It is not unusual to read about yet another celebrity, oligarch or tycoon planning to build a basement swimming pool, and let’s face it who wouldn’t love their own pool, hot tub or spa in their home.

As the world gets faster, and health, fitness and wellness becomes central to the lives of Londoners, having a place to retreat to is becoming essential. Rooms that include a swimming pool, gym, sauna, steam room and hot tubs are popular among basement builders in some of the most fashionable parts of London.

basement swimming pools

Artist, Damien Hurst, is building a 25-metre swimming pool at his Regents Park home and a hedge fund tycoon plans on building a 3,500 sqm basement that includes a swimming pool, changing room, gym, sauna and steam room under the garden of his Grade II listed villa in Holland Park.

However, you don’t need a Mayfair mansion to build a basement swimming pool. Whether you live in a mews house, townhouse, terrace, semi-detached or villa, here is what you need to know about having a basement swimming pool

Planning permission

If you want to dig out a basement it is likely you will need planning permission. Each borough has its own set of rules, for example, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has put a restriction that basements can only be a single floor and cannot take up more than 50 percent of the garden. However, under Permitted Developments Rights some councils will allow you to build a basement under the footprint of your home without applying for planning permission. At Simply Basement, we will help guide you through the planning process no matter which London Borough you live in.


When you decide to build a basement you will go through the following process:

  • Site survey
  • Contract
  • Design and planning
  • If your home is connected to another property by a wall a Party Wall Agreement is necessary
  • Build
  • Completion

The average time it takes to complete a basement conversion is 6-10 months, however this can vary depending on the complexity of the build. For a pool, you will need to factor in room for the pool itself, a plant room for filtration, air handling and a dehumidifier, as well as some space for relaxing.

Depending on the type of pool you opt for, it may need to be plumbed into the water main. Another thing to think about when you are choosing your pool is, if you go for a dug out pool it will require less heating than an above ground pool.

Types of swimming pools

There are number of swimming pools for you to choose from – here is our top selection:

Lap pool: perfect for small basements, a lap pool has a swimming current that makes it a bit like a swimming treadmill. It’s a great option for those who want to use the pool for fitness and don’t have space for a large pool.

Natural Swimming pools: a natural swimming pool uses biological filtration so you don’t need to use any chemicals such as chlorine, salt and ozone.

Hot tubs: enjoy your very own bubbling Jacuzzi in your basement. You can incorporate one as part of your pool or have a separate one built above or below ground level.

Pools with movable floors: swimming pools can now be constructed with moveable floors which can be changed depending on who is using them. For example, if you are using the pool with children then the pool can be made shallower so they can stand.

Retractable floor cover: make your basement multipurpose with movable floor covering for your pool. By having a movable floor, it will help keep your family safe and you can use the space for parties, fitness etc.

At Simply Basement, we use a specialist pool contractor who will build, waterproof and tile the pool. If you live in London and are interested in having a basement conversion then contact us on 0800 917 7571 or email us here.

FacebooktwitterpinterestmailShare this: