Has anyone built a basement under their garden? (We're in West London)

(19 Posts)
Looseleaf Sun 16-Mar-14 18:14:45

I would love any advice for or against or general thoughts as it just occurred to us this might be possible to create an extra bedroom and storage for our flat which is getting too small for our family of 4.
I know the noise and impact on our neighbours (and indeed us but thats more self-inflicted!) would need careful handling but we could do with more space and it makes probably more financial sense to do this than move.

otherwise we may just extend outwards 3 metres but i can't picture how the layout would work well to give the children a bedroom each but still free up space.

coffeeinbed Sun 16-Mar-14 18:16:06

my fucking neighbours.

Looseleaf Sun 16-Mar-14 18:19:12

(We will ask an architect though as I'm sur he or she would have layout ideas we hadn't thought of!)

Looseleaf Sun 16-Mar-14 18:21:21

Oh sorry cooffeeinbed.. blush Yes there's also the moral side too is it right to annoy people that much?

coffeeinbed Sun 16-Mar-14 18:22:25

But i'm not in west london.
not that it matters.

you know it will take at least a year?

Looseleaf Sun 16-Mar-14 18:33:05

Websites have mentioned 'a few months' which is vague but I guess it's got many variables.

coffeeinbed Sun 16-Mar-14 19:02:04

Sorry Leaf, I really should not be ranting at you.
I hope your project goes faster, but from experience with these things - second hand with basements, first hand with other building's work, a few months can easily stretch.
The digging takes surprisingly long.
good luck.

Looseleaf Sun 16-Mar-14 19:15:06

Don't worry, I'm sure i'd rant if our neighbours did this and yet I understand the need sometimes (perhaps not for cinemas/ luxury space!)

LizSurly Mon 17-Mar-14 21:12:21

I saw this on tv the other day! Grand designs. London somewhere.

LizSurly Mon 17-Mar-14 21:14:23

On the tv show their digging was restricted by the size of drill they could use because of the proximity of other houses. Might still be on 4 OD

Capitola Mon 17-Mar-14 21:17:56

I have just been to a lovely house with a new basement, it is just about finished and took 3.5 months.

littlecrystal Mon 17-Mar-14 21:26:59

I don't know, I just don't like the idea. Time to move?

BonaDea Mon 17-Mar-14 21:28:06

It is apparently the most expensive way to extend your home.

PseudoBadger Mon 17-Mar-14 21:32:44

I deal with many many planning applications for these in Central London. It's very common. Think about natural light and ventilation and water ingress.

minipie Mon 17-Mar-14 23:33:40

If you have a flat, check you actually own the garden and don't just have exclusive use of it

you'll also probably have a clause saying you need the freeholders consent (and the freeholder may want some money for consenting)

loss of garden drainage and flooding of neighbouring properties is a real issue. I believe many councils are now against using the whole garden. would this be your intention?

schmalex Tue 18-Mar-14 05:35:45

I think you'd need legal advice. Does the land under your flat belong to you? Are you the freeholder?

Looseleaf Tue 18-Mar-14 16:54:32

Thank you. These are all really good things to consider
Our reasons are that to move would be considerably more expensive in our area. And the value to the flat added by the extra space far outweighs the cost of doing it, expensive as it is. But I still don't think might be the right thing as it's looking like would take 8 months which is a long time for neighbours to cope with (we'd have to rent). I'm thinking an extension into the garden might be better if the architect can think of a way of reconfiguring the flat.

By the way The London Basement Company said we should be able to do a basement where we are no problem but as you mention miniepie if the other freeholders need to consent I'd be surprised if they did! None of them actually live there but still it must be very different to if you own the whole house. So my feeling is they'd surely stop us even if we did apply.

christinarossetti Tue 18-Mar-14 16:57:42

I think that West London is going to implode very soon, given the number of basements being dug out under old houses, but in the current market i can see why it seemed cheaper than moving, but actually rarely is ie renting for 8 months, storing stuff and all those extras you haven't factored in.

minipie Tue 18-Mar-14 17:30:04

check your lease. see if freeholders need to consent... they may not if you have share of freehold.

I suspect given W London prices it still is cheaper than moving even with the rental costs. and you get a lovely shiny new place at the end.

however bear in mind you might not get your money back if/when you sell in the end. I have friends who dug out under their ground floor flat (SW London) and they are unlikely to get their money back because there isn't much market for a 3/4 bed flat, most people with that kind of money would rather have a house even if it means a little compromise on area.

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