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Creating Space and Value: The Art of Basement Construction

While Melbourne’s skyline showcases stunning skyscrapers and architecturally exquisite homes, there’s a hidden world beneath the surface that’s equally fascinating. Basements, often overlooked, can be game-changers when it comes to expanding your living space and increasing the value of your property.

Whether you’re looking to create a luxurious underground retreat, a functional workspace, or simply need more storage, basements offer a world of possibilities.

But basement construction is a skill all of its own, involving unique hurdles and specialised knowledge. To get it done right, you need to make sure you’re aware of what it involves and you’ve got the right people doing it. Here’s what you need to think about.

Will a basement increase the value of my property?

Yes, absolutely. Here’s why:

  • Increased Living Space: One of the most obvious advantages of a basement is the additional living space it provides. Whether you transform it into a recreation room, home office, guest suite, or even a rental apartment, more usable square footage often equates to a higher property value.
  • Versatility: Basements are incredibly versatile. They can serve a variety of purposes, making them attractive to a wide range of potential buyers. This flexibility can make your home more appealing on the real estate market.
  • Storage: Basements provide valuable storage space, which is often in high demand among homeowners. A well-organized and finished basement can help declutter the rest of your home and make it more appealing to prospective buyers.
  • Increased Property Value Trends: In many markets, homes with basements tend to command higher selling prices compared to similar homes without basements. This is partly due to the added functionality and potential they offer.
  • Long-Term Investment: A basement addition is a long-term investment. Even if you don’t plan to sell your home in the near future, knowing that your property value is increasing can provide peace of mind and financial security.

What can I use my basement for? 12 uses other than storage

Gone are the days of dark, dusty, foreboding basements used to store things you may use once in a blue moon.  These days, basements are seen as having the same potential as any other room in the house. What can be achieved with these subterranean spaces is limited only by your imagination. To get you thinking, here are some examples:

  1. Family Room: Create a cosy family gathering area with a TV, comfortable seating and entertainment options.
  2. Home Theatre: Movie tickets are expensive these days. Design a dedicated home theatre space for movie nights with friends and family.
  3. Game Room: Set up a space for pool, ping pong, board games or even a video game arcade.
  4. Home Gym: Bypass gym memberships and install exercise equipment and mirrors to create a private workout space.
  5. Guest Suite: Transform the basement into a guest suite with a bedroom, bathroom and sitting area.
  6. Work Space: Create a quiet and productive home office with ample desk space and storage.
  7. Study Area: Design a study or library for reading and research or a student cramming for exams.
  8. Apartment: Convert the basement into a separate apartment with a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and living area for rental income.
  9. Wine Cellar: A popular one. Create a climate-controlled wine cellar to store and display your wine collection, and even set aside a nice area for tastings.
  10. Hobby room: Woodworking, sewing, quilting, paining – you name it, a basement can be transformed to cater to whatever hobbies you have.
  11. Bar Area: Build a basement bar for entertaining guests, or a place where your older kids can have friends around without disturbing the whole house.
  12. Play Area: Set up a dedicated playroom for kids with games and toys in a safe place.

Of course, basements also make great, out-of-the-way storage spaces…

Basement Builders
Basement Builders

What are the main concerns of basement construction?

As we mentioned in the introduction, basement construction is a specialised trade within the building industry. There are unique considerations that need to be taken into account, such as:

  1. Soil Conditions: The type and stability of the soil at your construction site can affect excavation and foundation work. Soil testing and assessment are essential to determine the appropriate foundation design.
  2. Load-Bearing Capacity: Ensuring that the foundation can support the weight of the building above and any additional loads from the basement construction is critical.
  3. Engineering: Consulting with structural engineers is essential to design a strong and stable foundation and basement walls.
  4. Water Intrusion: Preventing water infiltration is a primary concern. Waterproofing measures, including the use of proper membranes, drainage systems, and sump pumps, are crucial to keep the basement dry.
  5. Humidity: Basements can be prone to high humidity levels. Proper ventilation and dehumidification systems are necessary to control moisture and prevent mould growth.
  6. Regulations: Complying with local building codes and obtaining the necessary permits for excavation and construction are legal requirements that must be addressed. We can guide you through the permit application process.
  7. Entry/Exit Points: Ensure safe and code-compliant entry and exit points, especially if you plan to use the basement as a living space. This includes appropriate stairs and emergency exits.
  8. Plumbing and Electrical: Proper installation of plumbing, electrical wiring, and HVAC systems is essential for the functionality and safety of the basement.
  9. Ventilation Systems: Design an effective ventilation system to maintain good air quality and prevent the build-up of stale or damp air in the basement.
  10. Lighting: Since basements are typically below ground level, consider artificial lighting solutions to ensure a well-lit and inviting space.
  11. Energy Efficiency: Adequate insulation is essential for energy efficiency and temperature control in the basement.
  12. Fire Safety: Address fire safety concerns with proper fire-resistant materials and escape routes.
  13. Budget: Carefully budget the construction project, including excavation costs, materials, labour and potential unforeseen expenses.

What should I look for in a builder for my basement construction?

When you’re on the hunt for a builder to construct your basement, keep a few key things in mind. First off, experience is a must. Look for someone who’s a specialist in basement construction, someone who’s dealt with excavation, foundations, and waterproofing. Check their credentials and make sure they’re properly licensed and insured for your area.

Take a peek at their past projects and chat with their previous clients if you can. It’ll give you a good feel for the quality of their work. Plus, make sure they’re up to speed on your local building codes; compliance is non-negotiable.

Last but not least, a builder who’s a good communicator and can understand your vision is a real gem to find. It’ll make the whole process smoother and more enjoyable. A simple chat with them will give you a god idea of whether they’re the right fit for you.

Edina are your builders of choice for homes with basements

For luxury homes with basements, you can’t go past the team at Edina Building Group. We have the experience and the expertise in this particular area of construction. Basements present a great opportunity to expand your living space while increasing the value of your property, but they have to be built in the right way.

Get in touch with the team at Edina today and take advantage of our 30 years of experience in basement construction.

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