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What to Consider When Converting Your Basement

Converting Your Basement

In a big city like London, space is always at a premium. We all want that little extra room to stretch out, relax, and enjoy ourselves, but in the capital, many residents simply do not have that luxury. Many Londoners are now considering a basement conversion, looking at their underground space, and assessing whether basement tanking could create an extra room or improve storage in their homes.

Garratt’s Damp & Timber Ltd. can help you out with your London basement conversion project, surveying your property and assessing your needs in terms of basement tanking, but there are steps you will need to take before this stage. Ahead of embarking on this kind of ambitious project, there is a great deal to consider. We have outlined some of the important questions you will need to answer below.

What Do I Want to Do with My Basement?

This is the single most important question to answer before you go any further, as the answer will have all kinds of implications for the design of your basement conversion. If you want something as simple as extra storage space, the changes needed will be minimal compared to those required to convert the space into a games room, a library, or an entertainment centre. However, if the question is ‘Can I convert my basement into an apartment?’, this will require a completely different planning approach, though the fundamental tanking process is the same.

Will I Need Planning Permission?

Depending on the level of changes involved, you may need to seek planning permission for the conversion from your local council. Planning permission is usually required for any significant expansion to your house or change to its usage, so it is highly advisable to contact your local council’s planning office first. If your basement has an adjoining wall with a neighbouring property, that could also generate issues that will need to be discussed and ironed out.

What are the Steps to Converting a Basement?

Once the planning has been agreed upon and any decisions have been made, Garratt’s, your local basement conversion company, will provide a suitable quotation. This will include materials, such as the basement tanking membrane, as well as finishing costs, such as painting and plastering. A basement conversion cost in the UK varies considerably according to the size and location of the project - however, Garratt’s has always proven to be competitive in comparison with other basement conversion companies in London. Now, it is time to start converting your basement.

What Kind of Lighting Should I Use?

Once the above formalities have all been taken care of, the next step is to start thinking about the details of your new project. If you are planning to convert your basement into a usable, liveable room, then you should try to opt for lighting that is as natural as possible. Compact fluorescent bulbs and LEDs can be considered too harsh by some people, even though they will save energy. Depending on the arrangement of your basement, it may be possible to set up a light tube.

What Flooring Do I Need?

Given that space is at an absolute premium, and extra lowering of the floor in your basement will obviously increase cost, you want to be very careful when choosing your flooring options. Try to avoid anything that will substantially decrease the overall height of the room, but also keep in mind the original purpose behind your basement conversion. Floorboards might offer a lovely aesthetic, but they will generally be far more space consumptive than laminate or carpet. Ultimately, the design choice is yours, but you need to be mindful of space and cost.

Can Garratt's Help with My Basement Tanking Project?

Just as waterproofing is required above ground, it is also necessary below ground - and is arguably even more important because the level of exposure to groundwater is much higher in a basement. This is where basement tanking comes into the equation and where the Garratt’s Damp & Timber Ltd. specialists can help. Depending on your basement and the soil your house is built upon, different basement tanking techniques may be necessary.

Basement conversions are big projects, and there is plenty to think about beforehand. However, with the help of the basement tanking specialists at Garratt’s Damp & Timber Ltd., the process can be much smoother than you might initially think. Contact us today to get a quotation for your basement tanking project.

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