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Costs of a Basement Extension

Costs of a Basement Extension

How a Basement extension can cost more than just money

As one of the higher priced re-modelling jobs you can do on a property, a basement extension will need a lot of careful consideration and pre-planning before you even think of employing a builder.

Referring to creating a new room, rather than converting an existing one, this is just not one of those jobs that even the most experienced DIY person should go anywhere near as disaster (and I mean disaster) lurks just around the corner – just ask these unfortunate people:

Costs of a Basement ExtensionImage courtesy of DAILY MAIL

These 2 are just the most recent “high profile” instances of things going horribly wrong – with reports of incompetent construction workers being to blame.

If you are serious about creating a new basement room, then you have to be prepared to spend both time & money getting experienced professionals to assess the project thoroughly beforehand. Do extensive research for a competent construction team that has “hands on” experience & track record in this specific type of home improvement.

“How a Basement extension can cost more than just money?” It can cost you your home, your health & deliver an unbelievable amount of stress & heartache.

Both of these unfortunate families have lost their homes – one of which has fully collapsed and the other will need to be demolished. Not only have the owners lost their homes, the neighbours’ properties will also have suffered damage and had their lives severely disturbed.

The “least you should do” checklist

  • Engage an architect and fully survey the property beforehand
  • You should have the job project managed by professionals
  • Engage a construction firm that has done a lot of this type of work before (in your location)
  • Speak with the previous clients of your proposed contractor
  • Have at least an extra 10-15% of the job cost set aside to cover unavoidable changes in the work schedule
  • Check with your insurer if they can (or already do so) provide cover for the proposed work. Will it also include your new room in the ongoing buildings & contents insurance.
  • Confirm what type of public liability insurance cover the contractors have in the event of problems
  • Even consider what will happen if your builder “goes bust” in the middle of the job (it happens!)

It’s not the purpose of this article to scaremonger, but merely as a reminder of the benefits of doing the job right.

As my mum used to say:

  • “an ounce of prevention is worth more than a ton of cure”

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John Francis James
John has been around the building industry since he was a child. With a degree in civil engineering, John is a highly valued contributor to our website.