Can I stay in my home whilst you do this work?
In most cases – yes you can. We will not use your house for access to the basement project and our hoarding will secure and isolate the project externally. We’d love to tell you that you won’t notice us – but we can’t. There will be sporadic noise from generators and power tools and you will be aware that people are working in the basement area. Unfortunately this is the nature of the beast. If you want to discuss this with a previous client we will be more than happy to put you in touch.
How long does basement construction take?
This is always hard to predict 6 months for the planning and party wall process together with 6 months construction giving a total of 12 months is a useful guide.
Is basement construction the cheapest way of enlarging my home?
No. It is less expensive to build a side return or convert your loft and you should consider doing these prior to considering a basement retrofit.
I need more bedrooms but feel uncomfortable that some bedrooms will be in the upper part of the house
This is a common concern. Our architects are sensitive to the need to create a balanced usable space. One solution to this problem is to move the kitchen, usually found on the ground floor, into the basement to form a kitchen/open plan living area in the new basement. By doing this space is made available on the ground floor for conversion to bedrooms.
Do I need to sign any contracts?
We would usually expect to contract with you using the Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) home owner/occupier contract as this clearly sets out conditions and responsibilities. This contract would run in conjunction with our Terms of Business and a pre-agreed payment schedule.
What insurance do you carry?
We have a full range of insurance policies covering all work undertaken. These include public liability, employers liability and contractors all risk liability. Architects, engineers, party wall surveyors and building control all carry professional indemnity insurance.
What do I need to provide the workers with?
Very little. We will need to set up a temporary water and electricity supplies though we meter these and pay you for what we use. We will provide our own toilet and washroom facilities and we make our own tea!
Are there building regulations?
Basements like any other major construction project will need to comply with current building regulations. We have established links with a market-leading building control operation and we will organise for one of their building control inspectors to monitor the basement works and ensure that regulations are met.
Do you only work in Cambridge?
We have worked elsewhere but prefer to work in the Cambridge area.
How much does basement construction cost?
Of course no two basements are the same but there are broad similarities. For indicative purposes you should allow:
- Cellar conversion and waterproofing – from £150/ft²
- New build basement construction – from £200/ft²
- Retrofit basement construction – from £300/ft²
Prices listed are excluding VAT.