Basement Conversions: A Guide

When extending our homes, most of us would think of building outwards or into the loft, without giving a second thought to what lies beneath our feet.

However, by digging down into the cellar or basement, you can create an additional floor running the entire length of your house, and that opens up a wealth of opportunities for a bigger and better home. Here's how to go about it...

basement

Why Convert a Basement?

In the northern United States and Canada, many homes are built with basements that are used as utility rooms, playrooms, family rooms and even to house pools. Here in the UK, with space at such a premium, we're waking up to the fact that the area under our homes may have great potential, and an increasing number of us are transforming previously wasted space into lifestyle-enhancing home cinemas, gyms and spas, as well as rooms with more traditional functions. And forget damp, dark and dingy - modern construction methods mean that today's basements are warm, light, comfortable and airy.

What Type of Home is Suitable?

A basement conversion is particularly suitable for a terraced or semi-detached urban home where adding a conventional extension or going up into the loft isn't possible. Perhaps the property has already been extended and there's nowhere else to go, the garden is too small, or you're after a pool, gym or new kitchen, which wouldn't be practical in a loft. And, although more costly than other improvements, it could boost the value of your home considerably.

'Depending on the location, current value, and style of the basement conversion, it could increase your home's value by as much as 30 per cent', says Maggie Smith of The London Basement Company.

Need Expert Help?

Find a trusted basement conversion specialist in your area using MyBuilder.com

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