5 Tips for Converting Your Basement
20th October 2016
Categories Basement Conversion
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 and BS8102
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. It is always worth checking with your local planning department.
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.
The BS8102 Standards is the Code of Practice for Protection of Below Ground Structures Against Water from the Ground. Your design and build team; from architect, to builder, to basement waterproofer should all work to this design standard and as a matter of due diligence it is certainly worth familiarising yourself with these standards prior to the commencement of work.
- 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 floor or walls, then you could end up with a serious damp problem and water damage. It requires technical and specialist work to ensure this doesn’t happen and is important to talk to experts like us who can help you through waterproofing your basement successfully.
Usually basement conversions involve fitting a new bathroom underground, this may mean 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 and the right type of pump to remove bathroom waste successfully. 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 basement waterproofers like us.
Our advice is to speak to the 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, architects and builders across the UK to design and install the best waterproof system for their basements. In fact, there is not much we can’t help you with so if you are considering extending your home by going underground why not talk to one of our expert team.