Is My Property Suitable For A Retrofit Basement?
Adding a basement to a property makes economic sense – in most areas of London an owner can look to double their investment in terms of property value. So, how do you know whether your home is suitable for a retrofit basement?
Knowles basement builders have put together some key points to consider when adding a basement to an existing building.
The Party Wall Act And Basement Construction
The first thing to consider before even contacting a basement contractor is whether you share a wall with your neighbour. If you’re in London, it’s quite likely that you do.
The Party Wall Act was created in 1996 to help homeowners and builders resolve disputes over party walls, boundary walls and excavations which are located near neighbouring buildings. When you start work on a retrofit basement, if any of the works will affect a jointly owned wall or boundary, like in the case of a terraced or semi-detached property, by law you must notify your neighbours according to a number of conditions.
Planning Permission For Basements
Whether or not you need planning permission for a basement will depend on a few variables, such as where you live and exactly what you want to build.
If you’re simply converting an existing basement into a liveable space, it’s unlikely you’ll need planning permission. However, if you are adding a retrofit basement which will require excavation under an existing property, planning permission will be needed. That said, the majority of local authorities will grant permission for those wishing to add a basement under their property, in line with permitted development rights.
Will The Basement Be Watertight
Many opposed to basement construction in London complain that it is not ideal as London “sits on clay” so the space won’t be sufficiently watertight. This is a myth! Clay doesn’t absorb or allow for the transit of groundwater, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the ground under an existing property is always ideal for basement construction. Depending on the location of the property, there could be challenges relating to the area’s topography, such as overcoming difficult ground conditions or high water tables.
However, regardless of the soil conditions, there are many available options for waterproofing. You should seek the professional advice of an experienced basement contractor to work out the best basement waterproofing method for your specific basement construction project.
Before getting bogged down by all the finer details, get in touch with an experienced professional at Knowles to talk over your options for a retrofit basement.
Simply call Alan Everett on (0)207 313 4169 or email the expert team at firstname.lastname@example.org.