Basements can add value. While they are quite common in many parts of the world, most homes in the UK do not typically feature underground habitable spaces. At the time these houses were built, the challenges of excavating, building and waterproofing a basement structure were much greater than they are today - therefore the very few underground areas created back in the day were generally reserved for storage.
Since then however, many improvements have been made to the below ground construction technique and materials, including reinforced waterproof concrete, cavity drain systems and mechanical ventilation, which can be used to provide a comfortable, damp free living environment. The majority of our private new builds take advantage of these developments by including space below ground.
At present, more and more homeowners are also considering the possibility of extending their living space underground and adding value to their property. According to Home Owners Alliance, creating a basement extension can increase the value of the property by up to 20%. Consequently, in areas where space comes at a premium such as London, extending a house below ground can not only improve the standard of living but also make financial sense.
In addition to adding value, extra rooms are no doubt always welcome for properties that do not boast of generous floor plans. Basements can also offer privacy, increased soundproofing, flexibility, as well as a potentially higher chance of gaining planning approval than an above ground extensions for which proposed construction size and height have strict limits. Basements can be used as additional storage spaces, home gyms and theaters and even as underground pools, providing a much needed escape from the daily grind.
Deciding on a new basement might seem like a daunting task - aside from the many advantages it can provide, each new project certainly has its technical challenges whether at planning, design or construction stage - however we at T-Space are always happy to assist in your decision making, offer technical guidance along the way and give you an idea about the possibilities and feasibility of your new basement.
Szilard Biro is in-house Structural Engineer at T-Space.
Link to the project featured.