Basement conversions have become increasingly popular over the last twenty years or so as homeowners have found a way to increase living space and increase the value of their property all for a relatively moderate investment. Rising property prices and the sheer cost/red tape involved in building outwards extensions has also played a large part in today’s basement conversion popularity explosion. Before you start putting pen to paper and designing the man cave of your dreams it’s very important to do some research, speak to specialists and be aware of some crucial things. Biocraft have helped many customers with basement tanking and other damp proofing measures in support of a full basement conversion. A dry basement that is impervious to water ingress is key and in providing this service to many clients across the South West, we strongly advise on the following points.
Bad Neighbourly Communication
Basement conversions are no small feat and the various processes involved such as waterproofing, wall re-plastering, painting and flooring installation can cause a fair amount of noise especially if you are living in a terrace house. This can understandably lead to neighbourly dissatisfaction and conflict if the process is not managed well.
The best way to avoid arguments and keep your neighbours on-side during the conversion is to have a clear line of communication from the start where you let them know your plans along with the kinds of works taking place and when they will be taking place. This will ensure that there are no surprises along the way and will show that you have considered them which will go a long way.
Not Considering Lighting
People convert their basements for a wide variety of reasons and the list of potential uses is endless. Whether you are looking to turn your basement into an office, cinema, gym, workshop, bedroom, kitchen or lounge you need to make sure that you install a suitable lighting system that makes the area habitable for that particular purpose. Unlike above ground level rooms in a property, basements, for the most part get very little to no natural light. It is therefore completely up to the lighting design to create the appropriate level of atmosphere. If you are converting your basement into a home office, you might want to opt for cool fluorescent ceiling lights to promote an environment conducive to focus and productivity whereas for a lounge or home cinema, you may want something a little warmer and less formal.
Bad Damp Proofing
As mentioned earlier, the road towards a habitable and comfortable basement starts with the ability to keep out water. Creating a room with an adequate ceiling height may involve having to remove some floor depth. The more you dig into the ground, the closer you get to the water table which is a name for the water saturated area formed from fallen rain and river run-off.
The basement needs to completely watertight to stop this moisture from ingressing through the floor and sides of the room. Concrete and stone is porous meaning it absorbs moisture hence why it is important to install a high-quality damp proof membrane on the inside of the wall. At Biocraft South West we use a variety of specialist operators and equipment to install cavity drainage systems and damp repellent membranes that will give you years of dependable protection.
Planning A Basement Conversion?
A quick Google search of “basement conversions gone wrong” will serve you a healthy selection of horror stories in which negligent contractors and poor planning have resulted in catastrophic financial and structural consequences.
Biocraft South West are professional basement conversion specialist with a clear track record in delivering lasting results. To find out more visit our website.