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basement conversion - how did it work out for you?

(3 Posts)
pali1978 Mon 07-Nov-16 09:32:21

hi - I know there have been a few threads on this subject over the years but hoping for some recent - and preferably local (london) - feedback.
we bought a fairly large (2,300 sq ft) terrace house in a nice (not hampstead nice but family oriented, well connected etc) part of n london a couple of years back and, with a cellar space with separate entrance at the front of the house are thinking about converting to habitable basement. and possibly also digging out under (smaller) back section of the house to create a full footprint basement. want/need to refurb house soon and seems silly to do that and then think about basement a couple of years later and cause cracking to all our lovely new plasterwork etc.
anyway, short point is that quotes so far (from fairly upscale architect types) are a little eyewatering (think 650k all in for refurb, relatively modest kitchen extension and the basement, including fees and VAT) and am sightly losing my nerve although we could afford something not too far from that in principle (that's not to say it's worth doing of course)
I guess my questions are:
(1) any thoughts on that level of cost? around 175k is apparently for the basement and 250k for the refurb (the rest being extension/VAT/fees).
(2) any tips on how to decide on right architect/contractor?
(3) was it worth it? do you use the space?

thanks so much - would be so grateful to hear from anyone with experience...

YelloDraw Mon 07-Nov-16 11:26:52

Not me but my friend has done a basement.

Only worth it once your house gets over a certain £/sq foot cos it is bloody expensive and disruptive, and your neighbors will hate you.

They did theirs really well.
- Full footprint.
- Full 'normal' height ceilings, make it feel much more like part of the house rather than basement.
- Huge windows at front
Roof light/floor light (opaque!) from the kitchen down to basement to help with the light. coulnd;t have windows at back as digging down would have taken up too much of the garden space.

They use theirs as guest bedroom + bathroom and a games room/kids hangout. Bathroom not ensuite so that people using the games room can use the bathroom without going through the bedroom.

Bedroom is at the window end.

They do not have access directly outside as their garden is quite small and digging down for windows or access would have taken about 1/3 of the garden.

pali1978 Tue 08-Nov-16 14:53:29

Thanks so much YelloDraw - that's v helpful. will check with local estate agent re £/sq ft - though I think it is probably worthwhile as our neighbours did it last year - and they can't be too difficult about it (I hope)!

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