Many houses in the UK have an underground room space that is oversight due to various reason such as the isolation from the center of the house, lack of sunlight etc. So, therefore, basement conversion is the process of converting this underground space or cellar into a comfortable room which gives you the options to renovate the existing space or to build a new basement.
Why people convert basement?
There are many reasons to convert basement. The first and foremost reason is that it creates extra space which gives you endless possibilities in which the conversions can be used from bedrooms to kitchens to any usable room with the best value for money.
Best value for money? That’s because when you go for other options, there are no cheap home extension options available as to build an extra room it requires a foundation, structure and much additional architectural works. Whereas the possibility of basement conversion is comparatively the easiest as it already has the basic structure completed.
Secondly, it increases the resale value of your house though it’s not that all type of house renovation gives you 100% return on investment but basement conversion does as it attracts potential buyers due to its increased living space which means a profitable return on investment.
In short, a basement conversion makes better utilisation of space as its main aim is to use the existing space for a better purpose, along with that it also increases the value of your property; moreover, the procedure that it undertakes are more straightforward than you think.
What are the planning requirements?
When converting an existing basement into a livable space, it does not require planning permission because it Is considered a permitted development and therefore not going to make difference to the external appearance of the house.
But when intending to alter the external appearance of the house by adding a new unit or even by making a significant change in the usage of it then it will require planning permission. In either case, you should consult your local planning authority or a local planning consultant like us for guidance before the start of the work.
However, the requirements for basement conversion may vary depending on the council. So, it is also advised that you consult with the council before starting any sort of building work either for basement conversion or any other construction.
What are the building control requirements?
When building a new basement or even if it’s changing the use of the existing basement into a usable space, either way, it requires Building Regulation approval. Building control helps maintain the standard for both the design and construction as set by the Building Regulation. Before carrying out any sort of structural work in your basement you should make sure that the work is done by specialists who are well aware of the safety precaution and Health & Safety of the people who will reside in the house and in the neighborhood, such precautions are:
- Fire escape route – Basement conversion increases the risks of escaping in case of a fire due to one entrance and exit access to the escape route can be in the form of another door or even a window unless it can that in case of an emergency there is a way to escape
- Basement Waterproofing- the building regulations state that floors and walls in the basement need to be waterproofed so as to prevent water from entering into the house
- Electrics in the basement- Installation of any new electrics needs to be installed by a registered electrician and will also need a certificate to prove it which will keep both you and the building inspector happy.
Party Wall Agreement
If the planned work affects The Party Wall Act 1996, which states that if your property is partially connected and shares a wall with the neighbour then it may affect the conversion. So in order to complete your work you will have to speak to the owner or the leaseholder of that adjoining property whether he/she has any objection with it and then if it’s positive then you will require a Party Wall Agreement to move ahead with the project.