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5 Things You Need to Know About Building a Basement

Basement from Glatthaar Fertigkeller
(Image credit: c/o Glatthaar Fertigkeller)


In the past, basements were used exclusively for storage as they were entirely unsuitable as living spaces. This was mostly due to unreliable waterproofing and the lack of natural light. But nowadays, if designed and executed well, a basement can be a great way to maximise living space in your home.

Here are five things you need to know about building a basement.

1. The Uses are Endless

No longer a dark room only fit for storage, basements can be used for endless purposes, such as a games room or home cinema, additional living room or bedrooms, or even a plant room. In high value areas, if you are looking to add a real luxury element to your home, you could consider a swimming pool or even a home bowling alley!

2. You’ll Need to Assess the Soil and Ground Conditions

Not all sites are suitable when it comes to building a basement. If there is unsuitable bedrock, existing services or structures, archaeological finds or a high water table, then you may need to reconsider.

3. Choose the Right Construction System

Basement from Glatthaar Fertigkeller

(Image credit: c/o Glatthaar Fertigkeller)

As basements are built below ground, you need to carefully consider your construction system. Timber frame should be avoided as the wood will warp and rot in the moist environment, but a prefabricated option could suit your needs. 

Glatthaar’s prefabricated basement system ensures top quality insulation to prevent condensation and keep the atmosphere in the basement warm and inviting.

4. Waterproofing is Essential

In the past, basements were just for storage, but waterproofing is essential to turn them into liveable spaces.

Glatthaar’s AquaSafe basement system features precast concrete panels with additional tanking of the external joints and walls — offering 100% protection against ground water levels. If your property is located in an area with rising water tables, poor ground conditions or a high flood risk, further waterproofing options are available to prevent against seepage and pressing water.

5. Warranties

Product and installation warranties are normally required in order to secure structural warranty insurance for your basement.

The Glatthaar AquaSafe Basement, as well as other Glatthaar products, come with a 10 year structural and waterproofing guarantee.

Case Study

David & Tanith Ridgway built a Glatthaar basement on their plot next to the Thames, in Oxfordshire.

“Given that our self build was proposed on a site with a high water table, we were aware that building a basement could be complicated. We found Glatthaar via an online search and were especially encouraged by the fact that they specialise in basements that are completely watertight.

“The premanufactured element meant that the installation of the basement would be really quick.  The team worked incredibly efficiently and professionally to build all the walls in one week and then another week to do the ground floor slab.

“The operation was flawless and watching it go in, I had every confidence that the Glatthaar build system was the effective solution to ensure against the high levels of groundwater.

“Glatthaar has delivered exactly the spacious basement we wanted, which also incorporates our swimming pool.  We’re delighted with it,” says David.

Basement from Glatthaar Fertigkeller

(Image credit: c/o Glatthaar Fertigkeller)

Founded in 1980, and installing over 5000 projects across Europe annually, German basement manufacturer, Glatthaar Fertigkeller has developed a unique build system to provide customers with warm, bright and spacious basement living areas with guaranteed protection against moisture and water ingress.  

For more information, contact Glatthaar Fertigkeller (opens in new tab).