Advice

Bringing light into a basement

14 August 2019

Instead of building to the side or back off the home, why not build down? Our renovation of a large Neo-Georgian detached property in Templewood Avenue included two single-storey extensions on the ground floor. However, the majority of the project centred around the expansion and refurbishment of the basement area.

Rear House Extensions: there’s always another way

Respecting the architecture of the area, this building was enlarged to contemporary standards by focusing most of the additional space underground, however this comes with its own challenges.  How do you make a basement light-filled and spacious?

The key to most basement extensions is to find ways to bring light down into a usually dark and uninviting room.  By creating a seating area at the back of the house, we were able to divide the space with more intimate spaces and use these sections for light-wells.

Glass balustrades allow for more light to pour down in to the basement, and a generous opening ensures that the basement windows don’t look out on to a brick wall.  These basement rooms provide the family with much-needed space and by removing some garden space and opening up space to allow for this additional floor in the house.

The basement area was increased by 230 m2 (2002 ft2) in order to accommodate a playroom, a gym, a home cinema and additional accommodation. In a thorough and extensive process of excavating beneath the home, we were able to maximise the amount of space we could add. This required us to go through underpinning, strengthening the existing foundation to allow us to open up even more room.

As a result, we were able to increase the basement so it matched the footprint of the entire house. Natural light was a primary focus, ensuring that the space maintained a bright, liveable atmosphere with the addition of two extensive light wells.

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