Designing a basement conversion is one of the best ways to add space to your home, without the need to visibly alter its appearance. It allows homeowners to add a whole storey to their homes without acquiring any more land or extending the property to construct additional floor space.

Despite its benefits, it seems that most  homeowners are reluctant to convert their basements. Rising labour costs, extensive planning and lack of construction experts are some of the many reasons why people think twice about constructing a basement floor.  Basement waterproofing is a critical factor in planning a basement conversion, and many homeowners fear getting this critical part wrong, and end up with a damp unusable space.

The benefits of a waterproofing your basement conversion, still, cannot be ignored. If you plan to design a basement for your home, here are a few things you need to consider:

Assess the Potential

The most cost-effective basement design is one with no windows, which serves as a simple utility room. It can be used to store plants or as a luxury wine cellar. With a small upgrade in electrical andplumbing works, the basic design can be upgraded to fully functional kitchen or a gym.

Consider Shape Designs

When it comes to basement designs, the best option is to design the basement on the same footprint as the ground floor. If the ground conditions require deep trench-fill foundations, it is best to excavate a little deeper to construct the basement. Straight walls work best for your basement and are more cost-effective than curved walls. Similarly, a large basement design results in more economies of scale as the construction cost can be spread over a larger area.

Determine the Ceiling Height

Tall ceilings help in improving the quality of space. Unlike ground floor constructions, altering the height of your basement does not require you to push up roof ridge heights and create a conflict with the building schematics as you sometime would have to do with a loft conversion. Instead, you need to excavate into the ground. It should be noted that there are no minimum height restrictions for basement designs under  Building Regulations. However, regular practice dictates a height ranging from 2300 to 2400mm.

Bathrooms and other Utility Rooms

Removing water from above-ground constructions require gravity. However, your basement is likely to be constructed below the sewerage line and this will require the use of a sump pump to push the wastewater against gravity into the sewerage line. These considerations must be taken into account when factoring the cost of installing a basement waterproofing solution.

Overall Structure

If you need to excavate the ground or extend your basement, your existing walls will need to beunderpinned. Or you may require additional structural support using steel beams. For this purpose, you may have to hire a structural engineer to do the math and design a more detailed set of plans.

Other Factors

There are a number of other factors you need to consider before you can achieve a dry, usable, waterproof basement. Keep these in mind and your investment will be worth it.

Hope this information was helpful. The Diligent Team.

We’re often challenged, but never beaten!

Local Building contractors for all your property needs.

Further useful guides

 * basement conversion advice vol 6 and vol 7