Make the most of your basement

Basements often get overlooked, or utilised for storage of generally unwanted items.

But give it a second thought, and that wasted space can add some serious value to your home, expanding your living space, turning the utilitarian into the Utopian.

Renovating your kitchen or bathrooms makes perfect sense, whereas the basement seems static and dark, better suited for storage than entertaining. However, that forgotten room below is often not only an overlooked opportunity but a hidden gem!

Assess your needs. If you have a family, it’s a great place to give to your kids for all sorts of activities, or it can be the ideal space for a home cinema and entertainment area.

A basement renovation can be a very cost-effective way to provide additional living space to your property without altering the exterior, and therefore not requiring any planning permission whatsoever. But you have to remember, structurally speaking, what you have to work with is sometimes literally set in stone.

It is of paramount importance to plan this type of renovation project extremely carefully and call in the experts, taking into consideration all structural issues, such as pillars, load-bearing walls, etc. Chiselling away at the concrete may very well render your home to rubble.

Traditionally, the basement is a room that’s not built for guests and, on top of that stigma, you have to be sure that you rectify any health hazards before you do anything else, for example, getting rid of any asbestos or mould.

Once you have overcome these initial hurdles, you can concentrate on converting your basement into an additional living area.

By Brett Hawkins
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Brett Hawkins is the managing director of GMT 24:7, a local expert in all areas of general building and property maintenance, with offices in Lagos and Almancil. |