There seems to be a growing trend in London over the last few years, although this trend is not growing upwards, rather, it is submerging into the subterranean depths of our neighbourhoods. Given the extreme shortage of space in the capital, homeowners have been desperate to find ways to increase the size of their properties, but with the strict planning permission policies that come with building on land, the basement conversion is now the extension du jour, particularly in the most affluent of areas.
The Demand Is Not Abating
Andi Pepaj, director of APT Renovation, has spearheaded a wide range of medium to large scale basement renovations throughout London, “we’ve installed gyms, art galleries, recording studios, home cinemas and even golf ranges. The list is endless”. The demand is certainly not abating, with more than 900 basement extensions having taken place over the past five years in Kensington & Chelsea alone, and many more in the planning process.
Increase The Living Space
People are beginning to cotton onto the fact that a basement extension represents the most viable option in increasing the living space of a property in London. It can also significantly boost the sell-on value if done correctly. A fully converted basement in your home can increase the value of your property by up to 20% in some parts of London, and can also land you some passive income if you decide to turn the space into a rentable bedroom.
Add Value To The Property
Nigel Phillips, 50, and his wife Linda, 42, bought their stunning house in Trebovir Road, Earls Court, a number of years ago, and decided to add some more value to the property and put it back on the market. APT Renovation oversaw a complete overhaul and extension of their basement, to make way for a spacious gym area. This included a multitude of new furniture, ornaments and decorations that were crafted by their bespoke joinery. The couple paid £270,000 for the works, and the basement has now added £1million in value to the property.
For many, the monetary aspect is not the be all and end all, as the basement renovation represents a way to add a new dimension to a property – a space for relaxation, creativity or entertainment, or to accommodate additional family members.
Need For Basement Conversion
With London being the second most expensive city in the world to buy property (after Monaco), it is no wonder many homeowners have sought to increase their living space underground rather than purchasing a new home. The huge disparity between the capital and the rest of the UK means that the need and desire for a basement conversion is significantly lower outside London. Extortionate rates and strict planing restrictions for above ground expansion simply aren’t prevalent outside of the capital, which is why the basement-boom is continuing to flourish in London.