Issues With Basement Conversion In London




Basements or cellars can be a great way to make more living and leisure space in the comfort of your own home. It can have many benefits including giving your growing family more space, making a guest living or bedroom area, having an at home gym or playroom, having the space for a wine cellar, freeing up space in your garden and having more space for storage.

However, like anything else in the world there are always issues and complications that can happen during the construction as well as after the basement is built and completed.

There are also issues seen in basement conversion at certain areas because of the effect that construction and land use may have on the health as well as the aesthetic of the environment.

In this article, we are going to look at the issues of basement construction in London and the things you should not do in order to avoid complications and problems during a basement construction.

Basement Construction in London

In the busy, overpopulated and growing city of London, space has and will always be an issue as long as our population is as high as it is now. Research shows that by the looks of where we are going, the population of our small city will not stop growing enough to stop the effects of overpopulation. The only option it seems would be to expand the land we have available, but that is difficult and nearly impossible when there are other neighbouring counties and you cannot just ‘steal’ land from other places and claim it as your own.

One of the arguments or issues that London residents see with land preservation is that basements or ‘iceberg homes’ as some people call them are over the top and will only add to the already existing problems we have with environmental preservation and health.

This issue is seen by some people is that we are using our resources and land in a selfish way, which is for reasons such as leisure. For example, a popular use for basements and cellars is to create a games room or playroom, a home cinema room, a home gym or fitness suite, a wine cellar or indoor swimming pool. 

Even homes with modest basement conversions under suburban terraces are a cause for discussion for some people because of their sudden rise of popularity. 

In actual fact, basements have a number of positive effects and advantages that to some people in certain situations will outweigh the issues spoken about in this article. In this case, it is best to go with a basement conversion if you see it as a good option that outweighs the issues.

What To Avoid When Constructing a Basement

There are a few things that may negatively affect th outcome of your basement or your family and property. Here are some of the issues.

Not Getting Planning Permission

Planning permission is a key element in any construction project. It is a requirement that needs to be taken care of before any building or demolishing starts. 

However, obtaining the right planning permissions may be more difficult than the construction itself and it is way better to obtain the correct paperwork sooner rather than later because it will delay the project.

There are also certain restraints that you may encounter during the planning of a basement conversion depending on your property and the area you live in. For instance, in Chelsea and Kensington, basements have a restriction to one storey.

Forgetting to Inform the Neighbours

Unless you live in a secluded area, which in London is highly unlikely, then you won’t need to worry about informing your neighbours. However in most cases, you will have neighbours and unless you want to be bombarded with angry complaints, it is always a good idea to tell your neighbours about the basement conversion you are planning. This will prepare them for the building, noise and disruption that may also affect their property.

It helps to have a basement construction company that is ‘considerate constructors’ certified. Having a considerate and mindful basement conversion company is the best option because it keeps your neighbours up to date. It also is a great reflection on how your project will go because if your builders pay that much attention to detail then you will know that you can trust them.

Waterproofing and Tanking

Making sure that your basement is waterproof and safe to live in is one of the most important processes during the building stage and will determine the strength of your basement’s foundation.
If a basement is not waterproof, then you will be able to tell that there were no waterproofing services involved during the construction by looking for leaks, structural damage, damp areas, and in extreme cases, collapsing walls.

However, some companies are not experienced in waterproofing and do not have the training or resources to make sure that the basement is waterproofed. There are many companies that do accommodate waterproofing and tanking services and should be chosen to ensure the maximum lifespan of your basement.

Cutting Corners and Costs

Some people see a basement as an expense more than an investment, which is why they will try to cut costs by cutting corners. However, as the professionals will tell you, it is more than just a case of taking your money. Each service carried out from the excavation to the finishing touches will be essential and result in a long lasting, strong basement. 

If you are looking to save money on a basement conversion, you will need to think whether or not you will be sacrificing quality. Ask if cutting down the price on the initial cost will be worth the hassle of added expenses from ongoing problems often seen with below standard basement conversions.

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