One up, one down - do basement extensions add value?

One up, one down - do basement extensions add value?

Are loft conversions a thing of the past? Tepilo looks at data which suggests that more homeowners are looking to extend and build basements.

In the last twenty years or so many homeowners have invested in loft conversions in order to make more space in the short-term and add value to their property in the long-term.

Loft conversions are of course still extremely popular with home improvers, but it seems there is now a burgeoning trend of building down, rather than up.

Research by Direct Line suggests that between 2013 and 2015, applications to build or extend basements increased by 9%.

Freedom of Information requests have revealed that in 2015 some 1,968 planning applications we made, of which 74% were granted.

The figures show that homeowners in the capital are the most likely to build downwards. A whopping 75% of all basement planning applications were made in the capital during 2015.

Other areas with a high number of applications were the East (150) and the South East (165). However, these numbers pale in significance when compared to the 1,497 made in London.

The regions with the lowest number of basement applications were Wales and Yorkshire and Humberside with just three each, representing 0.2% of total applications.

The highest proportion of successful applications was recorded in the North West (90%), while owners in Yorkshire and Humberside were the least likely to get approval, with only two of the three applications made here being given the green light by the local authority.

Adding value

Many of Britain's homeowners are always looking to add value to their properties. As well as home improvements and refurbishments, extensions can add thousands to a property's asking price when you come to sell. It's important to plan any extensions thoroughly and make sure that you get the advice of an expert before proceeding.

If you don't end up carrying out an extension, knowing a property has the potential for an additional floor or converted basement is still something that is likely to impress prospective buyers.

What you need to do

As outlined above, when considering building work and extensions, it's likely you'll need to lodge an application with your local authority in order to get planning permission. If you share a wall with neighbours, you'll need to get them to give written consent that they're happy for the work to go ahead.

Moreover, you'll also need to let your home insurer know of any planned works as it could affect your existing cover and policy.

If you're looking to expand your basement, check out these top tips now.