The Pros and Cons of Converting a Basement

The Pros and Cons of Converting a basement

When it’s apparent that there isn’t enough room in your house to expand, most people either look towards the loft or out to the garden. Few individuals look down.

The majority of individuals could be making a mistake. Although basement conversions have increased in recent years, they remain relatively few when compared to loft conversions and ground floor extensions.

This is due to the fact that most UK houses are not able on their own to turn an existing basement into a functional living area, and instead require a more complicated excavation operation.

If you don’t have access to a lot of garden space to consume into, or the loft isn’t an option, basement extensions may be ideal. From a kitchen or children’s playroom to a home cinema or study room, converting a basement can provide the space you’ve always desired. Is it worthwhile? Let’s take a look at the benefits

A basement conversion keeps the newly developed living space near to the home’s major sections, such as the kitchen and living room. If done incorrectly, loft conversions might feel disconnected from the rest of the home.

The staircase is essential in making this seamless link possible. It should allow natural light to flow down it easily, connect the basement with the floor above, and be simple for people to use.

Preserve Your Garden

Many homeowners find that extensions to the rear of their property necessitate the loss of part of their garden. This may be particularly challenging if there is already a shortage of outside space. Underground construction can be completed without much modification to your home’s appearance, especially if you already have a basement to convert.

Basement conversions can just as efficiently link a house and yard as an extension with sliding doors that lead outside to a stair or ramp leading to the garden.

Fill It With Natural Light

The conventional image of a basement is a gloomy, damp room hidden from the rest of the house. And then there are all sorts of terrors that inhabits our kids’ imaginations down there. There’s going to be an awful lot of artificial light in any converted basement, but you can help it by utilizing natural light in creative ways.

External doors and light wells are two more options for walk-on roof lights. When placed on the ground floor or an outdoor patio, walk-on roof lights may give beneficial daylight from above. Through-wall sun tunnels, which utilize a reflecting tube with a diffuser attached to the interior wall, are another possibility.


Boost Your Home’s Value

There is no reason why your basement conversion should not add a significant amount of value to your property. It is generally accepted that it may improve the home by 10% to 20%. It’s vital to contact a local estate agent for an exact estimate of what the modifications will be worth because expenditures are relative to each property’s individual value and location.

If no major renovations are required, the expense of your basement will be reduced. If this is the case, the overall cost per square meter is expected to be similar to that of a loft conversion. According to on Homebuilding and Renovating magazine, this costs between £1000 and £1500 per square metre.

Converting a Basement: The Case Against


Converting your basement will increase the value of your home, but the immediate expenditures involved might rapidly add up, especially for excavations that require raising ceilings and underpinning. Other potential expenses to consider include architects, drawings, planning permission, and building regulation fees; however, they are all typical with most house renovations.

It is possible to obtain a Lawful Development Certificate for a small fee, and it may be worthwhile doing so if you want to ensure that the current use of a building is lawful for planning purposes or that your proposal does not need planning consent.

Tanking, the process of waterproofing a basement to prevent dampness and structural damage, costs money.

If you live in a terraced or semi-detached house and are making changes to or around a common wall, a Party Wall Agreement is required. Before making any modifications, it’s vital to notify your neighbors so that they may consent to the work.


Basement conversions are a serious form of extension, and they can take up to nine months for bigger excavation projects. That’s a lot of racket and commotion. If you have solid floors and no previous basement, it’s very likely that you’ll have to vacate for some time. 

Access is required by the builders and any equipment they may need. You want to keep the mess as far away from the main portion of the home as possible while still allowing workers to assist with keeping the project on track.

You’ll also need to consider how your current services would be impacted. Is there room for more radiators in your boiler? It’s quite probable that a new one will be required, increasing the cost by about £2000.


Basement conversions are a fantastic option if you need more room in your house and, once completed, will provide significant value to your property. If you already have a basement to work with, the choice is considerably simpler; and if the foundations are sound and there is enough headroom, it’s an even better idea.

Larger excavation projects are considerably more difficult and costly. However, with that comes greater design freedom. Basement excavations may be the catalyst for introducing new life into your property if you are willing to wait and can handle the disruptions. If you’re interested in building a basement conversion, we recommend contacting DBI.

Danford Brewer & Ives are specialists in basement conversions and could give your home that extra space you need – even if you don’t currently have a cellar.


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