GARAGE CONVERSION AUDIT
STRUCTURAL LOFT CONVERSION AUDIT
PRE-PURCHASE FEASABILITY CONSULTATION
STEEL WORK CONNECTIONS
INTERIOR MINOR ALTERATIONS
CDM & ASSOCIATED REPORTS
HEALTH & SAFETY REPORTS
3D MODELLING (from)
SOIL INVESTIGATION REPORTS
AIR PRESSURE TESTING
BUILDING CONTROL APPLICATIONS
AIR TIGHTNESS TESTING
SOUND INSULATION TESTING
PART F VENTILATION TESTING
RENEWABLE ENERGY ADVICE & INSTALL
THERMOGRAPHIC SURVEYS & TESTING
CODE FOR SUSTAINABLE HOMES
PART G WATER CALCS
DOMESTIC EPC’S FOR LANDLORDS & HOMEOWNERS
Who says basement rooms should be just a place to store excess items from the house? Most basement properties allow the basement to grow into rooms for a variety of uses: from home cinemas to kitchens. Basement room extensions are becoming more and more popular: whether you're digging underground to create a new room or renovate an old basement. This is especially useful for homes that cannot expand on the sides.
However, it is really important to get the design of a basement right and to understand the best way to do things. First of all, we’ll give you some tips to follow to get your basement project on the right track.
1. Use two separate waterproofing systems to reduce potential future repair costs. Four major systems are waterproof concrete, external membrane, internal membrane, and waterproof render.
2. Maximize natural light and basement ventilation. If you have the opportunity, take in the sky from the basement and create a place where the sun will shine in space to get the most out of it.
3. You can almost always control the height of the basement. Dig deeper, get a better head height and go at least 2.5m deep. Although it will cost you a little more, it will make space feel much bigger and shinier.
4. Basement extension is not a self-build project because it is too complex and you need specialized professionals who work for you.
5. The contract you use with your builder should be a fixed cost and time. Make sure that there are only certain conditions that justify any additional cost or time, and only if your architect advises.
6. A basement extension project is likely to include the flooring of your house and lots of concrete work and temporary construction work to keep everything safe while the basement is being built. Therefore, you need to hire a structural engineer you know and trust or have a good recommendation for.
7. Choose your contractor carefully. There is a multitude of builders who have concentrated their work only on basements and possess the knowledge you need. There are also a lot of big construction companies doing basements as well as other jobs.
8. It is always advisable to design a basement with natural ventilation and fresh air. Otherwise, you will need air conditioning and a room for the plant, which increases the cost.
9. Proper access to the basement is extremely important. Please note that installing a basement staircase may mean that some changes to your ground floor plan are required.
10. Make sure you have a safe exit for emergencies such as a fire. This could be through a light well or a protected pathway to the front door.
If you are converting an existing basement and not adding anything that changes the look of the home, you may not need to apply for planning permission. This kind of work requires approval, so you should talk to designers in your local authority. However, building regulations apply to the basement, whether it is for remodelling or new construction. Fire escape routes are key and regulations also cover elements such as ceiling height, moisture resistance, electrical wiring, and water supply.
Now that you know all of this, here are our favourite ideas for making basement rooms that might inspire you:
Home office or study room
Rooms like this often do not find their place in the home because they are not on the priority list, especially in large families where each member requires a sleeping room. A basement extension would be an ideal solution for this. The only problem may be a lack of light, but with the installation of good LED panels, lamps or bulbs this problem can be easily overcome.
Filmophiles, your dreams can come true with a basement extension! Home cinema uses the typical darkness of an underground room to provide a comfortable media room, and, if you wish, installing LED lighting can give subtle light.
The basement game room can be an ideal hiding place for a family who enjoys playing matches, watching football and drinking wine with friends. Depending on how much space you have, bring billiards, darts or table football. The TV, we assume, goes without saying.
A large number of families decide to accommodate the kitchen when expanding their basement. Again, it is important to ensure that there is enough light since there is a lot of time spent in the kitchen, especially if you use this space for the dining room.
The basement extension will especially delight artistic souls as they will finally get space for themselves. Whether you are a photographer, a painter or a sculptor, get alone in your basement and enjoy yourself!
Photo by Brad Javernick of Home Oomph