Landlords: How to convert your basement in 8 simple steps

Landlords: How to convert your basement in 8 simple steps

Basement Masters are an established and specialist basement construction company, with 20 years of experience and expertise in both the design and construction of basements.

In this post, Basement masters guide you through a simple process which will significantly boost your investment property by transforming your basement into additional living space...

Landlords who own either ground floor flats or houses may be unaware of the huge potential to make a simple and easy addition to their property portfolio, with less outlay than another outright purchase!

What's more, did you know that to create a basement conversion, you do not actually need to have any cellar space or basement? This is what is known as a 'retrospective basement conversion'. 

With the average habitable floor space in London costing approximately £5k per square metre to purchase (Halifax, May 2016), landlords are very often missing a trick. So here are eight simple steps to help you make the right moves with your basement conversion: 

1.  Let's start with a meeting 

It's essential that you book an introductory meeting with a basement conversion specialist to review the feasibility, put together drawings and a detailed explanation of the process, and present you with an outline budget cost for your project.

3 weeks. 

2.  Planning application and building regulations control

Upon receipt of a deposit, the next stage is for your selected contractors to seek planning approval. A full set of outline planning drawings are produced, along with several other documents as may be deemed necessary. This differs between local authorities and can include access statements, method statements, flood risk assessments, geotechnical surveys and reports etc. 

Along with acquiring planning approval, detailed structural drawings will need to be completed (some local authorities will want to see these along with the planning drawings as in step one). 

4-6 weeks (on average). However, depending on the extent of the project, planning approval could take around a further 12 weeks to obtain.

3.  Party Wall Agreement 

Party wall is a process which outlines how the proposed work will progress. This can only be carried out after plans and design details have been completed.

Timeline: No limit but allow generally between 8-10 weeks. 

4.  The build stage 1

Having completed all of the necessary paperwork, everything should be in place ready for work to physically commence on site. This involves a setup that secures the area and allows for a neat and tidy presence on site, as well as taking into account consideration for neighbours and the surrounding environment. 

Timeline: 2-3 weeks.

5.  The build stage 2

This covers the main structural works, which includes the excavation, underpinning, and structural supporting works all to form a strong concrete and steel shell below your property. 

Timeline: 12-16 weeks depending on the size of your project.

6.  Waterproofing & pumping systems

Internal waterproofing system. There are a variety of methods of waterproofing which are used, but as a backup a membrane lining is fitted to the walls and floors. This is normally used in conjunction with a pumping system. Another pumping system is likely to be installed for discharge of the plumbing and sanitary goods. Additional 'back up' is also installed to ensure that any mechanical failures will not prevent the systems from functioning. 

Timeline: 2-3 weeks. 

7.  Fit-out

This is the stage where layout design matters and the work can be compared to a general building fit out, with a need to respect the waterproofing. New utility supplies are installed, kitchens and bathrooms fitted. We are proud of our expert and quality finish. 

Timeline: 9-14 weeks. 

8.  Completion 

After a thorough clean-up you will receive all of your handover documents and warranties, before being left to admire and reap the benefits from your copper bottom investment!  
Timeline: 1-2 week(s).

So how long does an average conversion take in total? 

Each property is different and the size and nature of each project can vary, so it's difficult to offer an accurate timeline. However, if you are looking to convert an existing basement or cellar you can expect the conversion to take between 4-6 months. If you are starting afresh, make sure you allow at least 9 months for a retrospective conversion. 

*The timeline referred to throughout the article denotes an average time taken to complete each stage of a retrospective conversion. 

And how much does it cost?

While each basement conversion will amount to a different total cost, there is a great potential for a conversion to boost the value of your property and indeed produce a healthy rental yield. To find out more basement conversions click here.  

If you found this article helpful, check out how can a basement conversion add value to my home?

Plus, if you are searching for an investment opportunity and would like some help or guidance on your purchase, please contact your local Ellis and Co branch.

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Disclaimer: Guest blog posts on the Ellis & Co blog are written by external companies. Ellis & Co do not endorse the products or services of these companies.