Basement Conversion
Written by Administrator
Monday, 11 August 2008 09:19
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This type of house improvement very popular in Central London and suitable for a terraced or semi-detached home where adding a conventional extension or going up into the loft isn't possible.

As part of Home Improvement or Redevelopment, Basement conversion one of our specialities. City Development UK Ltd offer the total package, from the design and planning phase through to the final coat of paint. Alternatively, we can work alongside your architect, engineer or builder. All of our projects are supervised by experienced engineers and constructed to the highest standards.

Converting an existing residential cellar or basement into a living space is in most cases unlikely to require Planning permission as long as it is not a separate unit or unless the usage is significantly changed or a light well is added, which alters the external appearance of the property.

Building Regulations apply. They cover areas such as fire escape routes, ventilation, ceiling height, damp proofing, electrical wiring and water supplies. Underpinning and foundation work may also be needed.

You must also consider the Party Wall Act 1996 if other properties adjoin yours and you share walls.

Basement Types

A "walk-out" or "daylight" basement is a modern architectural form where the house is situated on a slope and part of the basement is above ground. Occupants can walk out at that point without having to use the stairs.

In a "look-out" basement, the basement walls extend sufficiently above ground level that some of the basement windows are above ground level. Where the site slopes gently and is insufficient for a walk-out basement, a look-out basement will result. Sometimes, a look-out basement is deliberately constructed even on a flat site. The advantage is that the basement windows are all above grade.

A “walk-up” basement is any basement that has an exterior entrance via a stairwell. Some designs cover the stairwell with angled “basement doors” or "bulkhead doors" to keep rain water from accumulating in the stairwell.

A cellar is a type of basement, primarily used for the storage of food and drink (especially wine) for use throughout the year. A cellar is intended to remain at a constant cool (not freezing) temperature all year round and more common in older properties.

A crawlspace (as the name suggests) is a type of basement in which one cannot stand up — the height may be as little as a foot, and the surface is often soil. While this cannot be used as living space, it can be used as storage, often for infrequently used items.

Basement cost

As basement conversion involve a lot of ground and structural work it is not cheap. Typical price for a basement conversion in Central London with a cellar would be £2,000 - 2,500 per sq M. If your house do not have a cellar, the price per sq M will go up to £3,000 - 3,500.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 12 May 2011 16:12 )