Inside some of the best home basements on the market
THERE’S nothing dark, damp or dingy about the remarkable basements taking shape in Melbourne’s new trophy homes.
The humble basement has come a long way from its roots as a hiding place for camping equipment or holiday decorations.
Builders are setting their sights below ground to maximise on space and it’s being used to fit out luxury homes with cinemas, gyms, saunas and more.
Archicentre general manager Cameron Frazer said the cost of building a basement was not as prohibitive as in the past.
“People are more affluent now, we’ve got more money floating around because rates are low,” he said.
“It’s definitely an extension beyond what is now the somewhat ubiquitous underground carpark.”
People planning to build new homes can choose to take advantage of subterranean space, but it is more difficult — though not impossible — to add a basement level to an existing home.
“If you’ve got enough money, anything is possible in the building game,” Mr Frazer said.
“It’s not very common you hear about somebody excavating a basement under an existing home.”
Retrofitting a basement was generally a costly exercise, as the builder would need to underpin the foundations of the home while the new level was completed.
But for those wishing to expand their existing floorplan, some smaller rooms could be added below ground without committing to the full expense of a basement excavation.
“It’s not that complicated to think about putting in a small wine cellar,” Mr Frazer said.
“Anything bigger than that and you really start to impact on the existing foundations of the home.”
A bayside mansion at 17 Tramway Pde, Beaumaris, has a lavish basement that caps off the home’s contemporary fivebedroom floorplan.
There’s a wine cellar, bar and cinema, but it’s the viewing window into the pool that really makes a statement.
Agent Barb Gregory, of Marshall White, Brighton, said the home was likely to sell for more than $3.2 million at today’s scheduled auction.
Ms Gregory said people building new homes were waking up to the potential of basement entertaining zones.
“You’re smart if you can actually make it user friendly,” she said.
A source of natural light, such as the innovative pool window at 17 Tramway Pde, could make all the difference.
Mr Frazer said the natural noise and light-blocking features of basements made them ideal for cinemas, games rooms and cellars.
“Being underground is enormously valuable for that kind of thing,” he said.
A deluxe home in Balwyn North has made the most of its basement space, featuring a windowless cinema room with huge custom-made screen.
There is also a source of natural light for the rumpus room and gym with marble and cedar sauna, which open to a courtyard. A backlit bar gives the basement a dream setup for entertaining and there is a stylish bluestone and oak wine cellar tucked behind glass doors.
The five-bedroom, fivebathroom home at 16 Harrington Ave is listed for private sale with Marshall White, Hawthorn, with price expectations of $4 million-plus.