Cellar Conversion Costs

Cost Considerations You Should Keep In Mind Before Converting Your Basement or Cellar

You may have seen some fantastic basement or cellar conversions around in your friend’s home or on the internet, and you may be tempted to jump in headfirst into a basement conversion project in your own home, then you must curb your enthusiasm and proceed with caution.

Like all building projects, cellar conversions and installations need money and planning because costs quickly pile up and get out of hand, if you are unprepared.

The advantages of installing a cellar or a cellar conversion are numerous. One of the most significant rewards is the value that a cellar conversion can add to your property. Additionally, a cellar is extra space that you can use for leisure, storage, as a spare bedroom or even an annexe.

Following are some significant considerations that should be kept in mind before you start with cellar conversions:

Size and Plan for the Area

A major price-deciding factor is the size of your property and the size of the cellar conversion.  Converting an existing cellar will cost less than installing a new one which requires digging and underpinning a new cellar can cost anywhere from £2,000 to £3,000 per m²per.

Lowering the floor level and underpinning will cost up to £2,000 per m². Plaster and renovations will cost between £700 and £1500 per m².

Your plan for an area will also have a direct impact on the cost of the cellar conversion. Are you setting up a bathroom? If yes, then it will require plumbing and drainage. Will you have a swimming pool in the cellar? If yes, then you will need to increase the budget for damp proofing.

Lighting and the addition of proper ventilation will increase the cost significantly.

Planning Permission and Regulation Fees

If you are doing any building or conversions in your house, you have to be a 100% sure that they abide by your local building regulation, so before you proceed, check with the local council or LPA. It is likely that you will need to get permission before you start and submit your building plan for approval. All this will add to the cost of your cellar conversions.

Additional Jobs

Your cellar conversion may result in a few extra jobs that need to be paid for including diverting plumbing pipes, moving the boiler, additional waterproofing, removing excavated materials, and more jobs. Thus, you should be prepared to add these into your budget.

Engineer and Contractor Fees

You will have to pay the engineer and the professionals for their work. Some companies will provide end-to-end services. Otherwise, you will have to hire a different professional for different jobs. Ask for no-obligation quotes to get an idea of the costs before you settle on a service for cellar conversions.

Research and preparations will help you evade the undesirable scenario of leaving the conversion half done. After all, no one wants a half dug up cellar or basement with no more money to complete the job.


Basement-Conversion-After

Value Adding Basement Conversion Ideas

5 Space Maximising and Value Adding Basement Conversion Ideas

If you are done with using your basement as a dump, where you throw everything that you do not find useful in the house, but you do not have the heart to throw it away, then converting your basement into a useable space is ideal.

Basement-Conversion-Before

If you have decided that you want to make your house’s basement a useful space that does not only make it more functional, but it also adds value to your property, we have five ideas for basement conversions that will not fail to impress you.

Read on to discover them and maximize your basement space.

Gym

If you are a fitness fanatic or hate going to the gym every day, then you can bring the gym to your home! With a basement gym, you will save thousands on a gym membership every year. Moreover, you will not be bothered with hygiene as you will not share your equipment with others. There are tons of benefits to having a gym at home. Having said, you can enjoy working out at your own pace without worrying about the scheduled gym timings.

The best thing about converting your basement to a gym is that you will not have to invest too much money for conversion. You have an option of either starting with a complete gym set or a few essential equipments only.

Music Studio

A basement is a perfect place for a music studio! Why? Because it is easier to sound-proof a basement than other parts of a house.

Especially, if you have a high ceiling, a basement would be an ideal place for a music studio. A basement studio allows you to disconnect from the world and focus entirely on creating musical masterpieces. You can play instruments for as long as you like without receiving neighbours’ complaints.

Cinema

If you want the perfect cinematic feel at home, converting your basement to a cinema would be a fantastic idea.

In case your basement does not allow too much light, then converting your basement into a cinema would be an ideal option because you wouldn’t have to pay extra money for making your cinema lightproof. With having your own basement cinema, you can invite friends over and enjoy cinematic surround sound and high-resolution 4K display at home at any time of the day, and on any day of the week.

Underground Parking

Parking is always a plus! It is not only the ultimate solution to the limited parking space in front of your house, but it also adds value to the property. If you are worried about having limited space in your basement, you can extend parking space by a double-tier lift, and park two vehicles in the same place instead of a single-vehicle.

Bedrooms

This conversion idea might sound a bit boring, but if your primary goal is to add value to your property without spending too much on the conversion, then you should invest on converting the basement to bedrooms.

Houses are usually valued on the number of bedrooms they offer, each decent size bedroom will add thousands to a property’s value.

You can make one or more bedrooms depending on the amount of foot space available, or you can even convert the basement into a large studio apartment or annexe.

Other Ideas

As well as the above ideas, many people also convert their basement into a:Basement

  • Utility room
  • Playroom
  • Home office
  • Kitchen

Some people may also look at using the space within the basement to create a swimming pool or transform it into a self-contained flat. With enough space and budget, most things are possible.

Danford Brewer & Ives are basement conversion experts.  With many successful projects completed, we are the perfect partner for anyone looking to have a basement conversion.  To discuss your plans further simply contact DBI and book an appointment for one of our site surveyors to visit you and run through the options with you.


Basement-Conversion

Basement Conversion Considerations

Top 6 Considerations to Keep in Mind before You Start Basement Conversion.

You might have dreams of building your dream cinema to enjoy Saturday nights with your friends at home, or you might be thinking about taking your passion to the next level by building a gym Basement-Conversion-Afteror a music studio in your basement.

If you want to make the most out of your basement by converting it into a more useful space, then make sure that it is not an impulsive decision. Make sure that you go through our list of considerations that you should keep in mind before starting with your basement conversion project.

1. Consult a Professional before Starting

You might be excited and all pumped up to start a conversion project as soon as possible; however, it is essential to consult a professional to ensure that your house’s structure allows you to dig into the basement or not.

It is necessary to know how deep you can go into the ground because not all homes are built with a basement plan. So, rather than starting a project impulsively and regretting it later, you should consult an experienced architect, engineer or contractor and discuss the possibilities with them.

2. Don’t Miscalculate Your Budget

Once you start a basement conversion project, you cannot leave it halfway. Make sure that you get all the estimates from professional, experienced builders to avoid miscalculation. You cannot afford any miscalculation, thus consult a professional to ensure that you know how much money you would need to complete a project. Make sure that you keep a surplus amount just-in-case.

3. Get Legal Permission

Make sure that you consult the legal authorities to know whether you have legal permission for a basement or not. Checking if you need planning permission from the local authority is essential, as is compliance with Building Regulations and The Party Wall Act.

A company experienced in basement conversions would be able to guide you about how much time it requires for you to get legal permission and what terms you will have to agree with according to the legal agreement.

4. Make Sure That It Is Water-Proof

If your property is located in an area where the underground is usually damp, then you need to get help from a professional, ensuring that your basement is dry. Making sure that your basement is waterproof will help you protect your house from structural damage.

It doesn’t matter if you are planning to make a music studio or even a swimming pool, you need to ensure that your basement is completely waterproof.

5. Sufficient Lighting

Depending on the possibilities, you need to make sure that you make all efforts for maximum natural lighting in the basement. Moreover, if you have planned to convert your basement into a living area, bedroom, annexe, or a kitchen, then natural light will provide the basement with a refreshing environment, making it more welcoming.

6. Décor is Important

It is a horrible idea to overload your basement with furniture and decorative items. Basements are already considered dark and dingy; so overloading it with furniture will not be a good idea when looking for basement conversions. Thus, you should focus on keeping it simple and fresh.

Danford Brewer & Ives are basement conversion experts.  With many successful projects completed, we are the perfect partner for anyone looking to have a basement conversion.

To discuss your plans further simply contact DBI and book an appointment for one of our qualified site surveyors to visit you and run through the options with you.


Case Study: Basement Conversion Playroom Harrogate

Basement Conversion Harrogate - Playroom

Danford Brewer & Ives undertook a basement conversion on a property in Harrogate during the spring of 2018.
It is a terrace house, constructed of stone, with a slate roof, brick chimney, UPVC guttering, wooden windows and stone flag floors.
The owner’s intention was to convert the basement into a playroom for his children.  They also wanted a utility room, a toilet and two storage areas/cupboards, each separated by internal walls from a landing that leads to a new staircase.
The process was as follows:

  1. Damp Survey

We first needed to ascertain what level of damp the existing basement had. The survey was restricted to the basement and our readings (taken with the aid of an electrical conductivity-type moisture meter known as a Protimeter) revealed evidence of rising and penetrating damp to all areas, as well as water ingress.
Two major causes of the damp were the high ground levels and structural abutments, so we recommended that either the external levels were reduced or an internal barrier, incorporating a waterproofing agent or membrane, was applied and fixed to those areas - at least up to the level of the newly installed damp-proof course.
(NB We did not undertake a structural survey and always recommend that any worries/queries regarding such issues should be resolved using a suitably qualified person.)

  1. Structural and basement waterproofing

All structural and basement waterproofing work was undertaken in accordance with British Standards Document BS 8102:2009, the code of practice for the protection of below-ground structures against water.
It specifies a level of protection (grading from 1-3) based upon the end use of the conversion. In this instance, since it is being used as habitable accommodation, the required grade was 3.
One assumption BS 8102:2009 makes is that ingress will occur during the conversion’s lifetime - caused, for example, by a change in the water table, drains becoming blocked or heavy rainfall causing localised saturation.
After careful consideration of various methods of controlling persistent water entry, therefore, we recommended installing our cavity drain system to all areas indicated on the plan.

  1. Drainage

The cavity drain system’s effectiveness is based upon discharging free water, before pressure builds behind the system.
For this to be possible, an effective and fully maintainable drainage system was installed.

  1. Preparatory Work

The existing ceilings were stripped, with plumbing and electrics relocated in the ceiling.
Some timber repairs were required in the utility area. Where there were signs of deterioration, the timbers were cut back and replaced by either steel support brackets or resin ties.
The existing opening into the floor void was increased to approx. 2.4m wide by installing a new concrete lintel (that was subject to a structural engineer’s approval). An area, approx 1200mm back into the void, was then lined with a membrane and framed out to form a new storage area.
The existing single skin brick wall in the utility area was removed (no structural replacement was required) and the stone staircase was broken out and also removed.
We lifted the existing stone flagged flooring, which was kept for the client, and the floor was excavated by a depth of approx. 100mm to allow for the build up of the membrane and floor finishes.

  1. Waterproofing

A sacrificial screed was poured incorporating a 100mm x 75mm perimeter rebate. Once the floor was cured and prior to membranes being installed, the concrete was treated with an anti-lime coating to stop the build-up of free lime within the cement and prevent the drainage from blocking.
The walls were lined with an 8mm studded Cavity Drain Membrane. This was installed to at least the height of damp course level.
A perimeter drainage channel was installed, complete with servicing flushing points. The drainage falls and collects within the sump chamber and any water build-up is discharged via the twin pumps located within. Each pump has its own independent fused spur supply.
Once the drainage and pumps were installed, we flood-tested the system.
The floors then received a 20mm CDM which was sealed to the wall membrane as required. The system was then flood-tested again.

  1. Fit out

To be compliant with current building regulations, and as the basement is a habitable space, insulation was required (our specification was subject to Building Control approval).
We laid a minimum 50mm close cell insulation board on top of the floor membrane and covered it with a 22mm water-resistant floorboard.
The external walls of the basement were lined with 75mm timber frames and fitted with 75mm rigid foam boards. The internal walls were battened out using 50mm x 25mm timbers.
We also installed a new timber staircase.
A toilet area was formed under the stairs, supplying a new WC and basin. The foul waste collects in a chamber within the utility room and discharges into the nearest foul waste drains externally.
The ceiling received a 100mm wool insulation and all surfaces were then lined with a 12.5mm plasterboard.
The rooms were fitted out with a softwood skirting board. New doors were fitted to both the living area and utility room.

  1. Fixing to or through the waterproof systems

When fixing through the membranes, careful consideration was taken, including the possibility of an alternative method.

  1. Non-earth retaining walls

We carefully marked the position of the fixing at the required point and drilled. We filled the hole with a high-quality mastic and then inserted a propitiatory plastic fixing plug. More sealant was applied around the hole to form a seal before inserting the screw.

  1. Earth retaining walls

Specialist fixing plugs with purpose-made seals were used in order to maintain the integrity of the membrane.
It is important that the flushing/service points are easily accessible so that regular maintenance can be carried out to the drainage system to ensure that no blockages occur. Maintenance programs are available and are a condition of the guarantee.
As the works described involve a Party Wall, the Party Wall Act 1996 was therefore applied. This requires the owner of a property to notify his/her neighbour(s) of the proposed works and obtain the neighbours’ consent. A neighbour cannot unreasonably withhold consent, but should you require further advice or information, please initially contact our office or a suitably qualified party wall surveyor.
Danford Brewer & Ives are very aware of Health & Safety issues and dangers within our industry. Any work that we carry out is done so safely, in the best interests of our customers, the general public, and ourselves.
Guarantees
Upon completion of our specialist remedial works and full settlement of our final invoice, Danford Brewer & Ives issue a 10-year independent insurance-backed guarantee.
The client was thrilled with the final results and tells us the children are using their new playroom all the time.  If you have any plans to convert your basement into additional living space then contact Danford Brewer & Ives for expert advice and support.
Here is a short video showing how the project progressed and finished up.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=461GGEh6QMg


Basement

Basement Conversion Cost

While we’re pretty sure that, for most of us, a trip down to the basement might not be the stuff of cheap horror film nightmares, neither might it be particularly pretty. At best, a tumble dryer, fridge freezer and an iron/ironing board might be lurking down there. Mainly, though, it’s pipework, lots of clutter, paint peeling off dripping brickwork and a fusty smell.
Your basement might be full of things you’d half-forgotten about, just lying there gathering dust or going mouldy in the dank, dark air. In general, we don’t want to spend too much time down there. But if we think about it, the biggest thing lurking down at the bottom of those rickety wooden steps is something less tangible and clearly way more useful than a VHS recorder: it’s the potential of the place.
Just think a whole new living space. What might you do with it? Okay, you’ll probably have to go to the tip to chuck those old paint tins, and those toys the kids have grown out of will have to go to the charity shop. But you can fix the damp and give yourselves more space. Potentially much more space.
You also need someone who can do the job – which is where we come in.
There are two schools of thought here. The more traditional method involves simply sealing the basement using cement based products, which holds the water back. However, that also means pressure gradually building on the structure; for this method to be effective in the long run, then, drainage really needs to be dug outside.
By contrast, cavity drain membranes work by placing the drainage on the inside; using this method, the water ingress is controlled by the plastic membrane. Water then drips down the outside of the membrane, gathering in a drip tray-style drain before it’s routed via a sump pump to an external drain.
It’s an ingenious method, in that it prevents a gradual pressure build-up against the internal construction, while an air gap behind the membrane allows the structure to ‘breathe’ and dry out.
Yet it’s also simple and uses simple materials. The membrane itself is usually a high-quality, high-density plastic such as polyethene. It is studded in appearance – thus allowing room for the water to drip down to the drain - and comes in various thicknesses e.g. 3mm, 5mm, 8mm, up to 20mm for the floor membrane.
The material will also be gas and vapour-proof and can have a long-lasting guarantee e.g. 10 years.
The wall membrane is applied using fixing plugs and then the drainage channels will be created around the basement perimeter, leading to the sump chamber.
After this, the floor membrane will be laid, again for waterproofing. Vapour tape is then applied where the wall membrane meets the floor membrane. This implements a secure moisture barrier between the seams and also helps strengthen the joints, keeping the membrane firmly in place.
The ‘tank’ – the seal - is now complete, but let’s rewind for a moment. Earlier we mentioned the sump pump, which will be installed at the beginning of the process i.e. when we have our basement shell and before the membrane is applied. The pump will be fitted in the sump chamber, which will be at the lowest point of the basement and connected to the drain channels underneath the membrane walls. The groundwater is then pumped out from the chamber to an external drain.
With a lid on the chamber, screed or timber floors will be laid over the membrane whilst leaving the sump perfectly accessible.
The walls are then finished by dry lining in which metal or wooden frames are installed allowing for electrical or plumbing services to run out of sight.  The walls are then insulated, plasterboarded and skim finished as required.
Since ‘basement tanking’ is strictly our expertise – and a basement conversion is often required as part of a larger project, we’re an ideal partner for builders, architects and property developers.
If that’s the case, then sub-contracting this particular aspect of the work to us makes sense for all manner of reasons…
For example, we offer attention to detail: analysing the project and writing a specification after agreeing the finer points with the architect.
We can also assist developers in making the best possible use of available space and land. It might be necessary to provide underpinning if the conversion of a basement compromises the structural integrity of the property by weakening the foundations or removing walls, for example.
Moreover, we are skilful, efficient and cost-effective.
As you can see, the potential is enormous. By making use of our expertise, both householders and building partners can gain living space and add value. Basements don’t need to be left to clutter, mould and old copies of TV Quick.
A little imagination can go a long way...

So, how much will it cost?

A typical basement conversion in the Yorkshire, Cheshire and Teesside area is usually in a Victorian terrace with an existing space in the basement. These basement rooms are usually cold, damp and badly lit. Provided the existing head height is adequate the price guide is between £700 – £1,300 per square meter. If the conversion works require any digging out, excavating or underpinning the work becomes more complex and more expensive. Underpinning usually costs between £1,500 – £2,000 per square meter.
To help you understand and get an idea of how much your basement conversion might cost we have provided 4 possible basement scenarios. Each one is based on 30m square of space below ground in a Victorian end terrace house.


Option 1. Simple Basement Conversion

This basement is a single room with 3 external walls and 1 party wall. The head height is more than adequate at 2.2m. The room is currently being used a garden/ store room. In the winter periods water appears to rise up through the stone flagged floor and is leaving the space continuously cold and damp. There is an existing solid stone staircase leading up to the main house and a small light well to the rear of the room.
Using a cavity drain membrane system, we will transform this space into a warm, dry storage area.
To achieve this we will install a perimeter drainage channel with flushing points at each change in direction. As there is no natural drainage present we will install a sump and pump with a high level battery alarm system. The drainage and pumps are fully maintainable and when combined with cavity drain membranes forms a waterproof structure to comply with current British Standards 8102 (2009) – The code of practice for protection of below ground structures against water from the ground. Your basement is now ready for the ‘fit out’ stage.
A new insulated timber floating floor will be installed and the walls lined with independent timber studs. The 1st fix electrics for the supply of a new socket and lighting circuit will be carried out along with plumbing alterations to add a new radiator. The walls and ceiling will then be plaster boarded and plastered to a finish. The electric and plumbing works will be finished and signed off as required. The basement conversion works are now complete and ready for decorating. As this space will only be used as storage Building Regulations do not apply and therefore insulation is not a requirement.
Summary.

  • 4 walls, room area approx. 30m2
  • Cavity drain membranes to walls and floor
  • Drainage channel and mechanical pump system
  • Timber floating floor and studwork
  • Plasterboard and plaster finish
  • Electrics & Plumbing
  • Party Wall agreement
  • 10 year Independent, insurance backed guarantee.

Estimated Cost £ 21,000 + VAT (£700/m2)


Option 2. Standard Basement Conversion

A standard basement conversion would involve the same works as Option 1 with the addition of needing to have Building Regulations as the space is now to be used to provide an extra living space for the property. This will include the addition of insulation within the studwork and ceiling areas. There is also the inclusion of an internal load bearing wall that would require lining with cavity drain membrane and studwork.
Summary

  • 4 external walls (30m2)
  • 1 Internal (load bearing wall)
  • Drainage channel and mechanical pump system
  • Timber floating floor and studwork
  • Insulation
  • Plasterboard and plaster finish
  • Electrics & Plumbing
  • Party Wall agreement
  • Building Regulations
  • 10 year Independent, insurance backed guarantee.

Estimated costs £25,500 + VAT (£850/m2)


Option 3. Complex Basement Conversion

A complex basement conversion has all the detail as standard basement with the addition of a more sophisticated pump system which includes a secondary pump with battery back-up. This type of basement conversion would also include digging out and creating a new external doorway with concrete access steps. Creating this opening would most likely require planning approval.
Summary

  • 4 external walls (30m2)
  • 1 Internal (load bearing wall)
  • Drainage channel and mechanical pump system with battery back up
  • Timber floating floor and studwork
  • Insulation
  • Plasterboard and plaster finish
  • Electrics & Plumbing
  • New external doorway with concrete steps
  • Party Wall agreement
  • Building Regulations
  • Planning permission fees
  • 10 year Independent, insurance backed guarantee.

Estimated cost £39,000 + VAT (£1300/m2)


Option 4. Complex Basement Conversion with Underpinning.

This type of conversion requires increasing the existing headroom. To achieve this the internal floor slab will be excavated to the required depth. The existing foundations will also require extending. This is done using a process called underpinning. With the help of our Structural Engineer we can design and specify the detail required to carry out these works in a safe and controlled manor. Once the underpinning is complete the drainage and membranes are installed and the fit out completed.
Summary

  • 4 external walls (30m2)
  • 1 Internal (load bearing wall)
  • Drainage channel and mechanical pump system with battery back up
  • Concrete floor and studwork
  • Insulation
  • Plasterboard and plaster finish
  • Electrics & Plumbing
  • New external doorway with concrete steps
  • Party Wall agreement
  • Building Regulations
  • Planning permission fees
  • 10 year Independent, insurance backed guarantee.
  • Underpinning and excavation works

Estimated cost £76,500 + VAT


DBI North West

Damp Treatment Experts Expand into the North West

Damp Treatment Problem in Cheshire?

Here at Danford Brewer & Ives, we’re going from strength to strength. Business is, we’re proud to report, on the up, and a natural consequence of that is that we’re expanding our reach from North Yorkshire…up and over the Pennines and into the North-West of England. So, then: Are you a homeowner, builder, architect or property developer in the North-West who might be interested in contracting (or subcontracting) one of the best in the business in the fields of damp treatment (Damp Proofing), timber treatment, basement conversions, extensions, and building maintenance? If so, then there’s no time like the present to get in touch. Fast response times are a natural consequence of good customer service – which is particularly good news if you live in the Cheshire area since that’s where our new surveyor is based.
Therefore, if you are situated in or near one of the following:

• Macclesfield • Poynton • Bramhall • Prestbury • Alderley Edge • Knutsford • Wilmslow • Cheadle/Cheadle Hulme • Buxton • New Mills

… we can cover all your concerns regarding specialist property care and preservation needs. The need to, say, cure rising damp or penetrating damp, undertake the waterproofing of basements or sump pump installations, might suggest that all is not well with your property, our trusted help will ensure that the problem will not become an emergency. And even if the damp has risen just that bit too far for comfort, or you finally decide that either a wet rot or dry rot treatment really is the utmost priority, then our local team of highly skilled and professional tradesmen will be quickly on hand to offer the full breadth and depth of their experience. As damp, timber and structural repair specialists, for example, we are fully conversant in this particular field: from examining timber defects and woodworm, through the use of anti-condensation units for condensation control, to the creation of damp and timber reports, Danford Brewer & Ives have the wherewithal to both examine the cause and offer the remedy, which may include specialist treatment.
Our expert surveyor can produce reports and quotations for specialist works that might be needed. Damp and wood rot can seem inevitable in a climate like ours, yet it doesn’t have to be that way: simple measures can help keep them at bay. And, as has already been mentioned, our expertise is offered not just to homeowners: domestic and commercial contracts are both undertaken, with a good chunk of Danford Brewer & Ives’ business coming as a partner for builders, architects, and property developers. We provide a skillful and efficient sub-contracting service, allowing you to play to your own strengths and so giving the customer all the necessary guarantees - not to mention peace of mind.
Guarantees? We offer long term insurance-backed guarantees on all works undertaken, and, local Fully Certified Surveyors in Remedial Treatments (CSRT) with The Property Care Association (PCA). So regardless of whether you’re in the business or not – whether you can tell your lateral restraints from your replacement stainless steel wall tie systems, or masonry crack stitching from specialist re-plastering – we have it covered. It’s nothing less than the level of service you should expect from an established company such as ours: a Specialist Property Care and Preservation Company from Yorkshire…which is now in Cheshire.
So if you’re in the North-West and feel you have the need for one or more of the services offered, then please get in touch. Not only do we offer a quick, efficient survey and quote procedure, Danford Brewer & Ives are more than happy to offer relevant advice as part of our commitment to you the customer. Contact us now!