If a flat has a cellar, can you do a basement conversion?

(9 Posts)
Nickname1980 Mon 06-Jun-16 21:57:31

That, really!

Am considering going to see a very pretty Victorian flat that's too small. But it has a cellar. Scope to extend?

The flat is about £125k cheaper than my budget so I could afford the extension if it's possible (maybe?! No idea how much basement conversions cost!).

whois Mon 06-Jun-16 23:47:04

You would need freeholder consent which they may not give, and you would have to pay the freeholder a fee for improvements which could be many many many £k.

Binkybix Tue 07-Jun-16 08:51:03

Freeholder consent - we looked into this for our flat. You need to understand the freeholder agreement. For ours they had to give consent unless for a 'reasonable objection'. Our legal advice was that if planning permission was given they would find it difficult to argue that an objection was reasonable, so long as all the legals were in place. We owned the joint freehold though, so that might make a difference. No improvement fee required.

PigletJohn Tue 07-Jun-16 09:43:21

If you don't mind your neighbours clubbing together to assassinate you because of the noise, dust and fear of subsidence.

Nickname1980 Tue 07-Jun-16 12:04:13

This is all really helpful! Thank you for info on freeholder consent, whois and binky. It is shared freehold and one other flat upstairs.

Gosh yes, the neighbours would probably hate it, wouldn't they? I know I would! pigletjohn. Am I right in thinking that planning permission goes out to neighbours for them to object?

How long did your basement conversion take, binky?

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Tue 07-Jun-16 12:07:22

I would go and look at a lot of basement conversions before you decide to go ahead. Our neighbour converted his flat into three small flats (and yes, as always, PigletJohn is right. If we could have found a ninja assassin at short notice, it would have been the end of him. I can still taste the dust).

Anyhoo, karma's a bitch. His flats are pokey hobbit holes which he's never been able to sell.

OTOH a friend of mine did a kitchen basement conversion but she managed to build out too, so it became lovely and light. That cost as much as a new house would have though.

Do your research and get quotes!

lalalonglegs Tue 07-Jun-16 12:12:32

Depending on how far you need to dig down to give a decent head height and how far you want to extend the cellar (if it doesn't run under the whole flat) you might find that you don't have much change from £125k anyway. There are a lot of basement conversions in my area - mostly "typical" Victorian terraces with a coal cellar in situ - and I know from talk at the school gate that they generally start at £150k (and can be considerably more depending what the owners decide to put down there) shock.

Binkybix Tue 07-Jun-16 13:30:07

For personal reasons our plans changed so we didn't go ahead. We had been squeaking to our friend who is a builder to get a vague idea on cost though. He wasn't going to do the work because we thought it would be weird. He thought about 60 -80. It was in the low end because it's nearly low enough already, no digging outwards apart from a small bit to add French doors out to courtyard and because we had side access for removing waste.

He also said it might be a bit less depending on if we were lucky with foundations (I can't remember how!) but that we wouldn't know that until we started!

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Tue 07-Jun-16 14:06:44

£60k was the starting cost I got, IF there was sufficient head height to start with. Minimum of 2m when finished I think which isn't a lot

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