Costing, scheduling, design and structural elements must be well planned before starting any project. Completing a basement conversion in budget and on time is doable. With adequate headroom, turning your basement into extra living space could transform your home. Lowering the floor level, underpinning the foundations will have cost and planning implications.
Other factors to consider that will affect the cost:
– Diverting drains and services beneath your house
– Having solid concrete floors in the basement rather than timber subfloors
– Difficult sub-ground conditions such as clay, made-up ground, sand or marsh
– The local water table is high, necessitating constant pumping
– Poor access to the site
Do I need planning permission to convert my Basement?
Converting your basement into a habitable space does not need planning permission. Unless you are in a Conservation Area, special designated area, or a listed building. On all other occasions permitted development rules would apply.
Under certain circumstances, modest extensions and alterations progress without need for planning applications.
Planning policy on basement conversions can vary. It is difficult for a local authority to find reasonable grounds for refusal. Especially if the work does not alter the building’s appearance.
What are the benefits of converting your basement?
Basements are cold, damp and smelly. An area of the home that is rarely visited, crammed with storage and usually behind locked and key.
With the advancements in building fabrics it’s becoming easier to improve home efficiency. Floor and wall insulation are a great example. The extra mass helps to keep heat in and control temperature fluctuations. Sometimes up to 10% more efficient than a building above ground.
More Space, Same Footprint
By converting the basement space means your house increases in size. The property footprint remains the same, having a positive impact on living environment and value.
Modern day families are more than 2.4 children. With ever increasing property prices finding the right home with the right space can be hard. Transforming unused spaces is a trending idea of considerable force.
High Water Table
The feasibility of converting your basement will depend on the height of the water table. Water pressure and volume at basement level create need for a continuous pumping solution. These solutions can be costly and problematic. Securing the walls and floor from ingress is the next challenge.
Basement Waterproof Membranes
Tanking – Application of a waterproof layer to the substrate structure. Cement render system applied in several layers to the walls. The wall render system adjoins a waterproof flooring screed. Hydro-static pressures from the surrounding water table test the floor and wall systems. Enormous pressure will expose any minor defects in the system, forcing water through. Any leaks are difficult to locate, isolate and repair
Cavity Membrane – A reliable system for waterproofing a basement. Water or leaks in the outer structure at basement level divert to the cavity. The studded profile of the membrane forms the cavity behind the structure. Collected water drains away and hydro-static pressure eradicated.
Converting a basement will take time, anything from 2-8 weeks. Many factors determine the duration, like any other project. Organisation, dedication and planning form the basis of a successful project.