Basement conversations are one of the most popular home improvement in London and the South East – especially where such improvements can increase the price of a property, making the extra investment worthwhile. Space has become a premium in the capital and digging down can give you and your family that much needed extra room. It is of course, possible to put a bedroom into a basement conversion. However, when deciding what to do with your basement there are regulations and guidelines to deal with especially when it comes to bedrooms.

Of course, when it comes to planning permission for basement bedrooms, there may be different regulations for different councils. So, always check with your local planning department before your build.

Bedroom natural light

Natural light is important in any bedroom, but it can be difficult to get enough natural light into a basement room. By law, a basement bedroom should have a window that can be opened and used as a fire escape. However, if this window is not bringing in enough light you can opt to for light wells or light shafts as well. 

Bedroom ventilation

Building regulations require ventilation to take into account moisture content in the structure and air quality. If a room is considered habitable (i.e a bedroom) then there may be required minimum standards for ventilation. For example, Northampton Council states that rapid ventilation with an opening of 1/20th of the floor area together with controllable background ventilation (8,000mm2) should be provided.

Bedroom fire regulations

All bedrooms in new build properties and extensions (a basement is considered an extension) must have a fire alarm within 7.5m of a bedroom door. Basement bedrooms are also required to have a window that can be opened and should measure no less than 0.33m2, measuring at least 450mm x 450mm. If you don’t have this type of window, then you will need an emergency external door.

Using your basement for staff accommodation

It is possible to use your basement extension space for staff accommodation if needed. However, if you do this you will have to ensure there is adequate natural light and that all fire regulations and ventilation requirements are adhered to. 

The last word on basement bedrooms

Regulations and guidelines are important and all builds should adhere to them. However, putting a bedroom in a basement may not always be the best use of the additional space or the most shrewd investments as James Robinson, General Manager at estate agent Lurot Brand told City A.M. “Whatever you do, do not put the primary bedrooms in the basement,” says Robinson. “No-one wants to go downstairs to bed, or put their children to bed in the basement with ducted ventilation.”

If you want to add extra space to your house with a basement conversion contact Simply Basement today!

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