Basement Conversions' founder, James Little, explains why the basement business in London is booming in an interview with Hampton's Relocation Guide Chiswick
Interview with the founder of Basement Conversions, James Little as featured in the Hamptons Relocation Guide, Chiswick
Q. Tell us a little about your background and how you got started developing basements?
A. As a family business we’ve always been in the construction industry. We were working on a few refurbishment projects in London about 15 years ago and one of them included excavating and forming a basement under the existing property. It seemed at that time that basements were becoming a very popular trend in London. Once we completed the first full basement, we decided to create a new business that specialised solely in basement construction and never looked back.
Q. Many traditional building firms won’t get involved with basements - it’s a specialised skill isn’t it?
A. Yes very much so. The key is in the structural design and following that design through the construction process. You can’t cut any corners in basement construction. Knowledge and experience are paramount.
Q. What’s the most common usage your clients have for their new space?
A. We have created many beautiful basements over the years with a range of underground rooms from bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens and large open plan living areas to extravagant swimming pools, gyms and wine cellars.
Q. What is the most satisfying part of your job?
A. Two parts really, the first is on completion of the structural shell of the basement. Once all excavation and underpinning is complete, you stand back and look at a large open plan basement - that’s very satisfying. The second is, of course, on completion of the fit-out works and seeing a happy client.
Q. Do you work mainly with architects or can you offer the whole design and project management service?
A. We have our own in-house architects, structural engineers, geologists, quantity surveyors and project managers so we can offer a full design and build service. However, we will happily work alongside our clients’ chosen design professionals and offer our services as main contractor.