If you are stuck for space in the home, a basement conversion is a great way of utilising unused space while creating an additional room which can be used as a bedroom, an extra living room or even a luxury cinema room. The majority of older houses or Victorian style homes feature a cellar or basement area which can be converted into a room, however if you are thinking about transforming your basement from a dark and damp environment to a pleasant liveable space, there are a few things that you will need to know before you start the conversion process.
1) The first thing you should consider prior to starting a conversion project is whether it is cost effective. Basement conversions can cost tens of thousands of pounds however an extra room can substantially increase the market value of your home. It is advisable to check with a few local estate agents to get their input before you start.
2) The next thing you should think about is the layout of your basement conversion. It might be that you want to stick to the original open plan layout of your basement or you may want to separate the space into different rooms so that you can add a bathroom area if you like. You should also take into consideration the existing stairwell leading to the basement, if the stairs are quite old they should be updated to ensure that they remain safe and can capably handle regular use.
3) One of the most important things that you need to know when converting a basement is whether you can get planning permission. To do this you will need to check with your local authority. The majority of basement conversions don’t require altering the outside of the home therefore planning permission is not required, although it is always important to check just to show that you are complying to building regulations.
4) A central element of any basement conversion is the waterproofing. If your basement is subject to flooding, you will need to use specialist products such as submersible pumps to remove any build-up of water. If water can be effectively removed with a submersible drainage pump, the next process is to completely waterproof the basement area – it is recommended that you seek out reputable waterproofing contractors at this stage.