Everyone wants to live in their dream home. However, with soaring house prices and a housing market that can be somewhat confusing for both buyers and sellers, this can be a difficult goal to achieve. As a result, many people are looking to maximise on their own homes to create the environment they really want to live in. But this doesn’t have to mean expensive extensions. If you’re looking to extend the living space in your home without undergoing major structural work, a basement conversion may be a very practical – and original – option.
Perhaps the most important stage of developing a basement conversion is in the planning. It is always advisable to consult with a local expert building firm from design to completion. This way you will be working with a trusted company throughout the process. There are several points that you must consider when designing your basement conversion. Firstly, it is integral to consider access. How will you enter your basement, and, more importantly, how would you escape it in an emergency situation? Work with your local builder to work out how you can easily access the property. This could be large upper windows, for example.
Another important point is insulation. To keep your new space warm and quiet, it is worth investing in good quality insulation in the basement walls, along with hiring a qualified builder to install the insulation. You will also need to consult a specialist to ensure that all of the materials you hope to use – particularly flooring products – are appropriate to be used below floor level. This will prevent issues such as damp caused by humidity. Whether you decide to stain and seal coat a cement floor or use carpeting, forward-planning will avoid complicated issues later on.
Plan your layout carefully
Not only are safety issues key to establish before any construction work begins, but it is advised to carefully consider your layout early on, too. If your basement space is to contain a bed or living area, place this against an interior wall. This is important, because exterior walls are subject to temperature change throughout the seasons, and you don’t want to be chilly during the winter but then overheated in the summer.
You will also want the areas you intend to spend the most time in to be situated where the most light will be received. Often a great way to enhance the feel of a basement is by adding visual height – create vertical lines and always leave ceilings a dark colour to make them appear higher, leaving the walls a light tone. If you leave it unfinished, this will add yet further height to make your space seem larger.
Basements often look best when open-plan, as this increases the amount of light available and creates an airy, spacious feel. For this reason you may want to make your basement into an open plan living-dining area or a large bedroom suite with lounge space. However, they also provide a great opportunity for being playful with your space. Perhaps you could make your basement into a private games room, or a luxurious retreat? Anything is possible, but design to improve your experience of your home.
Design to enhance your space
When designing a basement, always try to capitalise on the features that the space already possesses. Many basements have an individual charm, whether it be original wooden beams or almost industrial metals. These features could respectively inspire a traditional cottage design, or a modern art-deco space. Either look to create something distinctively different from the rest of your home for a refreshing retreat, or go for a design that is consistent with the design of your whole property if you really want to make it part of your home.
There are a number of functional issues that are important to consider when designing your basement conversion, too. Firstly, it is paramount to choose the right lighting. If you can work in an upper window somewhere, this will be invaluable in adding that all-important natural light and avoiding the basement feeling like an isolated space. Artificial lighting is also key to keeping the room bright. Make wise use of lamps, along with spotlight ceiling fixtures or recessed lighting, placed evenly without the space, so that all day you will be able to create a light, relaxed aesthetic.
When it comes to decorating, interior design experts often recommend warm colours on basement walls, to substitute for the lack in natural light. Shades such as gold, warm browns, yellow, melon and sandy beiges are perfect for basement walls, creating a cosy feel that emulates the shining sun throughout the day. The most important aspect of any basement design is to create a space that exudes luxury. Choose the best quality materials and simple yet effective design to create an indulgent space, whatever the purpose.
If you are looking to completely transform your home with ease and effectiveness, a basement conversion is an option that is becoming more popular each year. Whether you want to build a beautiful new bedroom, an opulent lounge area cove or a stunning open plan living-dining area, perhaps even a bespoke office, a basement conversion can deliver absolutely spectacular results at a fraction of the cost of moving or building.