Basement Services Ipswich
A Comprehensive Guide on Building Regulations and Basement Conversions
Basement conversions are becoming a more popular way to add space to the home, not just for the super-rich wishing to install a new swimming pool.
Due to rising land values and a scarcity of space, the use of the space beneath our feet has become increasingly popular. The “iceberg” basement is the current must-have for the super-rich, generally including swimming pools, gyms, and movies, but some more unusual examples include art galleries, gun stores, and panic rooms, to mention a few. While not every basement is an “iceberg,” the majority are considerably more modest Victorian basements that have been transformed for more space.
Their popularity and attractiveness are on the rise. Between 2008 and the end of 2017, 4,650 basements were granted planning permission in some of the capital’s most wealthy neighbourhoods, according to research published in 2018 by Newcastle University’s Global Urban Research Unit. This study only looked at basements that have been granted planning permission for existing homes, not new constructions, demonstrating the growing popularity of using underground space.
Despite their growing popularity, underground constructions have an inherent added level of complication. The importance of Building Requirements and associated Approved Documents are discussed in this article, which provides practical information on how to comply with the regulations in England. We could never cover all of the relevant Building Regulations in this short article, and it is not intended to be a comprehensive guide to the Building Regulations, but it will give you a quick overview of some of the most important matters about basement conversions in residential dwellings.
The protection of underground structures from groundwater, which must always be considered when converting into usable space, is something we won’t discuss in this post. The reader should be familiar with the BS 8102 Code of Practice for Protecting Below-Ground Structures from Ground Water. This is the waterproofer’s bible, and constructing according to the concepts contained in it will assist limit the possibility of groundwater penetration into an underground construction. This article, on the other hand, focuses on the Building Regulations, which encourage the creation of a dry environment beneath an existing structure.
While the number of basements is growing, there is no denying that they are not universally appreciated. The media is all too happy to portray the rise in popularity of basements in a negative light, and when something goes wrong, it makes the headlines.
When do the Building Regulations take effect?
If you’re installing a room for residential use, the Building Regulations will apply. Exceptions may be made depending on the building’s usage, such as plant rooms that are seldom frequented by people. They will, nevertheless, be appropriate in a residential context and when converting a damp existing cellar into a habitable space. If you’re doubtful, you should always consult a building control body, which can tell you when the rules apply (via either the local authority or an approved inspector).
Those who carry out the building work — designers, installers, and building owners – are responsible for ensuring that the work complies with all applicable regulations. The building contractor will often communicate with the building control body to confirm the times of their inspections.
Basement renovations that go well
This will never be a complete list of all the factors to consider when planning a basement conversion, but it will give you a good idea of some of the most important ones. Attention to detail is essential to the success of any basement conversion. Not only the elements that keep water out but the many others that help. Underground buildings are inherently dangerous, and the cost of failure is significant, but the potential and outcomes can be magnificent.
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WHAT IS THE TIME FRAMEWORK FOR A BASEMENT CONVERSION?
This is determined by the amount of prep work and membrane installation that must be done. A small cellar can be waterproofed with drainage and properly dry lined in less than two weeks, while a large basement will take longer.
ARE THEY GOING TO FORCE ME TO LEAVE?
You may be required to vacate the premises in some circumstances, but this is uncommon. There will be no need to relocate out of the property if sufficient access to the basement or cellar area is present or can be made available, and you are willing to put up with some regular construction noise. Our surveyor may go over this in detail with you during the survey.
Is It Possible to Convert Your Cellar?
Most cellars and basements make excellent additional storage and living space if the area is accessible or can be made accessible. Our knowledgeable surveyors will give you advice on the area’s suitability for your needs.
BASEMENT BUILDING REGULATIONS
Your local council may demand consent for a basement conversion to provide more usable space within your home. Repairing or upgrading an existing habitable basement that does not result in a change of use does not require further approval.