We’ve been converting the cold, wet and waterlogged cellars of London into gorgeous, warm, living spaces for over 25 years.
It’s no secret that buying a property in London comes with a significant price tag – what you pay for a small property in London would buy you a much larger home further north. Which is why you need to make the most out of all of the space you have available to you.
The variety of architecture in London means it is full of gorgeous properties which would have interior designers and architects drooling over the potential of them. If you’re trying to maximise how you use your property, you’ll no doubt have assessed all of your expansion choices, but sometimes a loft conversion or extension isn’t an option.
Many London properties have basements or cellars that would provide fantastic additional space but are either waterlogged or damp. So they get ignored or written off. Don’t let that potential go to waste – let’s turn your cellar into a stunning setting you can really enjoy.
One of our cellar conversion experts will call you within 24 hours.
How people are using their homes has changed drastically over the last decade or two. The arrival of the internet has shown homeowners just what is possible with a basement extension or cellar conversion. An ambitious basement project before would have seen slightly more ostentatious decor.
Now, you’ll see swimming pools and gyms, home cinemas and bowling alleys, music rooms and studios. Playrooms for growing families or playrooms decorated with fifty shades of grey – the beauty of having that additional space, is that it’s your own haven to escape the world from in your own favourite way.
Even before the mass exodus of offices across the UK happened during the pandemic, there were already many people working from the comfort of their own homes. What that often looks like ’in real life’ though is a dining table that can’t be used as it’s piled high with projects and paperwork. Or a nook in a lounge or bedroom that has a business crammed into it, blurring the lines of when you should be working, or should be relaxing and enjoying yourself.
Imagine the difference that a purpose-built office space could make to your business or working week. A space that you can tailor perfectly with your storage needs and working space, a designated desk, images around you that you love, and the best part – a fabulous door on it that you can close behind you when your work is done for the day.
A large percentage of London properties benefit from cellars that are usually used for storage. Due to the ever increasing house prices and a perceived instability of the housing market, more and more homeowners are looking to increase the space in their homes instead of moving into a larger properties.
London is a potential goldmine if you know what you’re doing. If you’re a property investor you’ll be well aware that a self-contained space which could be rented out or sold would be snapped up in a heartbeat. Converted basements make perfect studio apartments – especially as many of these can have their own separate entrance to the main house.
A simple studio apartment in West London, for instance, could easily fetch between £800 – £2000 per month depending on where you are. Converting your cellar or basement may seem like a significant outlay, but if you treat it like an investment, you’ll soon see that it isn’t long before your cellar conversion is not only paying for itself, it’s paying you too.
There’s so much more to basement conversions in London than you realise. Certain parts of London come with area-specific problems such as soil composition which causes damper or waterlogging than in other areas. Planning permission requirements can change between districts. You may need Party Wall Agreements putting in place depending on how your property is structured amidst neighbouring properties.
That’s before you look at the practical logistics of basement excavation or a basement construction. You want to know your entire property is safe when parts of the supporting foundations need altering. And one of the biggest problems with converting existing cellars with damp problems is that the root of the damp problem is often not dealt with, so it’s only a matter of time before the unsightly and destructive damp issues return.
We’re not trying to worry you of course. But let’s be honest – there’s a difference between popping some DIY damp coursing over a few soggy corners and giving it a lick of paint, to having a structural engineer with decades of experience with a reputable basement conversion company, assess your buildings’ basement and give you a full report. A report that shows you how if done properly, your cellar conversion would come with a ten-year guarantee.
There are many ways to waterproof your basement (see our basement waterproofing page) as basement structures vary so much. The type of structure, depth of the structure, location and surrounding soil composition all impact how moisture or water ingress can affect a basement or cellar.
Many basement companies will use one of these three commonly used methods used in basement waterproofing. They each have their own merits depending on the factors affecting the property, so the structural engineer or project manager will need to thoroughly assess the best fit when they map out the design and build of your basement conversion.
Type A Waterproofing – Basement Tanking London. This waterproofing method incorporates an externally or internally applied barrier system which withholds groundwater from entering the building under pressure. Materials such as sheet membranes, bitumen-based coatings, multi-coat renders or crystalline slurries are used with this method but the structural elements of the building need to be strong enough to withstand the groundwater pressure the building is exposed to.
Type B Waterproofing is where the actual structure has the waterproofing aspects built into it. This method uses waterproofing additives within the concrete when forming the floors and walls of the structure so is often used in newbuild below ground structures. This will need additional waterproofing methods to support weaker areas such as structure joints where moisture could penetrate the building.
Type C Waterproofing uses Cavity Drain Membrane (CDM) installed externally or internally to the walls and floors of the basement structure. This method uses dimpled membranes which don’t stop the incoming water or moisture but instead manage it and divert it into either a pumping chamber or external land drain. This system is suitable for all structure types and because it is a relatively low risk where defects are concerned and are easy to install, it is rapidly becoming the waterproofing system of choice with existing cellars and basements that are subject to groundwater ingress.
Refresh PSC basement conversions all have a 10-year guarantee and we only use reputable brands and quality materials – we are registered installers of Oldroyd, Safeguard and Delta membrane waterproofing systems.
To find out more, you can book a site survey, consultation or no-obligation quotation for cellar/basement waterproofing services throughout London, using our online contact form or feel free to call us on: 020 8959 6424.