Will a basement add value to my property?

There’s no denying that adding a basement to your property, whether you’re excavating a basement or converting an existing basement, will be costly. The crucial question is – will a basement add value to your property in the long term?

We live in a housing market where size matters. People don’t want to know how many bedrooms or bathrooms a house has any more – they want to know whether the square footage of a property is equivalent to a small state in Papua New Guinea or not.

It’s all about living space you see – kitchen-diners that are big enough to host your local book club, a living room that can comfily seat five generations of relatives at Christmas, and a basement that can easily swallow up your kids’ classmates every birthday.

According to Knight Frank Estate Agents in Wimbledon, London, a basement can add value to a property but it really depends on how you use the space. Based solely on square footage, a house with a basement will be worth more than a similar property without, providing they are in the same condition and, here’s the crucial bit, the basement has been well designed. The better the basement design, the better the return on investment for your home.

So, you’ve increased your square footage by digging a basement, but how do you then increase the value of your basement? First, it has to be light and airy. Natural light is a must and ceiling heights need to be taken into consideration – basically, to add value, your extra space doesn’t want to feel like it’s underground, more a continuation of your current living space.

Consider opening up the basement onto the garden so you have a second entry point. This will ensure your basement is flooded with lots of natural light, not to mention having garden views, all of which will help it to feel like an extension of what’s already above ground.

If that’s not possible, rearrange your home so that the most practical rooms are in the basement – a luxury wet room, a high tech home cinema or an underground swimming pool, for example. Other suitable uses include an underground wine cellar, a basement gym or a basement bar and den.

To eek out the maximum benefit from your basement conversion, go for a high-end finish. Use an interior designer to help you plan each room and don’t skimp on fixtures and fittings.

Ultimately, if you’re not thinking of selling in the next 10 years, the real value of a basement conversion is not costed in monetary terms but how much value it will give to you and your family. In a world where size matters, building a basement could well prove to be one of your better options.

At Cool Basements, we are basement construction specialists in London, offering a basement design service as well as an interior design service to help you get the most from your bespoke basement conversion or excavation.

Peter Little
The Cool Basements Company Ltd.