3 Things Architects In London Should Know About Retrofit Basements
If you’ve recently been commissioned to design your first retrofit basement in London, but feel a little lost in the woods on what needs to be taken into consideration, fret not. We have compiled a list of the three most important aspects of basement design to take into account during the planning phase of your project.
They Might Get Wet
The deeper you dig, the more water you’ll find, so whenever you’re drawing up a basement plan, it’s best to err on the side of caution …and waterproof. To avoid the dreaded damp seeping into your clients new subterranean home cinema, or the walls crumbling in under the water pressure, it’s important to work with a reputable basement contractor who really knows about basement waterproofing.
There are a few types of waterproofing options available (Tanking and Cavity Drain Membranes are the most popular) and these can take up some room in the basement, so your floorplans will need to be designed around your chosen method of waterproofing. You may lose a couple of inches of floor space, and in London, where square footage comes at a premium, you don’t want to end up responsible for a clients frustration when they realise the total basement area has been reduced. So factor the waterproofing ) in as soon as possible.
Every Inch Counts
As mentioned earlier, a basement in London boasts some seriously valuable space that should be thoughtfully considered at every step of the design process. The average cost of a basement per square foot is £500-£1,000,so any design gimmicks like sloped ceilings and opulent fountain centrepieces generally just aren’t going to work.
Light Is Vital
Gone are the days of dark, dingy subterranean storage spaces. Being underground, it’s certainly a bit of a challenge to get ample, natural light flowing into a basement, but it can and is done beautifully. Light wells, sky lights strategically planted in the garden and small windows where the ground slopes are all worth incorporating, but often electric lighting is also required to keep the dark out.
Designing a retrofit basement truly is an inspiring way to showcase your talent and creativity as an architect. Once you’ve got a good handle on all of the technical issues to consider, and choose a specialised basement construction firm to work with, you can really get started on creating the perfect underground space for your client.