Is Adding a Basement Worthwhile?


Would you love more living space in your home? Utilising your property’s underground space might not be something you’ve considered before but it can be an excellent space-gaining solution.

No need to worry about dark and damp spaces; modern basement architecture has come a long way, with clever design creating beautiful, welcoming and warm spaces that feel just as bright as the house above.

A basement conversion can be a fantastic way of giving you extra living space and adding significant value to your home. Whether you have an existing basement you want to convert, or you’re creating your subterranean room from scratch, here are three great reasons why you should consider adding a basement.

1. Increase the value of your home

A successful basement adds both square footage and value to your property. When done well, basements usually add more value than they cost to build, especially in certain London postcodes. The cost of a basement conversion is around £400-500 per square foot, so in areas where a property’s price per square foot is more than this, adding a basement is definitely financially viable.

For example, the average residential price per square foot in Battersea is £1,000 – £1,500. By adding an extra 500 square feet of basement at a cost of £200,000 – £250,000, you could add in the region of £625,000 to the value of your property.

Rising house prices have seen areas of London, such as Clapham, newly embracing basement conversions when the price per square foot to buy a house rises past the tipping point where adding more space makes financial sense. So, when considering a basement conversion, make sure you take into account your property’s value per square foot and the maximum sale price of properties in your area.

For example, if your house is currently worth £800,000 and you plan to spend £500,000 on a basement, make sure that houses in your area can sell in excess of £1.3 million.

2. Create a better living environment

As our families grow and our possessions accumulate, we can find ourselves longing for more space. Rather than move out of a property you love, why not create some extra living space you can expand into?

Basements can house cinema rooms, wine cellars, snugs, games rooms, gyms, offices, galleries – and even swimming pools!

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Give children a fun space of their own or create a luxurious adults-only haven to retreat to of an evening. Moving certain functions, such as laundry, utility room or storage, into the basement can free up space in the upper rooms of your house. This creates a better layout for everyday life above ground.

3. Make your property more saleable

Not only does a basement add to value to your home, it also makes it more saleable. Adding additional floor space and features to your property, from the practical to the indulgent, makes it all the more enticing to potential buyers. Opening up your space below ground can also allow you to convert your upper living rooms into prime living space that really sells.

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For example you might move your utility room or storeroom into the basement, which then allows you to create a beautiful new bedroom with natural light upstairs. These are the kind of changes that can make your home seriously saleable.

Basement conversions can be a clever way of working with planning policy in your area too. If you are unable to get planning permission for an extension or loft conversion, you may well be able to gain permission for a basement, even if your property is listed or built in a conservation area.

While you will still have to comply with many requirements, such as providing detailed basement conversion plans and employing contractors and engineers prior to permission being granted, the fact that basements are less visible makes them a great option for planners.

Creating a basement can be a big undertaking but with the right plans and a clever architect you can reap the rewards of a more saleable, valuable home – and a host of extra space as liveable and bright as the rest of your home to enjoy.

At Granit we are experts in creating beautiful light-filled basement spaces. You can see some examples in our projects in Briarwood Road and Westover Road.