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Icebergs Ahoy!

April 14, 2016

For this blog Wise Basement Systems is hearing from Wise MD Les Meikle aka "The Rotter". 

Running Wise Basement Systems, Les is obviously interested in all things underground and the plights of the super-rich in London building mega "iceberg homes" where the basement is bigger than the rest of the property has caught his eye.

So, what are the Rotter thoughts?

What is an ‘Iceberg’ Basement?

Iceberg home

You’ve probably read the stories making the news headlines recently about millionaires converting their basements into living areas larger than the house that sits on the surface – The "Star Wars bubble bath" tycoon and Roman Abramovich spring to mind. 

I’ve read that these iceberg basements can extend as much as 3 storeys below the ground and are growing increasingly popular with the super-rich in London as they look to maximise their property value.

Some of these Iceberg basement conversions are crazy! Take Britain’s richest woman Kirsty Bertarelli who is spending a whopping £10 million to add a cinema, kitchen, bedroom and dining room under her lavish home. Alright for some!

‘Iceberg’ Basement Conversions Concerns

However, these Iceberg basement conversions are not so good for everyone else as they can be more disruptive than regular building. So much so that Kensington & Chelsea council have become the first to outlaw basement conversions extending more than one storey underground.

There are also concerns about the potential harm to the structural stability of adjourning buildings & property with thousands of tonnes of earth being dug up during the construction process.
Basement Conversions for the not-so-rich

Ok, so we might not all be able to afford adding a tennis court, swimming pool, cinema and extra six bedrooms under our homes but we can certainly make use of that basement space and turn it into a comfortable living extension to our homes.

A reasonable basement conversion

Wallpaper, curtains, furniture, pool tables...put all these thoughts on hold for now. Here are 5 steps you should first consider before converting your basement or cellar.

1: Is your basement suitable for a conversion?
I would advise organising a basement and cellar survey that would highlight the extent of work required but also any obstacles you may be faced with.

2: Planning your Basement Conversion
How do you want your basement conversion to look? Do you want windows and a staircase? A fully qualified Wise Basement Systems surveyor can liaise with your architect and help you reach key decisions to how your basement will look based on what can and cannot be done.

3: Ensuring the basement is fully waterproof
This is one of the most important stages in your basement conversion journey. Please do not cut corners with this one as the last thing anyone wants is a flooded basement. As water flows to the lowest point, basements are always vulnerable to flooding.
You can visit Wise Basement Systems to check out some of the award winning options for basement waterproofing.

4: The exciting fun part
Now that the professionals have done their part in converting your basement into a safe and dry living area...just what will you do with the extra space?
Well, that’s up to you! If you need some inspiration then Wise Basements Conversion Ideas might be worth a visit. You should consider things like the electricity, plumbing and type of flooring. I would recommend Waterproof floor tiles or Waterproof carpet.

5: Basement conversion complete!
Enjoy your new fully water proofed living space!

I love looking at basement conversions before and after photos as I’m also amazed at what can be done with that space under the floorboards as well as dreaming of what I’d like to do with my own basement.

If you are thinking about a basement conversion or would like to know more about waterproofing your basement then head over to Wise Basement Systems website where you can directly ask the professionals your questions by filling out the ‘Ask a Question Form’.