The vital steps to correctly converting a Basement.

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The vital Steps to correctly converting a Basement. 

Basement conversions are a great way of expanding and creating more space to live in when outdoor space is limited. They provide living space without drastically changing the exterior of the property. 

Whether a basement conversion is worth the cost will depend on what alternatives are available and the cost of work, relative to the potential property value. In areas with little space and high-value properties such as those in city centres, basement conversions can add great value to a property. 

A basement can be converted into a bright room, with direct access to a garden. But some may result in a dark converted space with compromised headroom, which is not so ideal. It’s important to understand what is possible in the space before making the decision.  

Plan what it will be for 

Basements are versatile spaces with many possible uses. With it being so close to downstairs living areas, it makes perfect sense to convert the space into a new living room, entertainment room or even a home gym. They also work well as a bedroom with en-suite.  

But what you decide to convert the area into may depend on what is possible in the space. Key factors such as the size of the space and possible lighting options may make it more suited to one function over another and influence this decision. It helps to understand what is possible in the given space before deciding what the room will be.  

Consult an expert 

Once you have decided to convert your basement, you will need to consult with CSSW qualified expert to ensure you get the best advice.  

A good basement conversion specialist will be able to advise on how to make best use of the space and advise on the correct waterproofing system which suites your type of structure and needs.  

Staying within building regulation.  

The designed basement system must conform to building regulations, failure to do so may prevent you from selling your house or claiming on your insurance should things go wrong. It is vital to consider the following areas which a consultant will be able to use their experience and knowledge to advice you on: 

  • Window options 
  • Insulation 
  • Ventilation
  • Heating  
  • Lighting 

Obtaining the required permission 

Converting an existing cellar beneath a dwelling from a storage area to habitable space, usually only involves building control approval due to change of use. But if you plan to have new window or door openings, external access or if you wish to create a fully self-contained unit then planning consent maybe required. 

 Getting the conversion right  

You will need to source a credible waterproofing specialist  who has experience in basement conversions and have all the necessary accreditations to ensure they are equipped to complete the conversion.  

A simple conversion can happen in a matter of weeks. Extending the space beneath the property involving underpinning of the existing structure is more likely to take several months.  

The building stage will include: 

  • A detailed desk top inspection of the area, to establish flood and radon gas risks. 
  • An inspection of the installed drainage systems to identify defects which present a risk of the system coming under load, or none return vales being installed to foul water systems to prevent flooding, should the towns mains surcharge.  
  • Site investigation to establish the foundation system and design.  
  • Arranging for electrical and plumbing system to be diverted. 
  • Installing and testing the waterproofing system installed.  
  • Closing up, this is where the owner can help with the final look of the basement.  

    Waterproofing and Insulating 

    Basement waterproofing can be undertaken by stopping or managing the passage of water into the basement. It is a vital stage in the conversion process to protect against future flooding. Waterproofing specialists such as Olympic Construction will ensure the property is watertight and to building regulations.  

    Adequate ventilation and insulation are key to a creating a liveable space. These being a requirement for building regulations to create a more energy efficient and moisture-free property. 

    The final touches 

    Once these stages are complete, the final touches can be carried out to turn your new space into your dream room. This includes plumbing and drainage, wiring electrics from the rest of the property, fitting the lighting and adding your own style with painting and decorating.  

     Basement conversions can create wonderful living spaces to expand a home and if undertaken correctly add value to a property. Gaining all the necessary building regulations and carrying out correct waterproofing will be key to creating this space without any issues.

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