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Top tips for converting a basement

Posted on by EKA Concrete

concrete basement conversion

If you’re looking to add an extra room to the house without the cost of an extension or loft conversion, a basement conversion could be just the right solution for you.

Homes with a pre-existing basement or cellar are the perfect opportunity to gain extra living space and could add up to 20-30% on the value of your home. With this in mind, EKA Concrete have put together some handy top tips for converting your basement.

 

How long does it take?

A basement conversion can take anywhere from 3 weeks to several months to complete. The time taken to finish all major construction work depends entirely on what you plan to do with the space.

If you need to extend the cellar or lower the floor, this adds time to the build.  Additional fitments such as internal walls or plumbing for bathrooms also take much longer to complete.

What planning permissions are required?

With a majority of basement conversions, planning permission is not required because this is classed as a ‘change of use’.

Planning permission is required when you create a new basement, are extending an existing one significantly or if you’re adding a light well, according to the government’s planning portal. If your plans will alter the exterior appearance of the property in any way you will need planning permission before beginning.

If you live in a listed building it is always recommended to consult with your planning authority for any alterations to the property.

 

DIY Basement Conversion?

There are some jobs you can do yourself when converting a basement, such as the initial clearout. However, before doing any intrusive works, you should have your basement checked for hazardous materials – such as asbestos and lead paint – by a professional. This step is imperative for older homes, as asbestos has only been illegal since 1999.

Other jobs, such as plumbing, tanking and laying concrete floors is best done by a professional, especially in difficult environments with poor ventilation, such as a basement.

 

Waterproofing

The idea of a basement conversion is to give you a pleasantly habitable space, therefore waterproofing can be regarded as one of the most crucial steps.

Tanking the basement is the process of applying a bonded waterproof cement to the walls and floors. This is known as the ‘tanking’ and it bonds to the existing masonry substrate and creates an impervious waterproof layer.

Tanking is designed to be breathable whilst withstanding external water pressure placed upon it by the surrounding subterranean ground.

 

Flooring

Carpeted and wooden flooring is not ideal for basement rooms because a future ingress of water would destroy both kinds of floor and be costly to replace. Polished concrete is now a very popular option and adds to the rugged charm of a basement room. They’re also inexpensive and last for years. To make the room a little cosier, use thick rugs to accentuate the sheen and toughness of the polished concrete, while giving your feet a soft surface to walk on.

 

Uses for Basement Living Space

You’ll probably have a good idea of what room would be best for your basement conversion. However, for some ideas, here’s a list of popular uses:

 

  • Bedroom
  • Bathroom
  • Cinema
  • Home Gym
  • Home Office
  • Playroom
  • Recording Studio
  • Study
  • Wet Room

concrete flooring

In Summary

There are many reasons to undertake a basement conversion and maximise the space in your home. Here are the top four:

  • You get a whole new room’s worth of space
  • It can add up to 30% on the value of your property
  • Waterproofing the basement protects the rest of your home from mould and fungal infestations that cause damage to you and your home
  • A basic basement conversion is a much simpler process than a loft conversion or extension

 

EKA Concrete have over 20 years of experience supplying high quality concrete to a wide variety of clients throughout South East England. Our reliable and experienced team are on hand to offer helpful project-specific advice, using their expertise to ensure a successful build, no matter what construction work you are undertaking. With our fleet of trucks and concrete pumps, we are confident of delivering concrete to sites with even the hardest of access, such as basements. For more information on any of our services, contact our friendly team today.

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