Estbury basements, London basement company

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Estbury basements, London basement company

Postby SW11er » Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:33 pm

I was wondering if there is anyone on the website who has recent experience of either of the above two companies for basement conversions between the commons and wouldn’t mind sharing feedback or even better let us have a quick look at their work. We are considering using one or other for a basement conversion.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Estbury basements, London basement company

Postby tooposhtopush » Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:27 am

I haven't used them but have friends who have used Estbury and were very happy.

Good solid company and my friends are happy. I would say, as with all bulding projects, make sure you brief well and everyone understands whats 'expected of them. For example it's very common for firms to turn on the charm whilst getting a gig and then for you not to see the founder/salesperson again once you've signed so questions like "who is doing the work? Subcontractors? How often will I see a sitemanager etc etc" are essential but that's not a critisicm of Estbury more of the builders I used for a side return!

Sorry I've gone off on a tanget - Estbury are very good - very envious of your basement!
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Location: London

Re: Estbury basements, London basement company

Postby ricochernandez » Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:23 pm

Always go through the contract and proposed warranties with a fine tooth comb and if possible seek the services of a Chartered building surveyor to help you.
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Re: Estbury basements, London basement company

Postby juliantenniscoach » Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:21 pm

Whoever you choose, make sure you get legal advice, structural engineer or surveyor before you sign on the dotted line. Good luck.
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Re: Estbury basements, London basement company

Postby » Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:05 am

Hi SW11er, I know both of them, we are independent and specify/tender basement projects for clients all the time. We also advise on the Insurances which can be a mine field. Call/email if you'd like to discuss, Mike Lander, Director, 020 3637 0700
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Re: Estbury basements, London basement company

Postby actuallyadad » Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:02 pm

Just don't do it. Seriously. You actually don't need an extra bedroom or a play room. And certainly not a wine cellar. It's a massive hassle. All builders are annoying. And it makes the house so tall you can't be bothered to go up and down all the stairs so you just stay in the kitchen! Honestly I'd just save the money!
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Re: Estbury basements, London basement company

Postby cavendishbasements » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:35 pm

We would like to introduce Cavendish Basements, who has been providing high-quality planning and building services for residential homes for more than 10 years now and has considerable experience of basement conversions and basement extensions throughout London. We specialise in all aspects of basement work, from extending and converting existing cellars to completely new basement excavations.

Our Services

Cavendish Basements is a complete end to end service and includes:
• Basement planning applications
• Architectural Design
• Dig out and all construction work
• Structural Engineering
• Interior Design
• Project Management

Alternatively, if you have submitted your plans, we are in a position to offer you a free no obligation quotation, should you wish to forward a copy of your plans with the structural engineer’s calculations to

The quotation would be subject to a site visit should you wish to take your project to a full proposal. We are currently running a marketing campaign in your area, where your planning costs would be deducted from our final invoice.
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Re: Estbury basements, London basement company

Postby Boutiquemum » Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:41 am

Before selling our last house we went through a very long due diligence process of researching a variety of basement companies. In the end we landed with Estbury and were totally going to use them, but decided to sell up and move somewhere bigger.

My feedback would be, do your research. Use a proper basement company, so one that knows how to dig out a basement, there are plenty of builders out there who claim to do this but actually subcontract. Which may be fine, depending on how you want to approach things.

For us, Estbury basements were always clear that Estbury Basements were the dig out firm and Estbury Interiors were the fit out firm and did tell us that they were two separate companies. I heard very mixed views on the fit out side but great things about the dig out.

Definitely visit as many people as you can that have done it & spend time doing your research. Also you can have a look at the health and safety executive board website (or something like that) and that will tell you safety records of many building companies.

Good luck!
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Re: Estbury basements, London basement company

Postby MrsOctober » Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:53 pm

Estbury has recently finished a dig next door to us and our house (when it stops moving!) is going to need a whole load of repairs, redecorating and even a new front door. If you're a terraced house you must factor in those costs when you're doing your budget.
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Re: Estbury basements, London basement company

Postby ChilliPepper » Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:45 pm

Hi SW11er,
I have a basement done by one of those companies which I would be more than happy to show you.
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Re: Estbury basements, London basement company

Postby Nina_Clapham » Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:41 pm


I was in the same predicament a few years ago however after contacting a number of London basement companies we decided to go with Cavendish Basements and could not recommend them any further, we had a number of quotes
from other basement companies including Estbury but after meeting Cavendish Basements' Construction Director he assured me that he can beat their quotes.

I was extremely impressed with their approach. They created a weekly programme that included progress reports so that I knew what they were doing and what I was investing my money in. We had a foreman on the job throughout our build and their project manager was on site on a daily basis.
Many of our friends had used basement companies who subcontract their work out which normally meant trouble!

Cavendish Basements don't subcontract any of their work which was a massive selling point for us! All in all, it was a pain-free experience!

Wish you all the best!
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Re: Estbury basements, London basement company

Postby daddydaycarerocks » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:14 am

When we did our basement we had a few quotes obviously - it took months to even get a quote from London basement company and when I did they were 50 % more than the other quotes and very inflexible with the fittings (eg bathrooms) that you could choose. I also think they went bust a few times before and have subtly changed their name over the years - not recommended.
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Re: Estbury basements, London basement company

Postby sw18er » Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:51 am

You will probably find the prices for constructing a basement shell priced relatively tightly. If you go with a regular building team who then subcontract, then they will take a 10-20% margin on top. If you go for one of the branded basement specialists, then they have to cover the overheads of websites, marketing, project managers and salesmen, and a mark-up for the 'trust' you put in a well-established brand, so the price will probably come in fairly similar.

If you want to reduce the price, you could offer to take on more of the risks of 'unknowns' like the costs of moving drains, a high water table which will necessity pumping during the dig etc, but this can obviously backfire.

The actual costs the builder will incur are pretty straight-forward - a lot of manpower for the digging, concrete, steel, drainage and waterproofing. Plus a whole load of preparation work such as structural plans, party wall agreements, temporary works, parking suspensions, planning requirements such as drainage surveys, impact studies etc. Most of these are fairly easy to forecast. Because of need to do the underpinning in the right sequence, there is a limit how quickly the work can realistically be done.

The discretionary elements are the ceiling heights and the number and type of lightwells, and how much of the basement is under the garden, which is slightly less expensive to dig.

Where the big difference comes in is with the fit-out, as this depends on hugely on what your specify. If you put in a cheap staircase under the existing stairwell, use the existing heating/hot water system, don't move the electrics, use radiators rather than underfloor heating, only have a front lightwell, and keep the drainage requirements in the basement to a minimum, then your will save a lot. But if you want to replicate the sorts of finish in all the marketing materials (expensive flooring, clever lighting, wine rooms, rear glazing, feature staircases, rooflights up to the ground floor etc, moving around heating/electrics), then the costs will ramp up rapidly.

My sense is that you'll struggle to do a decent spec basement on a regular sized terraced house for under £500k, and you can easily spend more if you're not careful. When you come to sell, something with 2.4m ceilings, minimal natural light and a bland fit out is going to be a lot less appealing. It's probably fairly marginal in terms of being able to turn a profit on the project, and that's before factoring in the implicit cost of the 12 months + of disruption to your lives while it's planned and built.

Bear in mind too that in most basement projects that once the basement walls are insulated and built out, you can lose up to 15cm on each side to the width of the room - so you shell will 4.6-4.7m wide on a 5m wide standard terraced house. If your house is much narrower there comes a level at which if will feel very cramped, so is worth bearing in mind. Definitely think carefully about room layout and working staircases intelligently while remembering building regs and fire door requirements.

Going back to the original question, very few builders are out there to deliberately rip their customers off. Their quotes will be what they think they can do the job for and have a reasonable chance of making a 20% margin. Be very wary of those who quote cheap prices - if you go with them, get a quantity surveyor or your architect to really scrutinise what's included and specified (especially in terms of PC Sums), allow a good contingency, and check on companies house that they have a reasonable amount of money in the bank. Get a proper JCT contract for a project of this size, don't rely on theirs. You really don't want your contractor going bust half way through a basement, as no other contractor will want to pick up the project without a substantial premium for the risks they'll be taking on inheriting another builders botched job.

Get some proper insurance too - contractors liability isn't really sufficient to rely on if the worst happens, and standard policies may not cover work below 3 metres (you will be digging lower in a basement excavation.