Basement Conversion and Building Regulations
When adding a room for the purposes of using it as a habitable space then building regulation will become applicable. If ever in doubt over when you may need to adhere to building regulations you should always contact a building control body (BCB).
The responsibility for ensuring the work carried out complies with Regulation 3 of the Building Regulations falls to the ones carrying out the work, such as architects, installers and building contractors. They will need to ensure all work is in accordance with the following:
Fire safety refers to Approved Document B and was revised in 2019 after the high profile disaster in West London in 2017. Part B sets out that basements being designed for habitable use are required to have an emergency escape window or external door that provides escape from the basement to the ground floor. Or, the basement is required to have a protected stairway leading from the basement to the final exit.
Drainage and Waste Disposal
Approved Document L1b sets out the requirements to prevent energy loss through the use of insulation in the ceiling, walls and floors. U-value calculations on manufacturers’ products indicate compliance to the Building Regulations.
Means of Ventilation
Adequate ventilation needs to be considered when converting a basement and Approved Document F deals with these regulations. Due to their positioning, basements will always have a reduced rate of air exchange increasing the need for adequate ventilation.
Resistance to the Passage of Sound
There are acceptable limits for the passage of the sound between domestic dwellings which is covered in Approved Document E.
Power points, cables, light switches and pipes must be installed by a suitably qualified professional. As most basement conversions use the Type C waterproofing system a properly installed pump is of paramount importance.