Do I need planning permission?
The good news here is that most basement projects don't need planning permission because you are only changing
the inside of your property.
However, if you choose to add a new entrance or windows at the front of the house, dig an entirely new basement, or need access to dig up parts of the road or pavement outside your home, you will need planning permission from your local council.
You may also want to check out the specifics of planning permission for basement conversions in case you want to extend or change your room structure in the future.
If you live in a listed building, however, then remember that all renovations require permission before you begin
any work - even if they are completely out of sight from the outside. This is because the features in listed buildings are protected for historical reasons.
Whether or not you need planning permission, you will need to comply with the current building regulations for extensions - these are simply legal requirements for any new living space, which exist for your own safety.
Are there any financial benefits?
Apart from the extra space for you or your family, a basement conversion can earn you a packet in additional rental income. Most simply, you could rent the converted basement to a lodger, who would then share the kitchen and bathroom with the family. Or, alternatively, you could convert the basement into a self-contained studio apartment, with its own front door if so desired. If that sounds appealing, however, you should be aware that you will need planning permission if you plan to create a separate entrance to your home. But even if you decide not to rent out your converted basement, a simple conversion can also add thousands to the value of your property when selling it on.
Is my cellar suitable for a conversion?
It may sound a tad obvious but your property is only suitable for a basement conversion if you actually have a basement or cellar under your home. Digging a new basement under an existing property is usually not a financially viable solution, though small numbers of people do try to pursue this option. Luckily, Victorian houses and older types of properties which have timber suspended floors are ideal for cellar conversions, as the work can often be carried out from outside, which means you can easily continue to live in your property while the renovations are taking place. A word of warning, however, some older houses may have shallow foundations, so in order to create a safe living space below, you may need to underpin your property first. If this is the case for your property, then the easiest thing to do is to talk to an underpinning firm or specialist builder who can advise you on feasibility and cost of the job. Remember - while a basement conversion may seem like a dream come true, always make sure that a cellar conversion is a realistic venture for your property before forking out any cash.
What else do I need to know?
Converting your basement can be the most exciting home improvement you may ever undertake - but don't forget the boring necessities! A living area downstairs will not be much fun without the obvious services such as plumbing, electricity, heating, ventilation, storage, and phone or TV points. Your builder will be able to advise you about connecting your basement to your existing services upstairs. It's important not to forget the safety of your basement either. You should install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms in the basement, and ensure you have an alternate means of escape if your stairway down into the basement became blocked by fire. Try to ensure also that your window can be easily opened in an emergency, and a handy tip is to try and keep an item of furniture such as a stool in the basement, which will help you climb out the window if needs be.
Do you offer any guarantees after completing your work?
Yes! as an approved contractor by the Triton Users Guarantee company, we are able to offer you an insurance backed guarantee for 10 years
The TUG guarantee is accepted by relevant authorising bodies such as architects, local authorities, building societies, banks and other specifiers. It remains valid irrespective of any change of ownership of the property within the unexpired period of the contractor's own guarantee cover.
How long will the project take to complete?
Generally, for a typical back to back terrace house or a 25sq mt basement, we aim to complete in just over 6 weeks and depending on the level of details that goes into the project, it could take a little longer, some choose to integrate a shower room or a kitchen,
How much will my basement cost to convert?
Approximate costs for basement conversions in the north of England
£650-£850 per square metre with an existing cellar. and this includes reducing the level of the soil by around 300mm or 1ft deep, to gain more headroom, most basements we come across have an existing floor to ceiling around 2 meters or 6ft 5" in height.
This will also include new concrete floor, waterproofing, sump/pump installation, plasterboarding and plastering, window, internal doors, sockets, lights, radiators,
In some cases it might be required that we UNDERPIN some or all your existing foundation, this will cost around £1500 per linear mt, + the cost of excavating reduce the floor levels, this is the most expensive method and sometimes will be considered as a non-viable project by the homeowners.
£2,200-£3,000 per sqr meter if a brand new basement has to be dug out.