• Extending Your Basement

    As more and more people opt to create a basement extension the question as to how to extend a basement is ever more relevant. There are a range of issues that need to be understood and these include those of a structural and technical nature, design and architectural issues, planning and building control legislation, party wall matters, how to find a suitably experienced contractor at a competitive price, what contract to use and how to pay the contractor. There are many more points to consider, but an understanding of the above will form a firm foundation for a successful basement extension. Extending your property with a new basement can feel like a daunting prospect, but at Shape Architecture we have the basement expertise to make your project a success.

    How to Extend a Basement: Structural and Technical Issues

    It is quite understandable that when a client begins to consider a basement extension and what this might involve, that concerns around the structural issue of undermining a property and fears of what might go wrong seem daunting. Structural design is therefore highly important, and at Shape we have a great deal of experience dealing these issues and successfully designing new basement extensions.

    How to get Planning Permission for a Basement Extension

    Obtaining planning permission for basement conversions depends upon a series of activities and criteria that have to be met. Your architect will develop a design for a basement conversion that complies with planning criteria. The proposed scheme will have to drawn and presented in a prescribed way, and added to the drawing set will be a series of technical studies – some of which will be carried out by the architect, and some by other consultants such as a Structural Engineer, who will produce a Construction Methodology Statement.

    Basement Conversion Builders

    Basement builders need to be suitably experienced in the construction of basement conversions with a proven track record. The construction of a basement conversion is technically complex and a demanding engineering project. We have good relations with a number of contractors in London when it comes to basement extensions, and would be able to make suggestions.

    How to Get Light into a Basement

    When you are considering how to get daylight into a basement, the best route is to explore a range of natural light sources of diverse type, size and location. A light filled basement will typically have a mix of rear garden lightwell, streetside lightwell and possibly a mid section lightwell. Stairwells and voids and structural glass floor panels will also provide valuable and interesting sources of light, and are often combined with attractive feature staircases to pull light down from all levels of the building.

    How to Make a Basement Watertight

    As a technical issue, the creation of a watertight basement is clearly vitally important. There are a wide variety of basement tanking products available and at Shape Architecture we are well versed in the use of several of the market leaders from companies such as RIW or Delta Membranes. We have good working relations with the technical staff of these companies and develop our details for each project with their input.

    Basement Design Ideas

    At Shape Architecture, as basement design is one of our areas of speciality, we have an extensive back catalogue of basement design ideas. Our designs are always communicated in 3D and are very easy for clients to understand and comment upon.

    Basement Design Guide

    Shape Architecture has produced a number of basement design guides and also brochures of completed and on-going basement conversions in London. These are available on our website and as a useful resource for all our clients who commission us to design a basement conversion.

    Basement Layouts

    As discussed above we have many documents and a wealth of experience to help us design basement layouts with our clients.

    How to Design a Basement

    There is a simple series of criteria to ensure a successful basement project and the design process should not lose site of this. All design work should also recognise the importance of certain design issues over others.