Common Questions Architects Ask About Basement Construction
As an architect undertaking a retrofit basement project, your sole purpose it to create the ideal space for both your client, and the property. In order to do this properly, it helps to know what kind of questions you will need to have answers to before you begin.
What Kind Of Planning Permissions Are Required?
Planning permission is not usually needed for a conversion unless the external appearance is substantially altered or the building is listed. Digging a new basement involving major work is likely to need permission though. See here for more in depth information.
Is It Possible to Have Natural Light In A Basement?
The question of how to bring a healthy amount of natural light into a subterranean space is often an obstacle, but in short, the answer is yes. Some common ways to maximise lighting for a basement are light wells, skylights, glass flooring or staircases or even installing a system to channel sunlight using fibre optic cables.
What’s The Ideal Ceiling Height For a Basement?
The internal ceiling height of your basement depends again on the use of a room. Fairly high ceilings are required for gym equipment or kitchen cupboards, but less height is needed for a swimming pool or playroom. Of course, ceiling height can be somewhat restricted underground, and the more that is necessary, the higher the cost can be.
Where Is Best To Place The Basements’s Access Points?
Where to place stairs is another top considerations when planning a basement. Most often, placing them directly under the existing ground floor stairs is the simplest strategy, but it’s also possible to make it a spiral staircase to save space.
Another popular access point for stairs is leading up to the garden. If the outdoor space has a sloping ground level, this can also be a nice way to get even more natural light in.
Knowles’ has over 20 years of experience in the highly specialised field of basement construction and works with many top architects in the greater London area. If you currently require a consultation for an upcoming basement project, get in touch with one of our experts.