Basements were common in new construction up until the 1940’s, they then went out of fashion until about 10 years ago, however in Europe and America basement construction is still common place.
A basement is the most economical way to provide a single area space and may be the only way for some property owners to gain more space on a smaller site. Basements can achieve a significant improvement in development margins of as much as 15%. On multiple house sites, it is possible to build 2 houses where without a basement only one is feasible in terms of liveable, usable space within the property. In properties where it is not feasible or practical to build out or up, a new basement under an existing house is a very good option for most properties. An easier option is to build a basement in the back or front garden and to then re-lay the garden back over the top.
So what puts designers, developers and clients off of building a basement when the advantages and cost savings are so obvious?
Many people believe Basements are notorious for leaks and for providing cold, damp unattractive spaces. However this simply is not the case. A well designed basement construction with correctly designed basement waterproofing as per the MacLennan basement design advice will always be warm and dry. Architects and home owners are gaining confidence in basement construction techniques. In London basement construction is completely normal.
Basements can be and should be built with absolutely no risk of leaks. It is only by poor design and cost cutting procurement that the risk of a leak is built in to basement construction.
Habitable basements should have two forms of waterproofing, one should be a type C cavity drain, and it must be completely serviceable. The other can be a type A membrane on masonry construction or type B integral waterproofing on reinforced concrete. A properly constructed modern basement will therefore be completely dry.
A well designed basement can be full of light and a beautiful addition to any property.Click here for more information on our basement construction services.
– Ian MacLennan