Home Renovation: Steps to Take Before Converting Your Basement

If ever you are looking for more space, whether for entertaining guests or an extra bedroom, converting your basement is an excellent idea.

Not only that, but it is also a smart, affordable way to increase the value of your property – an extra room worth thousands of pounds. A home renovation such as a basement conversion will also improve your family’s lifestyle.

Think about it; if you have friends over, you could send the kids downstairs where they have their own entertainment area in the basement. Or, if you take a minimalistic approach, your basement can act as both an entertainment area for the kids, and a spare bedroom.

Here are some other ideas for what a basement conversion can be used for:

  • An office space
  • A games room
  • A home cinema room
  • A study
  • A home recording studio or art room
  • A guest Bathroom
  • A Shower room
  • A playroom for your children
  • A home gym

So, if you’re taking on a home renovation in the form of a basement conversion, follow these steps before you do it.

Ensure your basement is dry & damp-proof

Unkept basements can be damp and musky, so before you convert, our home renovation tip is to clean it out, ensure it is dry and damp-proof it.

In 2020, there are technologically advanced options available to ensure your basement is warm and dry.
From a waterproofing membrane or tanking slurry to a damp injection course, there are quite a few options. Your best bet is to seek advice from a professional in the home renovation industry, particularly, a damp-proofing expert.

You will need a home renovation company who has ample experience in preparing a basement for conversion.

Get permission

As is the case with any type of home renovation in the UK, converting your basement may need permission. Wondering where you can get planning permission? Acquiring planning permission can be done through your local authority. Planning permission is there to avoid any inappropriate development that may affect your neighbours or your surroundings.

For example, when you share a wall with your neighbours, a party wall agreement is compulsory.

In most cases, converting a regular basement should be approved by your local authority, especially if you are thinking of extending it or conducting an excavation.

Be smart with the way you furnish it

Furnishing a basement can be quite tricky and selecting the right furniture is imperative to making the most out of your new living space.

As a result, your best bet is to purchase tall furniture. Thinking vertically will make the space feel bigger and draw attention away from the dark areas of the room. A basement has no natural light, so go for cool colours when decorating or painting your new space.

Go for a minimalistic approach when purchasing furniture as you don’t want the room to feel smaller than it already is. Less is more when it comes to this kind of home renovation!

So, how much does a basement conversion cost in the UK?

Basement conversions aren’t cheap, but as mentioned above, they’re a worthwhile investment for increasing the value of your home. In the UK, the costs of a basement conversion are as follows:

  • Creating external access will cost between £5,000 – £7,500
  • An engineer can cost up to £1,500
  • Planning permission will cost around £165
  • Building Regulations application costs up to £750
  • A party wall agreement (if needed) will cost about £700 per neighbour

If you are thinking of digging one up (excavation) these are the costs you’ll need to budget for:

  • Lowering the floor level and underpinning can cost between £1,500 – £2,000 per square metre
  • Digging a new basement and underpinning may cost up to £3,000 per square metre
  • Digging a new basement underneath you will cost around £1,500 – £2,000 per square metre

When it comes to a home renovation in general, there will need to be constant communication between you and the contractor. You will also need to create a budget and milestones for the build process. Our advice is to use a home renovation app – this way, you can stay on top of everything digitally and avoid any confusion.

Another word of advice is to do some research before choosing a renovation company. Be one hundred percent certain that a contractor is capable of implementing your exact plan before hiring them.