Basement Conversion

Looking to maximise your property’s full potential? Basement conversion allow property owners to transform their basement into dry and habitable living or working spaces. This page will advise, what is involved and how it can increase the value of the property. If you’re thinking of a cellar or basement conversion, then you’re on the correct page.

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What is a Basement Conversion?

In most instances the basement or cellar will be below ground level at some point and as such water penetration from the ground abutting the structure must be considered. Obviously, the time to consider a water management system is at the time of conversion and not when the conversion is complete, and the walls and floors become damp.

Richardson and Starling can specify and install a basement system to BS 8102 (2009), giving you piece of mind that the system is fully compliant with current regulations and fully guaranteed. Modern day water management systems do not hold water back, instead, they allow water to penetrate the fabric of the building and the affected walls and floors are protected with a membrane that allows moisture to be directed to installed drainage and removed from the property providing a dry internal environment.
If you have a cellar or basement area the chances are, it is a damp dark storage area. This area could be transformed into a habitable space increasing the value of your property.

Why Convert your Basement?

The main reason for converting your basement is to provide additional space for living, storage or perhaps even a home office. This will increase the usable space within your property and can increase the value without the need to move.
Basements will commonly be converted to be used as one of the following rooms:

  • Gaming Areas
  • Home Gyms
  • Home Offices
  • Playrooms
  • Utility Areas
  • Home Cinema
  • Added living space

By creating further usable space in the basement, this can provide an opportunity to re-organise the present living space above and therefore provide a less “cluttered” environment.

A basement conversion will give your property 3 main benefits:

  • Increases the usable space within the property.
  • Adds value to the property
  • Reduces the risk of fungal decay to unprotected areas of the property.

Basement Conversion Cost – Is It Worth It?

Yes, in most cases, is the simple answer. Properties of the same type and in the same area with damp basements sell for less than those with a waterproofed basement. The added living or storage space is always a plus point when marketing your property and the reality is that the cost of the basement conversion is less than the additional value added to your property, in most instances.

Any water ingress into a building has the potential to cause decay to timbers and deterioration to the internal fabric of the building. Water penetration into a basement area may cause decay issues in the ground floor joists and flooring and a damp smell within the ground floor rooms of the property.

When the decision has been made to create that additional storage or living space in the basement or cellar it is important that you select a professional specialist company to carry out the waterproofing for you. The system must be specified and installed to comply with BS 8102 ((2009) the British Standard for protection of below ground structures against water from the ground). Our surveyors are qualified to CSSW (Certified Surveyor for Structural Waterproofing) and will specify the correct system to deal with the site conditions, our fully trained technicians will install the specified system and on completion of the full system we will issue our 10-year structural waterproofing guarantee which is fully transferable to any new owner. In addition to Richardson and Starlings 10 -year guarantee, a further insurance backed guarantee can also be obtained for your piece of mind.

How long does a Basement Conversion take?

This is dependent on the amount of preparation work and membrane installation required. In general, a small cellar can be waterproofed with drainage and walls fully dry lined in less than two weeks, however, a large basement would take longer.

Will I Need to Move Out?

In some instances, you may have to move out of the property, but this is rarely the case. Provided suitable access to the basement or cellar area is available, or can be made available, and you are prepared to put up with some normal building work disturbance there will be no need to move out of the property. This can be fully discussed with our surveyor at the time of the survey.

Is Your Cellar Suitable for A Conversion?

Most cellars and basement make very good additional storage areas and additional living space providing there is suitable access to the area or that suitable access can be made. Our experienced surveyors will advise on the suitability of the area in relation to your requirements.

Building Regulations for Basements

Undertaking a basement conversion to result in more habitable space within your property may require approval from your local Council. Repairing a basement which doesn’t result in a change of use or renovating an existing habitable basement does not require further approval.


Making the most of your properties available space is not only beneficial due to the added space it will offer but it will also increase the value of the property. That said, it is important to instruct a professional company to carry out the work on your behalf. Richardson and Starlings surveyors are qualified to specify a suitable system and our operatives are fully trained in the installation process. When completed your property will benefit from our fully transferable 10-year guarantee.Not sure if you can convert your basement or cellar? Contact your local branch for advice or a property survey today!