Things to know about basement conversion

November 15, 2022

Homeowners are increasingly attracted to the idea of basement conversions. A basement can give you the extra living space you need in your home, and if your home doesn’t already have one, excavating underneath it can be a cheaper alternative to building an extension.

The second choice is a significant project, of course, but it may be worth the effort and investment, providing everything from a home gym to space for visitors or a studio.
No matter what your ideas for the basement are, it’s crucial to learn how to plan and design your conversion correctly for the best chance at success.
Is basement conversion worth it?
Whether it is economically beneficial to convert a basement is determined by a variety of criteria:
  • How much the work costs you in contrast to how much your home’s value will increase as a result. Ask a knowledgeable local real estate broker for an estimate of how much space is worth per square foot in your location and decide whether it is comparable to the cost of a basement conversion.
  • If you want to renovate an existing basement rather than create a new one, your expenses will be lower, and your revenue potential greater.
  • If you’re stuck between two home improvement projects and can’t decide whether to add an extra bedroom or extend your living room, consider how much space you need.
  • Any homeowner considering a renovation project should consult with their local realtor to get an idea of how much the value of their home would increase after the proposed changes. It is not wise to spend significantly more money on your project than what the resultant increase in property value will be.
Do I need permission to convert a basement?
Understanding how to convert a basement is all about knowing the regulations. You should always check with your local building official to find out what is permitted before you attempt to convert a basement.
Keep in mind the need for safety precautions if there is a fire. The idea of a fire escape isn’t only limited to upper levels. To protect the people inside in case of a fire, building codes will require some way for them to evacuate safely. This may mean that you’ll have to create light wells and access points for firefighters and escapees beyond your basement level.
In England and Wales, adding a bedroom to an existing residential basement or cellar is unlikely to require planning permission, unless you’re planning to use it as separate property or significantly alter the original house’s exterior.
You will probably need planning permission if you want to do major excavations, add new units of accommodation, or change the way your house looks from the outside. This is even true if you’re just converting or expanding an existing cellar space.
Most importantly, your new basement will need to meet building regulations in England and Wales. This involves making sure there’s enough insulation, emergency escape routes, and minimum head height. The latter may require extra support from steel beams or other materials.
To ensure that any structural work you do does not impact the rest of your home or your neighbors’ homes, a building inspector will need to approve it.
Where to find professionals for a basement conversion?
A reputable basement conversion contractor will undoubtedly do the finest job of turning your basement into a usable space. Appointing a local contractor should be your go-to for multiple reasons: not only will they know the rules and regulations specific to your area, but also things like soil types. This way, you can avoid any potential hiccups and have a much smoother process overall.
With decades of experience in construction, Arma Piling Ltd is a reliable and professional company you can count on. We provide a comprehensive range of services to fulfill every requirement, including basement conversion. We operate nationally and are based in Hertfordshire.