water
One of the most important components to any basement conversion is to ensure it is 100% dry. If there is any moisture or water coming through the foundations, or walls then you will end up with soggy insulation, a serious damp problem and ruined flooring. Talk to experts like us who can help you through waterproofing your basement. We work to BS8102 Standards which is the Code of Practice for Protection of Below Ground Structures Against Water from the Ground and is a standard that is very important when waterproofing underground.
Usually basement conversions involve fitting a new bathroom underground, this means that part of the concrete slabs will have to be removed and new waste lines connected. The ability to connect those lines relies solely on how deep your waste lines are below the concrete floor. You will need enough of a slope for the lines to drain correctly using gravity as the main drainage factor. If you don’t have this slope then you will need to put in a sewage ejection pump to remove the bathroom waste. This is something your builder should discuss with you.
- Plan for the future
When converting a basement, it is always worthwhile thinking about any future work you might want to do on the house. Systems wise your basement is likely to be the heart of your home which means that if you are planning any further conversions, extensions or renovations you will likely need to go back to the basement to do work on the floor above. For example, if you are thinking about re-doing the kitchen, consider running electrical cables through the basement so that they are ready as and when you choose to do the work. This will save time, money and mess in the future.
- Work with a team you can trust
Doing any work to your home is disruptive, and a basement is no exception. You must ensure that you work with a team you can really trust to carry out the build. Basement conversions require many skill sets, architects, structural engineers, builders and other trades and water proofers like us. Our advice is to speak to some experts directly, they will be able to help you put together the best team for the job and save you time, money and stress along the way.
ProTen have worked with many individuals and families across the UK to waterproof their basements. In fact, there is not much we can’t help you with so why not talk to one of our experts today and extend your home by going underground.
Basements & Waterproofing
Structural & Concrete Repair