One of the major benefits of basements is allowing the creation of a single large space. Due to economies and method of construction, the floor above the basement level can be created in a single span, providing flexibility in the location of internal walls and allowing simple future alterations.
There is an evident desire for the provision of basements as part of our housing solution in the UK, illustrated by the significant number of basements constructed in the self-build market. In addition, studies by the Traditional Housing Bureau indicate significant demand from home owners for more space.
Pre-subdivision, the resultant space is typically the single largest area in the house and, due to its location on a different level from the rest of the house, provides opportunity for uses not always possible to accommodate in more basic dwellings. In North America, Canada and continental Europe, it is common for basements to serve as multipurpose areas, for example games or utility rooms or storage areas.
Basements can provide comfortable day-lit rooms, with natural ventilation and external access, as an extension to the living spaces above. They also provide the opportunity for more unique uses, such as gyms, music rooms and swimming pools. Alternatively, basements can simply provide practical space for games or hobby rooms, home offices, parking, or storage.
Changing uses for basement spaces during the life of a family home:
- Extra storage (recycling/chest freezers)
- DIY work shop
- Utility room
- Hobby room
- Home Gym/Sauna
- Wet room – outdoor gear
- All weather play room
- Band practice/music room
- Teenage den/bedsit
- Home office/studio
- Wine cellar
- Home cinema
- Granny annex
- Living room
Please refer to Part M (access and facilities for disabled people) of our building regulations guide for further information. All information correct to 2016 amendments.