Do basement conversions add value?

When it comes to renovating, remodelling, and reshaping the home, adding to its overall property value may not be the explicit goal of the project, but it’s always a concern. You want to know if a project is going to pay off, both financially and for your family, before you make a huge investment.

When it comes to value, few additions are more reliable than usable and livable space. But not all space is the same. Here, we’re going to take a look underneath the house to ask whether basement conversions are going to give your property the value boost that you might be looking for.

What could a basement conversion be worth?

No need for more suspense. The short answer is that: yes, a basement conversion can definitely add value to your property. In fact, in terms of cost-effectiveness, basement conversions are some of the most likely to see returns on your investment. This does depend on some factors, however.

Depending on how extensive your design, a good basement conversion can cost around £2,500 and £3,000 per square metre, depending on finishes. For that reason, you need to know how much your property is likely to be worth per square foot before you go making that particular investment. Rising house prices in London, for instance, have seen renovations such as basement conversions becoming significantly more valuable over the past few years.

Livability is the most important thing

Why are basement renovations likely to add value to your home? There are a variety of reasons, but the sheer utility of decent livable space has to be the number one factor to take into consideration.

A basement can be converted into all kinds of indoor spaces, including living spaces, cinema rooms, wine cellars, offices, gyms, games rooms, guest rooms, and more. With a big enough basement, you can add a whole floor to the house, not just a single room.

So, basement conversions can become a stylistic choice, a functional choice, a utilitarian choice, a lifestyle choice and much more. Just have an idea of your wants and needs so you can have it costed accurately to figure out its potential for profit. And be aware that certain spaces are more desirable in some areas and less desirable than others. A basement pool might be a big draw in a neighbourhood known for its luxury properties, but might be too much of a maintenance hassle elsewhere.

It adds real appeal

One of the things that a basement conversion can add to your house, above all else, is a competitive edge on the market. To some degree, it doesn’t matter what you turn your basement into. You’ve taken on a project that many homeowners and prospective homeowners would like to, but don’t have the inclination or energy to actually set out and do the work for it.

As such, properties with converted basements get some serious saleability power behind them. There are going to be few properties with the same strength that yours has on the market at any one time. A finished basement is rare enough, so they tend to get scooped up somewhat quickly when the market’s good.

A converted basement stands out in advertisements, it stands out in photos, and it most definitely stands out when you’re leading prospective buyers through the home. If you’re lucky, it can lead to some fierce competition that drives up the offers on the house between competing buyers.

It can be easier than you'd imagine

When it comes to renovations and extensions, one of the biggest cost and time sinkholes is that of dealing with planning policy in your area. For most major projects, you have to get planning permission. This is true of extensions and even loft conversions in many areas. It’s never a guarantee and even when your application is successful, it can still be costly and limited.

Though you may still have to go through the planning application process, it can be much easier to get permission for a basement conversion. Because the basement barely affects the exterior envelope of a property, it can even be relatively easy to get permission for a property in a conservation area.

However, don’t go planning without expecting some red tape. You should bear in mind that there may still be requirements you need to provide, such as plans for the conversion, before you can get permission for it granted.

The costs you should prepare for

One of the reasons that basements are not as popular as a loft conversion or rear extension is the work that it can take to finish a basement. The right team can make it much easier and work with you to manage your budget. However, there are some steps that most basements have to go through.

For instance, taking steps to eradicate damp in the basement and create a barrier that stops moisture from invading is one of the key steps of finishing any basement. It can involve adding drainage and moisture resistant insulation, for instance. New ventilation and heating controls may have to be installed in the basement as well.

For that reason, make sure you keep in mind the costs of both creating the new spaces that you want, but also the costs of finishing the basement to a premium level. They will factor into how profitable any increases in value might be, in the end.

Are you thinking about a basement conversion?

Adding value to your property might not be your main reason for considering a basement conversion, but it’s good to know that if you do decide to go through with it. You’re very likely to see that investment paying off and Scenario Architecture are here to help you bring those plans to fruition as one of the top residential architecture firms in London.

Read about our Basement Conversions

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