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who has converted a cellar TIPS and ADVICE welcome here!

(14 Posts)
NotAnOtter Mon 13-Oct-08 20:50:20

I am trying to persuade dp in the middle of an economic crisis and with a mortgage the size of Yorkshire to borrow more to convert our basement

we have dry lined before but i want to make this 'bone dry' and self contained...

do i need a pump

any advice

I am in yorkshire


Pannacotta Mon 13-Oct-08 20:55:16

Our cellar is dry lined and there are currently large wet/damp patches on the floors after the heavy rain, as well as some mould on the walls (we moved in recently, we didn't convert it ourselves btw).
Not sure you need a pump unless it gets really wet (they are £££) but IMO I would definitely suggest taking preventative measures against damp other than simply dry lining.

NotAnOtter Mon 13-Oct-08 21:10:32

thanks pannacotta

what do you suggest if not a pump?

Pannacotta Mon 13-Oct-08 21:38:13

No idea sorry, we are in the process of trying to work out what to put in to keep the place dry (we have a quote for the pump system, was £14k just for the damp work, didnt include any building costs such as removing walls etc).
SOem kind of solution you put on the walls before redering (or you mix with render?) has been suggested but cant remember what its called.
Perhaps try local damp companies or ask a builder you trust.

noddyholder Mon 13-Oct-08 22:07:02

Pumps are definitely the best solution if you can afford it.tanking doesn't always stand the test of time best to get a few quotes and advice from specialists even if you can't afford them it will give you the facts todecide whether to go ahead.What will you use it for?

NotAnOtter Mon 13-Oct-08 22:20:09

i plan to use it for older dcs to live in when they are older or university age - it has separate access etc

pump 14k omg methinks not!

TheDuchessOfCorpseBride Mon 13-Oct-08 22:51:45

Move to the south. When we moved here, nearly 10 years ago, the cellar was knee-deep in water. The following Christmas DH had to put his drysuit on to bring the wine up grin. Shortly after that memorable festive adventure, we pumped it out (FILs pond pump I think). It has remained bone dry ever since. The water table has gorn! We also have a disused well on the drive and every now and then we lift up the slab that covers it and chuck a stone in ... it's completely dry. Most baffling, perhaps the water companies are tunneling beneath me?

Anyway, this is no help whatsoever for you but I do like the opportunity to witter on about cellars. wink

KatieDD Mon 13-Oct-08 23:03:31

You can tank cellars, I have no idea what that actually means but we had a quote for £10k for ours, so we didn't.

NotAnOtter Tue 14-Oct-08 21:02:20

i think tanking just makes it watertight like a tank

'cept the other way around???

Cappuccino Tue 14-Oct-08 21:03:59

noa we had ours tanked it cost a fortune and kept going up

it still gets damp down there but because of condensation rather than anything else

however it is nice to have the space and I know friends with lovely basement kitchens; ours is just a small study space

Cappuccino Tue 14-Oct-08 21:04:34

oh and we can't put any nails in the walls - pictures, shelves, even carpet fittings - otherwise the whole lot is compromised

beanstalk Wed 22-Oct-08 10:14:01

Ooh, just found this thread, we are doing our cellar at the moment so I know a bit about it. Our cellar has very little penetrating water and so we have had it rendered with SIKA render (this is what 'tanking' is). We were advised that we didn't need a pump as not enough water coming in. But I suggest getting 3 companies who do damp proofing round to give you a quote as they will advise on the best treatment and cost. Just rendering is much cheaper than a pump as well. We then got a builder in to put up plasterboard and skim it, he is finishing it off and then we have a useable room.

Cappuccino - is the condensation in yours a problem? I think we may end up with that. Does a dehumidifier help?

cyphercat Thu 23-Oct-08 12:58:15

I had my cellar tanked by professionals. same with cappuccino, cannot put any nails in the walls (except in certain places but they let you know exactly where it's held up with wood)...(we have second kitchen/utility room/bathroom) It's fantastic, it's really worth having another usable room.

LackaDAISYcal Thu 23-Oct-08 13:12:32

The exact solution depends on how bad the water penetration is. Some dampness will be OK with something like a Sika render, but if the cellar is below the water table then a more heavy duty solution will be required. Belt and braces is a tanking membrane which is then protected by a skin of brick or blockwork to the walls and a concrete screed to the floor, but this is generally the most £££ version.

I would get some quotes from specialist companies and perhaps also the advice of a structural engineer or building surveyor before proceeding. And ensure that whoever does the work is reputable and has all the appropriate insurances in place. Badly done tanking is often worse to put right than no tanking at all.

Duchess I would be very concerned about disappearing water tables as this can cause cracking in your property due to the ground below it drying out excessively and shrinking, especially if down south where london clay is the prevalent geological soil type. Water tables also rarely disappear completely and can come back without notice as quickly as they disappeared without notice.......keep an eye on things smile

NAO, I can put you in touch with a reputable frim of engineers and surveyors who are based in Leeds and would give good impartial advice if required.......CAT me if you like smile

PS I'm a structural engineer in case anyone was wondering.

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