The Daily Telegraph - Property - - Down Time -

Base­ment con­ver­sions are usu­ally best han­dled by spe­cial­ist firms. Their ser­vices tend to in­clude car­ry­ing out fea­si­bil­ity stud­ies, de­sign and ne­go­ti­at­ing of­fi­cial per­mis­sions, as well as do­ing the ac­tual build­ing work and fit­ting out.

Al­ways ask to see ex­am­ples of their pre­vi­ous work – you might even be given the op­tion of visit­ing com­pleted schemes, which can give you a much bet­ter idea of what a new base­ment will feel like, as well as sug­gest­ing pos­si­ble de­sign strate­gies. This doesn’t mean that you should dis­pense with ar­chi­tects al­to­gether. They can ex­cel in mak­ing the scheme in­te­grate well with your ex­ist­ing floors.

Spe­cial­ist com­pa­nies in­clude the Lon­don Base­ment Com­pany in the cap­i­tal (020 8847 9449; uk) and Beau­ti­ful Base­ments in the Mid­lands (www.beau­ti­ful-base­ments. More de­tails are avail­able from the Base­ment In­for­ma­tion Cen­tre (01276 33155; www.base­

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