Basement Design Guide

living room in basement
(Image credit: getty images)

According to CABE, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, the UK builds the smallest new homes in Europe. In large this is because of the high cost of building land and pressure on space. But we could easily add another whole storey to every new home without requiring any more land, or building any higher and impacting on the landscape, if we simply added a basement.

It’s a simple solution, and far from a new idea: basements and cellars were standard on most townhouses in the 19th century and this space is now highly prized and rapidly being renovated, extended and converted. In higher value areas such is the pressure on space that new basements are being excavated beneath existing houses, sometimes several storeys deep, with existing walls being under-pinned at the same time.

Michael Holmes

Michael is Homebuilding & Renovating's Director of Content, Vice Chair of the self build industry body, the National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA), presenter of multiple property TV shows and author of Renovating for Profit (Ebury). He also runs an architectural and interior design practice, offering design and project management services. He is one of the country's leading property experts and has undertaken over 30 building projects including two self-builds and the renovation of a Grade-II listed farmhouse. 

Michael has presented over 150 property shows for BBC, ITV1, Channel 5, UK TV Style, and Discovery RealTime, including I Own Britain's Best Home; Don't Move Improve; Trading Up; Good Bid, Good Buy; Build, Buy or Restore?; How to Build A House; and Hard Sell.

Michael is also a regular expert at the Homebuilding & Renovating Shows. He has written for leading British newspapers, including The Daily Telegraph, Sunday Times, Daily Express and The Independent and has appeared on news programmes such as BBC Breakfast.