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Increase The Value Of Your Home: How To Develop Your Basement Space…

December 3rd 2014
By: Melanie

In a rising market more and more of us are looking at ways in which to add space and value to our homes. One of the ways in which we can do that is by developing the space in our basements, but working out how you are going to adapt your home around this extra area is really important.

One of the main factors to consider is how much light is going to enter your basement, as it is a key ingredient to creating a useable space. If you are looking at adding an extra drying room, storage room or utility room then you would be able to create this space quite simply, by dry lining the walls, adding a sump pump to extract water, as windows will not be an issue.

The best ways to increase light going into your basement is by incorporating multiple light wells, and where possible on Southern elevations. Adding a sunken courtyard, will enable you to add doors and windows to your design. If you create an open plan stairwell throughout the whole building it will allow the light to pass down into the basement space. If the cellar is underneath the garden you could add flat rooflights to bring more light in. Good lighting will also be a key factor in making the area feel lighter.

If you are looking to keep costs to a minimum then keeping the design the same as the foot print of your house will make it much cheaper to develop.

Although there are no regulations about ceiling heights in cellars, the taller the ceiling the better it will feel. A practical height of around 2.4metres is a good gauge. If however the basement is to form a separate dwelling then the minimum ceiling height is 2,3-2.4 metres. Remember to allow for the space taken up with your concrete base.

It’s always best to enlist the services of an experienced architect and structural engineer before embarking on any changes to your basement space.

Other important factors to consider are:

Means of escape if there is a fire, ventilation, stairs, thermal insulation, waterproofing and structural issues.

Always check with your local planning authority to see if you live in an area which requires planning permission, if you live in a class A permitted area then shouldn’t need one, but it’s always best to check.