Down Under or Up Over?

I was reading an article recently on the job opportunities in Australia and never has the topic of relocation been a more appealing opportunity than now given the rather miserable summer we have been having. There are an abundance of jobs, particularly in the construction industry and the RICS is very respected and recognised over there, my only real issue is that there is no ‘Party Wall Legislation’ and I’ve kind of become accustomed to my role… which got me thinking…. Down Under, i.e. Basements, or Up Over, i.e Roof extensions…

Ok, so that was hardly the best way on introducing this blog, but it got your attention.. right?

We all know in recent years we have become less inclined to move and more inclined to improve our homes but if we are looking for additional living space, which way do we go? It has always been common to convert loft spaces into habitable rooms and is often one of the easiest to obtain planning for and cheapest to undertake, however now that many of us have converted our loft spaces, where do we go?

OK, so basements are not going to be as cheap or simple to procure but in many cases a basement is the real alternative to moving and more and more people are investing in extending downwards.

From a Party Wall prospective, this is great as it keeps us on our toes and up to speed with the latest pathologies and building techniques. I have recently run a seminar on Compensation issues surrounding Party Wall matters and raised the question over basement extensions during the seminar, as a result of which I will be arranging a Basements Vs Party Wall Seminar in October of this year which should prove to be a interesting and education debate. If you are interested in attending this seminar please contact me with your details and I will keep posted on details of the upcoming event. You may also like to follow us on Linked in.

One thing that has got me thinking is this, if a number of properties in a line of terraces have all created mansard roof extensions, at what point will the party walls be so overloaded that the next cannot undertake the same works without considering underpinning? And if underpinning is required, would it perhaps be more sensible for this owner to investigate the possibility of extending downwards instead?

In the future we may see a trend developing whereby one goes up and one goes down, and if this is possible or a real alternative, which property would sell best or be most appealing? Would the type of extension you have effect the value of your property or is space space when it comes to additional usable space?

It seems to me that there is a trend with Basements that is unlikely to shift and due to the extraordinary ways in which we can make an underground room a fantastic workable area, I’m intrigued to learn more, Perhaps a trip down under would help? If you like me, are fasinated in making the ordinary extraodrinary connect with me on Linked in and I will keep you posted on upcoming events.


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Party Wall Services Surveyor
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