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Add value to your home: Basement development

January 15th 2016
By: Melanie Hollidge

If you are looking at adding value to your home, then one of the ways in which you can achieve this is to develop an unused space in your basement. In order to do this you will need to check that the work comes under permitted development laws.  As a basic rule of thumb, if you are not going to be doing major works like adding a light well, or changing the appearance of the front of your property then you will probably not need to get planning permission – but it’s always best to check with your local authority. You must also consider The Party Wall act 1996 if other properties adjoin yours and you share walls.
 
When planning your basement space, it’s good to write a list of things you would like to use the new space for – if it’s going to have multi-functions it would be good to think about having a space that is flexible and furniture can be moved around easily.
 
It’s always a good idea to plan out the space first, you can find inspiration for designs and ideas on Houzz.co.uk, it’s packed full of images of developed basements. Once you’ve decided how you are going to use the basement space you will need to either create a scale drawing on a piece of paper or work it up in 3D, the latter will give you a much better idea to whether your design will work in reality – for free on line 3D planner try http://www.easyplanner3d.com/.
 
One of the biggest problems in most basement developments is to get enough light into what is normally quite a dark space - therefore it’s worth spending some time looking at different lighting options. Spot lights as a general light in basements seems to work really well with pendant lighting. If you are planning on using your basement just as a cinema room then this could be less important, however a future buyer might want to use the space in a different way.