Every project that we take on is different, in both its complexity and size and therefore it is very difficult to give an exact timescale. Prior to any project being carried out we will issue a detailed programme. On average a basement conversion would take between 26 and 35 weeks, and a rear extension up to 26 weeks.
Again, it is very difficult to answer how much a basement conversion will cost for the same reasons as above. And again, when we submit an initial estimation it is clearly broken down to avoid any confusion. Costs that do have to be taken into account are planning, building control, party wall fees and anything to do with moving utilities, which do not come under our remit.
No, you do not need to have a cellar to have a basement conversion. We do undertake cellar conversions, but we also create much larger basement conversions. Some of our basement conversions are the total footprint of the house while our largest projects span the full footprint of the house and garden.
We have Contractors Liability Insurance and Contractors All Risk Insurance. The former covers us for £10million and the later £750k per contract. Our insurance does not cover your contents and we urge you to contact your own insurance company prior to any works being carried out.
Works carried out by Qualitas are covered for 6 years after care for anything that arises due to works carried out by us.
It is entirely possible to have works carried out to your home whilst your still live in. However if you are planning a complete refurbishment, i.e basement, rear extension, loft etc, then you may find it more convenient to move out. This will also enable the project to run more smoothly and generally for the programme to be completed in less time.
Excavating for a basement conversion is a major construction work. We have in house structural engineers who are responsible to work with the architects original design and create a structure to support this design. Building regulations control the technical element of the construction, which included the structure. They Councils own consulting engineers will cross check the design. The works are inspected by the District Surveyor at each stage.
There are no reasons why a basement should now be a damp room underneath the rest of the house as long as the waterproofing has been well considered and well designed. In our basement conversions, specialists install a cavity membrane system which works on the principle of allowing water to continue to penetrate the structure but control it in an air gap and then divert it to a suitable drainage point. The advantage of this is that there are not the potential week spots, which can lead to leaks, stained walls and an odor associated with the cementitious tanking system.

When we design a basement we will incorporate as large a lightwell at the front and ideally at the rear as possible. This will ensure that natural light floods the building. By the clever use of glass balustrades and skylights we can add more light.