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London Home Owners Are Digging Deep With Basement Conversions

From Hampstead to Hammersmith, Croydon to Camberwell, Shepherd’s Bush to Shoreditch, it seems that more and more London homeowners are realising the advantages of having a basement conversion carried out. With space being at a premium in the capital and the cost of moving home remaining high, people are considering the many potential applications of a basement excavation that can make possible the creation of a hospitable, welcoming and practical new space.

The lack of space in the capital is another reason why so many London householders are opting for basement conversions over alternatives like house extensions. In the past decade, it seems that almost every London street has welcomed in the vans, diggers and skips so that basement tanking can be carried out as part of the complete conversion.

Also noticeable is that for many of those London residents with the cash to spend, the uses of such new spaces are becoming more and more outlandish and ambitious. It’s now not unheard of for a basement conversion to result in a new leisure area, gymnasium, swimming pool, garage, cinema, nightclub, golf range or bowling alley, among the many other possibilities.


Ensuring the most successful basement conversion

There are, of course, certain factors that one needs to consider when planning a basement conversion. For one thing, planners are now wising up, having realised that the tight regulations concerning upward expansion have led many people to be very adventurous with their downward development plans. Londoners must also be careful not to upset neighbours with their basement waterproofing and excavation schemes, even if any upset simply concerns the noise made during development.

These are concerns that apply in both the most prestigious and poorer parts of London. In the case of the latter, the basement excavation may be carried out for more family-oriented reasons, such as to provide a play room for children – something that may make the house a very popular one among other families in the area.  

For those who decide that a basement conversion is better suited to their needs than alternatives like loft conversions, conservatories and garden rooms, the money spent on basement tanking, damp proof membranes and other associated work can be more than worthwhile, with estimates being that a house could be 10 to 15 per cent more valuable when an underground room is added. This premium could be as high as 20 per cent in central London.

However, such a boost in a property’s value is only possible when the basement conversion is of a good standard, and that means finding a suitable contractor that uses the best quality materials. Londoners with an interest in basement excavation work are also advised to keep the basement size in proportion to the rest of the house – up to a maximum of around 25 per cent of the floor space above ground – and consider how to make the space welcoming and habitable so that they actually wish to use it.


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