Welcome to KCS Basements
This is where you’ll find regular information and advice about converting basements and putting your basement ideas into practice
Going Underground. Ideas are one thing. Executing them is another. There may be specialist companies in your area who focus exclusively on basement ideas and managing the conversions. When it comes to planning issues, creating a third floor by converting the basement is likely be less controversial than building an extension and it’s an environmentally friendly way to extend your living space. The environmental impact of a basement conversion is far less that that of building an extension or even converting a loft.
Basement ideas have come a long way since aspirations didn’t extend much further than using basements as storage areas or wine cellars. And it’s a long time now since we’ve had to use our basements as bomb shelters. Builders in Surrey, the Home Counties and other high cost areas will tell you that converting basements are now seen by some as one of the few ways of obtaining affordable living space.
But all sorts of design and building questions arise. Putting granny in a basement converted into a lower ground floor flat with its own entrance and patio may be a good idea from both your own and granny’s point of view, but issues of access and light arise. And underground garages in basements can raise more complicated issues of access.
We can do more or less anything with the space available in our basements. How about a bowling alley and some pinball machines?
Putting the children’s bedrooms downstairs may be good basement idea. Locking children away in basements to do their homework has all sorts of attractions and may be an easier option than putting a guest room down there. You might want an extra toilet or shower room for your guests, but the children can carry on using the family one. So you won’t necessarily need to get the plumbers in to modify the drainage. However with modern pumped systems is a relatively easy exercise. Putting kitchens or utility rooms in basements is a popular and obvious suggestion. Whatever you’re planning you’ll certainly need to use specialists that have experience in this type of construction or employ an experienced project manager to organise the whole project on your behalf . A good project manager will save you money and minimise the stress often caused by arranging this type of work.
And what about a home theatre? Mega size TV’s may look good in the shops, but they’re likely to dominate your living room. Converting basements into home cinemas or music rooms also avoids most of the noise issues
Access is a huge consideration. If your basement idea extends no further than adding an extra room to the house, a spiral staircase will probably suffice. But if your plan is for an independent living space you’ll probably need a separate entrance. If the layout of the house is right your basement idea could even end up going as far as creating a lower ground floor or ‘garden flat’ with its own separate address!
Advice and answers
We’ll be featuring as many articles as we can on basement conversions and how to execute them. If you have any queries about anything we haven’t already covered let us know and we’ll include it in a feature or give you a direct answer within days