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Pro's and con's of building a basement

Its often said that property is the greatest investment of all, not only can you live in it but over a period it nearly always increases in value and when its time to sell the amount that can be achieved can make the original purchase price seem and poultry sum. We have seen this in such dramatic terms over the last few years

However what is actually happening (at the time of going to print) though in the housing market across some of the most desirable areas in London is that house prices are stagnating or in some areas falling so more and more smart home owners are holding on to the existing residence and improving the property they have not only to add long term value to the property but improve the living environment as they are now staying in the home maybe longer than they first anticipated.

This is great news for Nick Jeffries owner of NU Projects (once dubbed as the 'Gucci Builders' operating out of their plush offices on Fulham High Street). ‘’Rather than selling homes and trading up current London residents are opting to stay put and remodel instead. Home owners are investing in their existing houses, improving the finish, adding basements, developing loft spaces generally adding value to their properties so they are happy to stay longer in an improved environment and sit it out and wait for the benefits of their financial investment when the market inevitably starts to rise again.

I personally as a property developer over the last year or so have worked with NU Projects and other partners across the capital helping home owners add value to their home. My partners and I have undertaken projects that have been successful in adding value and improving living conditions and one of the most dramatic can be adding a basement to your London home.

There are manay things to consider when adding a basement much more than I can cover here but some of the key points are. Building underground is more expensive then building above ground but the rewards can be massive. A ball park figure for creating new space below your house and this is ball park, with shell and core with a decent finish you would be look at £450 per sq foot, which sounds a lot of money but when you consider that will probably add a value of £1000 per square foot (depending on your postcode) this would seem a very worthwhile investment, let alone think about what you could do with that extra space, more bedrooms, a gym, utility room, extra sitting room, a play room or even a swimming pool.

Basement construction is not a straight forward process, from planning to party wall permissions, to construction and fit out the key is to choose your construction partner very carefully. Ensure they have completed successful basements before, look for haudings in your area proudly displaying their logo and contact details, ask to speak to owners of properties that they have previously completed basement builds and ensure they have all the necessary certificates.

My strong advice if considering a basement is ensure you go to a specialist, it’s a different type of build that needs a special style of builder but the rewards should be fantastic.

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