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Basements - The Facts to Know

When walking down the residential streets of Fulham, you will come across multiple basement conversions in their construction stage or finished. Basements are a great way to add square footage to your property and therefore increase your property’s value. This article will introduce you to the pricing of a basement conversion and some design tips to think about when you are in the planning stages.

Photo: nu:projects

Prices for basement work is different all over the country, but this article will focus on the price in the capital.

Photo: nu:projects

In general, you are looking at £3000 to £4500 per metre squared, depending on internal finishes. In addition you need to think about VAT at 20% and professional fees. A lot of the cost comes down to the excavation and the underpinning of the foundations of the existing house and damp proofing. Due to all of this, a basement conversion is more expensive than an above the ground extension.

One should also take into consideration that with home renovations, issues can arise and the cost could be more than expected.

Photo: nu:projects

A lot of terraced properties in London will have a basement put in around 4x9 metres. This would be a 36 metre squared basement. If you are looking at £3000 per metre squared, then the basic construction cost would be £108,000. The VAT for this, at 20 percent, would be £21,600. In addition, professional fees normally at 10-15% would be £16,200.

Therefore, looking at a 36 metre squared basement, in total, that would be around £145,800.

Photo: nu:projects

Remember that party walls also have to be in place before any work is started on your basement. This can take time and costs money, so take it into account.

It is always good to get a professional architect and quantity surveyor in to work on your individual project as every house is different and professionals will be your best contact. At nu:projects we take the stress out of the whole process by doing everything from start to finish. It is a lot easier sticking with one contractor than having many.

Basement finishes

It is important to think about key factors like lighting when creating your basement plan. Save the brightest spots in your basements for your main socialising areas. Natural light will draw people in. If you are placing a bedroom in the basement, place this at the front or the back perimeter in order to have a window egress. It is also the law that bedrooms in the United Kingdom need a window and natural light.

The darker rooms, in the central area of your basement can be used for such activities as a cinema room, gymnasium, kids playroom, utility room or wine cellar.

Photo: nu:projects

Down-lighting and LED’s are your best bet in terms of lighting. With basement ceilings not being as high as your ceiling above ground level, normally at around 2.5 metres, you don’t want lights that hang down and take up important head space. If you want decorative lighting, think about wall pendants or floor lamps: still super chic and add a bit of glamour.


Natural light will always be lacking, so think about wall colours that will be welcoming and warming.

Use bright contrasting fabrics to add personality to your room. Rugs, decorative curtains, or wall fabrics instead of paint and wallpaper can really make a room with no natural light feel cosy and comfortable.

Photo: nu:projects

Basements really can be very beneficial for your property value and give you and your family extra space without moving. Contact nu:projects today if you are thinking about adding a basement and require a quote or advice. 020 7731 6841.

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