Building a basement – What do you need to know?

Building a house basement gives your new home a lot of potential. Not only can they create additional space in a home, but they also give you the opportunity to add a completely new room to use as you wish.

It’s not often that you hear of a UK newbuild that features a basement in 2019. In the Victorian and Edwardian times, basements were a lot more popular and fashionable when labour to dig cellars was cheap.

Nowadays, it is thought that less than two per cent of UK homes have basements.

If you’ve decided that a basement will suit your self-build property, read on to find out what you need to know before commencing the build.


Of course, before taking on any construction project you should plan ahead. If you’re doing it yourself, the companies you deal with will be able to assist you in the planning process. For example, an underpinning specialist will be able to help you with the planning of the foundations.

Be sure to meet the relevant building regulations during the planning process.

You will need to assess the ground conditions

Like any self-build property, you will need to assess the ground conditions of your property before commencing any excavation. If the bedrock is unsuitable, or there are any unexpected discoveries such as archaeological finds or water, you might need to think about alternative options.

Consider materials carefully

Basements are below ground, and because of this, you will need to consider the best materials. Timber frame is unlikely to be suitable because it will rot or warp underground, whereas concrete might withstand harsher conditions.

Prefabricated methods are also popular now with self-builders, where construction is quick.

Investing in waterproofing is key to ensuring that your basement is liveable, particularly if your property is located in an area that has a high flooding risk, or with rising water tables.

Need a reliable company to install the foundations of your basement or help in the planning process? Contact BelowGround today. We have over 15 years of experience in domestic foundations.