Cellar Conversion: Turning a dark and unwelcoming basement into an airy, bright living area is a great alternative for anyone in the UK looking for extra space in their home without having to build an extension. Having an extra room nearer to the more frequently used areas of your home can give you greater opportunities for creating a home gym, entertaining friends or building a "granny annex" for an elderly relative.
According to the property specialists Savills, a converted cellar can also add between 10-15% to the market price of your home. A basement conversion permits you to create extra space, which if you've already previously converted an attic into further bedrooms, is an important and welcome addition to your property.
Before rushing into anything it's definitely worthwhile to ask two or three questions: 1. What degree of work is involved in converting your cellar or basement? 2. Is the expense associated with a cellar conversion really worth the rewards you will gain from it? 3. How do you locate a local UK based cellar conversion company that is professional and dependable? 4. For what are you going to use the additional living space?
Why a Cellar Conversion in the UK?
If your home has already got a basement, you do not have to make an application for planning permission if you are just changing it into a living space, but if it is necessary to dig out the floor to elevate the height of the ceiling then you have to check with your local council first. There are some different requirements if your home is in a conservation area, is listed or shares a party wall with a neighbour, but in the majority of cases you're free to utilise the area as a living area with few limitations.
The ability to make use of extra, valuable living space in their house is the top reason many householders in the UK intend to do a cellar or basement conversion. This is especially relevant where space is restricted such as in some parts of UK. A basement conversion can also be employed as a way to earn a bit of extra cash by transforming that previously unused area into a self contained apartment and charging rent for it.
The final layout of a cellar conversion and how it is used are down to what your imagination can come up with, and what your budget will allow. Maybe you have always wanted a home cinema or games room, or you could always install a bar and "voila", an instant pub for you and your buddies. Another popular favourite, and perhaps more inviting given recent developments, is the creation of a home office or study where you'll be able to escape from the stressful daily commute and enjoy a space in your home where you might be less liable to be disturbed while working.
What is Involved?
As has already been mentioned, local authority planning permission might not be required in the majority of instances, but you will have to get Building Regulations clearance. This will make certain that your newly created living space abides by all the Health & Safety laws and guidelines for electrical systems, damp proofing, water supply, fire escapes, ventilation and minimum ceiling heights. These rules and regulations should be handled as part of the build process by your UK basement conversion specialists.
Even if there are no visible indications of damp or mould in your cellar, it will still need some kind of cementitious tanking or damp proof membrane so that it stays dry and render it suitable for converting. Any water proofing and damp proofing that you elect to use has to abide by the BS8102 recommendations which your UK cellar conversion specialist must follow. For peace of mind, ask the conversion company if they can provide you with an insurance backed guarantee to cover water ingress due to the potential failure of the membrane.
Consult with the construction company regarding the upgrade or installation of the ventilation, lights, floor coverings, insulation, electric wiring, water sources and heating system, to get the most appropriate products for your particular basement conversion. Increasing in popularity for cellar conversions in the UK is under-floor heating which circulates warmth uniformly around the area and is very efficient in this setting. This space saving style of heating is hidden beneath your cellar floor covering and requires a minimal amount of maintenance once installed.
Only professional electricians must be used to carry out any electrical re-wiring that has to be done on your basement conversion. Watch out for sunken lighting systems to reduce concerns about height issues, and with an assortment of cheap LED lights avaiable for purchase, your basement can feel bright and airy even in settings which are devoid of natural light.
Insulation and ventilation are a couple of crucial issues which have to be discussed from the planning and design phase. Substandard insulation will leave your basement conversion with possible cold spots which could increase the potential for damp. Poor ventilation can also lead to a gradual increase in humidity which is liable to trigger issues with mould and damp.
Choosing a Basement Conversion Company in the UK
As with all major building projects, it is wise to obtain more than one estimate to give you an opportunity to assess different contractor's prices. All building companies are not alike when it comes to cellar conversions and it's advisable to ask if you can see the appropriate trade and building accreditations and memberships if you feel in any doubt about their expertise or workmanship.
An initial estimate could be provided at the end of a site survey for a basic basement conversion with flooring, access and waterproofing measures being assessed. Follow up calls from the building firm should look to provide clarification about your specific requirements, for example the installation of a toilet or kitchen in a separate room or increasing the ceiling height of your cellar by the excavation of the existing floor.
An accurate quote from a locally based UK basement conversion company should contain any necessary building regulation applications, party wall agreements and planning laws required before work can begin. So as to get a better idea of the costs involved with each phase of the work, you need to ensure that the final quotation also includes a complete job-by-job breakdown of each element of the conversion projects.
The builder will be able to offer advice and guidance on all these issues and recommend methods by which to improve natural light to brighten the conversion by opening up stairs or the installation of light wells. If you need new wiring for additional electrical sockets, lighting or home entertainment and computing systems these will all be hammered out now.
Access to your basement is very important because subject to how you plan to use your newly generated living area could mean the entrances have to be modified. It is pointless planning for a bar, gym or games room complete with equipment if you can barely manage to get down a narrow stairway while carrying a cup of coffee.
Whatever you decide to do with your basement conversion you'll want it to remain warm and dry regardless of the weather. Using a reliable basement conversion firm with membership, accreditation and assurances from the construction and building trade bodies will allow this to be accomplished and put your mind at rest.
You can find out if your UK cellar conversion company is on the list of the Federation of Master Builders to make sure that you're working with a reliable and trusted contractor. If you wish to check a conversion company's previous performance you can look to see if it is included in the respected TrustMark scheme. This is a scheme founded by the Trading Standards Authority with backing from the UK government.
The vast majority of building companies in the UK area are legitimate and genuine businesses with highly qualified tradespeople. But it takes only a tiny group of dishonest firms to generate distrust, and a reputable company will recognise your fears and help to ease your uncertainties in any way possible.
Cellar Planning Permission - Do I Need It?
If your house in the UK has already got a cellar that is presently being used for storage or similar, and you want to transform it into a livable space, it's going to be considered as "change of use" and you will not need to apply for local authority planning permission. If your current cellar space doesn't have ample head room to accomplish what you want with it, you'll have to dig out the floor, in which case planning permission will probably be required, since you are expanding the volume of the house. Permission will more often than not be granted, as long as you aren't changing your property's external appearance to any significant degree. Any quality cellar conversion company in the UK should be able to get you all of the relevant information in regards to this, or if in any doubt get in touch with your local authority planning department.
Home Cinema Conversions UK
Out of all the different ideas about what you can do with your new basement conversion in the UK, one of the favourites nowadays is to convert it into a home cinema or home entertainment centre. For families that love watching box sets or movies a basement cinema is a fabulous choice. With an absence of natural light and an inclination to be darker, a basement or cellar is a great spot for a movie theatre. This use of your basement will also develop some additional social space for your family to relax and hang out, which is very beneficial in the busy world we live in. (Tags: Home Cinema Conversion UK, Home Entertainment Conversion UK, Basement Home Cinemas UK)
Small Basement Conversion UK
Create a unique new living area, even if your existing cellar or basement is only small, by using a specialist UK cellar conversion company to design, plan and build it. It may for instance be transformed into a utility room, creating more much needed space in your kitchen by shifting your tumble dryer and washing machine out of sight.
You do not need a lot of space to build a home office, and purpose built office furniture can be designed for even the smallest of cellar conversions in the UK. Your small cellar could quite easily be converted into an oasis of peace, where you can forget about the pressures of life and listen to relaxing music or enjoy a good book. Add some gentle lighting, comfy seating and a bookshelf or media centre and you're good to go. The possibilities for a small basement conversion in the UK are only limited by the depths of your imagination. (Tags: Small Basement Conversion UK, Small Basement Conversion Ideas UK, Small Cellar Conversions UK).
Cellar/Basement Conversion Surveys UK
Converting a basement or cellar into an additional living area is a project many property owners in the UK will consider at some point. A professional survey is required to establish if your particular basement/cellar is actually suitable for conversion, before any work is started.
Once the surveyor, who'll be certified in below-ground constructions, understands the planned use of the converted space he can perform an in-depth survey. This enables them to verify just what procedures need to be followed to legally and safely convert your cellar as per your requirements.
The structure of ceilings, floors and walls will be evaluated in detail, accounting for the demands of plumbing, ventilation and electricity. British Standards requirements and building regulations specifically target cellar and basement conversions, and your certified surveyor will deal with each requirement in turn. Such regulations include factors like party wall agreements, minimum ceiling heights and fire escapes, along with levels of damp proofing and water resistance. If you need a cellar conversion survey in the UK, there are a number of qualified surveyors in the area who'll be able to undertake this for you. (Tags: Cellar Conversion Surveys UK, Basement Conversion Surveys UK, Cellar Conversion Survey UK).
Cellar Conversion Tasks UK
Your preferred UK cellar conversion company should be able to help with most cellar related work, such as cellar conversion quotations, basement conversions, small basement conversion, black mould removal, cementitious tanking, cellar tanking, cellar conversions, cellar conversion ideas, cellar remodeling, timber preservation, sprayed concrete, cellar conversion planning permission, basement damp proofing, condensation control, underfloor heating, cellar waterproofing, cellar refurbishment, basement remodeling, damp proofing, basement conversion, basement conversion estimates, basement waterproofing, basement underpinning, basement tanking and more.
UK Skip Hire
The quantity of waste that is created when undertaking home improvements or garden makeovers in the UK is one of the main downsides of these types of projects. Your specific cellar conversion might generate very little waste, and then again it might result in a lot. Now some building contractors will be willing to take this waste away for you, and recycle it in an environmentally friendly way, while others will just leave you to deal with it by yourself.
If this task is being left for you to do, you could consider hiring a skip. To match your precise needs, you can choose between an array of skip sizes. Skips range from skip bags to mini-skips, midi-skips to builders skips, and for massive jobs or industrial use - roll-on roll-off skips.
CLICK HERE to get a skip hire quote in the UK.
Basement Conversion Enquiries UK
Recently posted UK cellar conversion job postings: Mr Anderson Goodman in Glasgow, UK needs to find somebody to convert his currently unused cellar into a pool room. In Warrington, UK, Danny and Angelina Fairbairn are trying to find somebody to convert their cellar into a gym. Miss Imogen Noble was trying to track down a cellar conversion specialist who can convert her small basement into an office in her detached home in Market Harborough. Cameron Wyatt was seeking a cellar conversion specialist to change his currently unused cellar into a micro-brewery in his detached property in York. Conan Bingham was trying to get a quotation from a cellar conversion specialist in Market Harborough who can transform his large basement into a games room and pub in his farmhouse. Ciaran Sims was trying to get a price quote from a basement conversion specialist in Scarborough who can transform his currently unused basement into a self-contained apartment in his property. Ms Josie Walsh in Alloa, UK wants to find someone who can change her small cellar into a kitchen. Mr and Mrs Swift want somebody who will transform their currently unused basement into a home cinema in their family home in Aylesbury.
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Other Useful Trades and Services in the UK
Not surprisingly, whenever you are doing home repairs and improvements in the UK, you'll likely be in need of all sorts of different tradespeople and together with a basement conversion specialist in the UK, you could additionally need a painter & decorator in the UK, an electrician in the UK, a builder in the UK, basement flooding solutions in the UK, black mould removal in the UK, a plumber in the UK, a plasterer in the UK, waste removal in the UK, basement waterproofing in the UK, damp proofing in the UK, garage conversion in the UK, condensation control in the UK, a bricklayer in the UK, timber preservation in the UK, loft conversion in the UK, cellar surveys in the UK, a carpenter in the UK, and other different UK tradesmen.
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