Go Underground With Basement Conversions…
If you require extra room in your household and are considering an external extension as a solution, have you considered the possibility of extending downwards instead of outwards? Increasingly over the last few years, basement conversions have become increasingly popular. This trend is most noticeable in built up, urban areas where space is not always available.
There are two main advantages for basement conversions. Firstly these conversions provide an entirely new floor to a property, all of this new area is usable and there are no headroom restrictions which are often associated with loft conversions. Secondly, this newly acquired space can then be used in any way which the property occupant selects.
Basements closely resemble existing domestic living areas, so a basement conversion can easily be transformed into a reception area or an entertaining room. Equally, basement conversions can be used to provide an additional guest bedroom to the property. When it comes to basement conversions the sky is the limit, more extravagant options include, a home cinema, pool or tennis room or even an indoor swimming pool!
Additionally, basement conversions provide the option of incorporating an additional entrance to the property. This option provides a range of options, including conversion to a self-contained granny flat, or a flat which can be rented as an additional form of income for the property’s occupants.
When compared with other extensions, a basement conversion has the advantage that the majority of the construction work can be down externally, with minimum disruption to the household, until the staircase is built.
A common misconception about basement and cellar conversions, is that the property needs to have one for this to be possible. This is not the case. Even if your property has a solid floor, it is still possible to have a basement conversion. However it must be noted that this will result in much disruption to life within the home whilst the conversion occurs. Also there will be a far greater financial cost incurred in these instances.
Once you have decided that your property is suitable for a basement conversion and that the financial cost is worthwhile, you will need to select a team to undertake the project on your behalf. In order to undertake a successful cellar conversion you will require a builder. It is highly advisable that you select a builder who has a specialty for basement conversions. When you are looking for a builder it is worth considering the following factors:
- Ask your friends, family and colleagues if they know of any builders who specialise in basement conversions.
- Produce a comprehensive brief for your intended project.
- Ask a number of builders to come and view your site. Present them with your brief and ask for a quote. In addition you should also ask for a list of reference of recent conversions which they have conducted.
- When the builders provide you with quotes, ensure that these quotes cover everything you would like done. This should include the supply of materials and the removal of waste.
- Don’t choose your builder on price alone, consider the builders references and how well you were able to communicate with them.
- Agree a payment plan where instalments are paid as the work commences.