Will Watson of Middleton Advisors London comments on the growth of ‘basement digs’
“The concept of the basement is now a tried and tested one, usually deployed by families looking to create more useable space ranging from accommodation for a nanny, a gym, media room or home office, wine cellar etc. It is crucial to make the space function practically but also to ensure it works cosmetically, a basement space needs to be a light filled, warm inviting space rather than a dark subterranean bunker, where no one will want to spend time, least of all a nanny!
These days there are many clever devices and techniques that can be incorporated to create natural light and open up a space. Another key component to make a design work and be attractive to buyers is decent ceiling heights; generous lofty ceilings in keeping with the traditional period ceiling heights found in say a Chelsea townhouse, will make the transition from ground floor to basement far more natural and preserve the flow of accommodation and space.
Quality basement digs incorporate light and ceiling height, with careful clever design. In general the rule is the larger the property, the more acceptable a large scale quality basement level will work and be an attractive integral part of the whole house. Beware the ‘iceberg’ effect, where a typical 3-4,000 sq ft London townhouse house becomes bottom heavy, and the subterranean level disturbs the harmony of the traditional layout above. Rather than adding value, this will not entice buyers and potentially detract from a sale.”