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In the past home improvement has usually focused on converting lofts and attics in order to create office space or to add another needed bedroom to a house. However, the new trend is to look below the stairs and think about converting a basement into another kitchen come lounge area – making what was once a dead space, one that really does work for you and your family.
Home owners are now up to scratch when it comes to wasted space in their homes. A dusty old and leaky basement, when expertly converted into an extra room, can add thousands of dollars to the value of a property which makes it definitely worth considering.
Basement conversions don’t have to be dark and gloomy
The Benefits of Converting a Basement
There are many benefits to converting a basement into a kitchen come lounge area and the trend is gaining momentum. The reason is that basements usually offer much easier access to them, unlike lofts. They become more versatile living areas that suit the modern way of life unlike loft conversions which end up being extra bathrooms, bedrooms or even studies. Unlike and attic or loft, plumbing usually already exists in a basement, giving it extra versatility.
Finding Out if a Basement is Suitable for Conversion
Older properties and this includes Victorian houses normally boast timber-suspended floors which make for ideal basement conversions. The only thing to watch out for and to have checked is whether the property has shallow foundations or not. If your property does, then you will have to get the property underpinned before the conversion can begin.
The easiest route to take is to discuss the project with a specialist underpinning company who will be able to advise you not only of the cost for the work, but how long it would take to do the job as well. This way you get to incorporate the extra cost into a budget and work out a realistic time scale for the work.
Stylish basement conversions add another dimension to a home
What about Planning Permission for Basement Conversions?
The great advantage in basement conversions as opposed to loft conversions, is that because you are only altering the interior of a property, you usually don’t have to apply for planning permission, though you should always double check. But with this said, if you add a basement window and an exterior door to the basement – then you would need to apply for planning permission from a local council. You need to check the planning permission limits too because you may want to extend your basement in the future.
Should your property be a listed building, you need to get permission for any renovations before the work can begin and this includes if the work is out of sight. The reason you need permission is that any listed building is protected for historical and/or any other important architectural reasons.
You will also have to abide by all the current building regulations, even if you don’t need to get planning permission to convert a basement. These are legal requirements for any area that is built for people to use and live in and they exist as a safety measure.
Building Regulations Explained
Extensions and any other building work that involves areas of a house or other property that people will use or live in are covered by strict building regulations. These regulations are set in place to protect the people who live in properties and cover anything from health and safety to fire escapes. When it comes to basement conversions basic regulations cover ventilation, electrical wiring, safe access, damp proofing, fire escape methods and safe access.
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