The Guide To Basement Conversions

6 March 2015

We often get asked a whole load of questions regarding basement waterproofing, so we thought it was a good idea to put together a blog post all about basement waterproofing, answering all of the most commonly asked questions! If you have a cellar area under your property then the potential to carry out a basement conversion is there.

What is a basement conversion?

Basement conversion is converting a habitable living area which involves only the change of use and therefore doesn’t require planning permission. However, reducing the floor level of a cellar or creating a new basement will enlarge the volume of your home and is therefore treated as an extension which therefore requires planning permission.

The benefits of Converting a Basement

basement conversionUnlike loft conversions at the top of the house where the potential for creating extra space is often limited, a basement or cellar conversion is far more flexible allowing homeowners to create a range of exciting opportunities. Everybody has their own idea for a basement conversion; some choose to create an additional room for their property, others are more ambitious choosing to create a luxurious space such a cinema room or gymnasium. More often than not the potential of creating such high-quality spaces can also speed up the selling process and significantly increase your property value.

Whether or not converting a basement is financially feasible will be dependent on the cost of the conversion comparative to the property value. In areas where property value is high such as central London, it is financially a good idea to extend your property underground, increasing property value. If considering a basement conversion in a lower-priced area, careful consideration and analysis need to be carried out to ensure the increase in property value will outbalance the cost of the conversion. Considering whether your proposed job is out of practicality, to increase the value of your home, or it could even be both. Depending on the area in which you live, factors like access and the potential for natural light can substantially affect the value per square metre  With that in mind, most estate agents confirm that a basement conversion will add approximately 10% to the value of an average household. Additionally from a rental perspective, converting your basement into an extra bedroom is a great way to increase passive income whilst adding property value.

Planning Permissions for Basement Conversions

The good news here is that unlike outwards property extensions, most basement conversions don’t need planning permission because you are only changing the inside of your property and not altering the external appearance in anyway. However, if you wish to add windows or a new entrance to the property, planning permission may be required.

What are the building regulations for converting a cellar?

Any conversions to a cellar with intent to be used as living areas is covered by building regulations. The purposes of these regulations are to ensure that buildings are safe, hygienic and energy efficient. The regulations for a basement extension include: ventilation, sufficient fire escape methods, wiring, ceiling height and arguably the most important, waterproofing.

Renovating an existing a habitable basement, or the repair of a cellar that does not involve a change of use is excluded from Building Regulations.

Who will waterproof my basement?

At Timberwise, we’ve got a whole load of experience waterproofing basements. Typically basements and cellars are often left cold, damp and unfurnished and not up to the same standard as the rest of the house. For basement conversion to a warm habitable area, special treatment and precautions need to be implemented to ensure no future damages occur. This is accomplished by using a variety of basement waterproofing techniques that we at Timberwise specialise in.

As basements are below the water table there is usually a protective coating on the exterior walls below ground, but over time this coating often deteriorates allowing water to penetrate through the falls and walls, making the basement susceptible to damp or flooding. To remedy such problems systems are put in place to control the direction the water takes when it enters the house and keep it separate from useable areas.

Our experts can provide the best solution for your property as well as complying with the latest BS regulations (BS8102). We also provide long-term guarantees for all works carried out to ensure that your property is in the hands of the professionals. Our team of professionals at Timberwise always ensure that the work is carried out to the highest standard, leaving you with a wonderful new space, free of damp or potential for future damage.

Contact Timberwise for all your Basement Waterproofing needs

We are a nationwide company with 50 years of experience in property preservation. At Timberwise we understand that your property is likely to be the largest single investment you will have. The importance of trusting people with your home is never to be overlooked, that’s why we pride ourselves on developing strong client relations. This is achieved through going that bit further for our client; we understand that quality is a standard not an extra. Exceptional quality is evident at any stage in our clients’ experience with us. We are continually striving to be the best in all that we do, and anything less is not good enough.

For information about waterproofing your basement then contact Timberwise on 0800 288 8660 or you can request a survey online. A survey through Timberwise will be able to identify the full extent of the problem and determine whether basement waterproofing is necessary.