How to increase the value of your property with a basement

Basements are no longer dark, cold places under your house for storing old furniture and tools, they’re an extension of your home. They increase the leisure space, storage space, living space and they can add financial value. In short, they provide endless possibilities

Basement business is booming

“In recent years we have seen a large increase in interest and requests for building homes with basements. Many of our clients seek the extra space and opportunities a basement can add to their lifestyle,” says Comdain’s managing director, John Coen.

Where extensions can eat into your garden space, a basement doesn’t, nor does it raise the height of your property (risking potential irritation to your neighbours), like building an additional storey would. Building restrictions can also make building an additional storey difficult.

If you’re paying a premium for your land you want more bang for your buck – building a basement increases your building size and better utilises your available land size. It adds a new dimension of possibilities for a home, like a multi-car garage, wine cellar, cinema, gym, storage, even a swimming pool. 

The benefits of a basement

  • Enhances your lifestyle 
  • Creates rooms with stable temperatures, making them ideal for wine cellars, garages, pool rooms, gyms, etc.
  • Can increase the value of your home

Properties in inner suburbs are prime candidates for basements to create multi-car garages in streets with limited on-street parking.

In most cases basements are added to new property builds. Adding a basement to an existing property can be both extremely challenging and extremely expensive, although basement extensions are possible on some properties, especially on properties on a slope. According to Jon Clement, president of the Australian Institute of Architects Victorian chapter, car parking and storage space solutions dominate subterranean extensions.

Things to consider when planning a basement

There are many things to consider when building a basement, such as waterproofing, natural light, ventilation and drainage, foundations and building approval. 

You will also need to know what the space will be used for before permits are approved – will it be habitable, or will it be used for storage? Habitable spaces need to comply with light and ventilation which some basements don’t have that opportunity to do. A non-habitable space for parking or a wine cellar does not need to meet the same light and ventilation requirements as a habitable space. However, be aware that if you initially design and use your basement as a garage or wine cellar and you later want to change the space for guest accommodation or leisure, your original permits and approval will no longer be valid.

If your property doesn’t have the ability to build a basement with windows or doors to the outside world for light then cleverly designed natural light sources can sometimes be designed and built into the structure. Skylights or external lightwells that supply natural light, or light fittings that simulate natural light are a solution. Either way lighting is an essential factor to consider during a basement build.

Mechanical ventilation provides an alternative to natural ventilation. A fan or exhaust system supplies fresh air and removes stale air, essential if you’re building a gym or pool where stale air can build up and could create moisture and mould.

How to protect your investment

There are many factors to consider for the build of a basement on your property, so it’s valuable to work with a builder who has the right skills and experience with basement builds. Comdain has been building custom luxury properties with basements for over a decade – recently, three of the last five homes built have included a basement. We ensure your project is completed safely, complies with all relevant regulations and matches your home and lifestyle to complete your dream home. 

To see how a basement can enhance your property, visit our multi-award winning Balwyn North display home, the Belle Vue, voted Best Victorian Display Home by the HIA in 2018 and Best Display Home in its category by the MBA in the same year.


Categories: Building Expertise

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