What about the neighbours?

If you live in a terraced or semi-detached property, then it is likely that you and your neighbours share walls, which are known as party walls.

When you are planning your basement conversion, your party wall neighbours are entitled to enquire about subsidence and request a report at your expense.

This need not be a bother, however, as a property surveyor will be able to provide important details about the party walls, and an independent architect or structural engineer will be able to advise on the continuing security of the structure of both your properties.

If in doubt, check with an architect before drawing up any plans, and it may be advisable to drop into your neighbours to discuss any concerns they may have before spending any money.

What else do I need to know?

Converting your basement can be the most exciting home improvement you may ever undertake – but don't forget the boring necessities!

A living area downstairs will not be much fun without the obvious services such as plumbing, electricity, heating, ventilation, storage, and phone or TV points. Your builder will be able to advise you about connecting your basement to your existing services upstairs.

It's important not to forget the safety of your basement either. You should install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms in the basement, and ensure you have an alternate means of escape if your stairway down into the basement became blocked by fire.

Try to ensure also that your window can be easily opened in an emergency, and a handy tip is to try and keep an item of furniture such as a stool in the basement, which will help you climb out the window if needs be.

I can't hear you!

Although your basement could be designed to be an oasis of calm in a busy household, you will still want to hear your doorbell and telephone.

Make sure you have found a way to hear your front doorbell when in the basement, and it's always handy to have an extra phone point or internet connection in your new room.

A continuation of style

Your new living space should blend in as seamlessly as possible to your existing house. This is easily done by copying existing mouldings, trimmings, or paintwork from the main house, or continuing with your colour scheme or furniture style down below.

Down is the new up!

Basement conversions are the new black when it comes to home improvements, and as well as enhancing your family's lifestyle, they can also add thousands to the value of your home, and earn you a tidy sum in rental income.

Do remember our advice on planning, regulations and moisture control, however, if you are interested in pursuing this exciting idea and you should find that you'll be safe and sound going underground!