Andy Butchers, Director of Build-Zone Survey Services Ltd, shares his insider knowledge to help troubleshoot this area of a building whether you are considering a New Build or Conversion.
Basements in a new building can “hide” the ultimate in luxury in both new builds and conversions with the secret swimming pool, sauna, Jacuzzi, games room, Gym, Home Cinema or Music rooms.
For conversions where space is limited and the cost of selling and “up sizing” may be prohibitive then extending upwards and downwards may be the most cost-effective solution. However, working on an existing structure is considered more difficult than a new build.
As a Warranty provider primarily due to our risk management and visit regime we do not actually see many basement claims but as you can appreciate, when it does go wrong, along with the stress and disruption it can cause, it can be both extremely difficult and expensive to resolve the problem. I have detailed a number of pointers which should be considered along with your design team to provide you with the most cost-effective solution and when constructed professionally should provide no problems throughout the life of the building.
1)Suitability of a Basement for its location.
One of the first things to consider is if it is appropriate and cost effective to construct a basement. If you look at recent press articles some suggest London Local Authorities are clamping down or even stopping (through the Planning process) new or updated basements as part of conversion work due to the ‘perceived risk’ to surrounding properties.