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Basement Cellar Full Conversion

A typical basement ready for waterproofing or full conversion

The Process:

So now you have read the previous basement section the biggest decision is to decide upon what system to incorporate into your project.

A) The traditional tankng slurry/rendering system


B) The Cavity Drainage Membrane System (CDM)

 Another easy way to decide upon the system is as follows:

Traditional Method = Brickwork walls are all in excellent conditon with NO cracks or failure points/ There is no evidence of flooding (tidal marks on walls etc./ eye witnesses-ask the neighbours if you have just moved in) then this system could work for you.

CDM = All other basement types

 Keep the neighbours happy

Neighbours will understandably be nervous if you're digging next to their foundations. The Party Wall Act must be complied with, which means neighbours sharing a wall must be consulted. They can request a written report answering any questions about subsidence or other issues.

Avoid complaints by talking to all neighbours about your plans before any official correspondence so they know what to expect. Digging out a new basement or lowering cellar floors means moving earth away from the site, causing more disruption.

Basements are good for:

  • Television/Cinema Room
  • Games room/playroom
  • Gymnasium
  • Utilty Room
  • Teenagers with Drum kits
  • Violin Practise

And bad for:

  • Bedrooms: fire regulations mean bedrooms must have egress windows

Points to remember

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.

Building regulations apply to turn a basement into a habitable space, including ventilation, fire escape routes and ceiling height.

Do consider using a specialist company with expertise in basement damp proofing.

Don't cut corners. If damp gets in it's very difficult and expensive to correct.

Do get as much natural light in as possible by adding windows near ground level, light wells and stairwells.
Ventilation, lighting and colour schemes are crucial so use ceiling lights and light, bright décor. Avoid cosy clutter in favour of airy, modern minimalistic feel.

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18 January 2021
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