Basement Conversions

More and more New Zealanders, particularly in Auckland and the Greater Auckland region, are adding extra space by lifting their house to build an extra storey underneath. With careful planning, your basement conversion will also add capital value.


Basement Conversions - Design, Lift & Build

House Lifters can Project Manage the entire basement conversion process for you as well as the house lift; from Design through to construction and levelling. House Lifters’ Directors, Rod and Stuart Moore, have a wealth of construction experience. Our team also includes Registered Engineers, Designers, Licensed and Certified Builders, plus a vast network of trusted tradespeople.  House Lifters is recognised internationally for our house lifting expertise, and all our house lifts are designed, overseen and signed off by one of our Registered Engineers.

With our 3-metre High Lift, House Lifters can lift and support your house, then build your new:

  • Living Space
    Whether the house was never big enough or you’ve outgrown it, a basement conversion will maximise use of your house and section. Adding an extra living space, bedroom/s, bathroom by building underneath your house can also be a very wise investment, especially in Auckland.

  • Rental / Self-contained Unit / Granny Flat
    Wanting rental income, a return on your investment? Add on a storey underneath to create a self-contained flat to rent/let as a holiday rental. Or gain extra space and privacy for a parent/parents to live with you, or simply for guests to enjoy.

  • Home Office or Commercial Space
    Convert your basement and turn your morning commute, into a stroll downstairs. If you want to work from home (or already do) and need a more professional work environment, build your business up, by building down. House Lifters can also provide Commercial fit-outs.

  • Internal Access Garage
    You’ll love the convenience of an internal access garage – especially on cold, wet days. Your new garage will help with re-sale value too (warning though - once you’re used to having an internal access garage, it’s hard to imagine living anywhere that doesn’t have one!).

  • Storage Space
    ‘A place for everything, and everything in its place’… Not many people can say they enough storage. By converting the basement into extra storage space, you can clear out the house, the garage, and if the section took some of the overflow, that can be transformed too.

basement conversion

How much will a Basement Conversion cost?

Following our initial Consultation with you, House Lifters will present a breakdown of costs (plus a 3D Concept Design Plan and if required, Engineers drawings). Factors which may influence the cost of the conversion include: ease of site access, if any drainage, foundation, repiling, earthworks and excavation work is required, and if we need to obtain specialist Reports and Consent/s on your behalf.

Basement Conversion Process

Initial Consultation

An in-depth meeting with you, and ideally, anyone else involved in your decision-making.

To create the Brief, first we identify your budget, then learn about your goals, ideas, likes and dislikes.

Show us what inspires you, and bring any existing plans - no matter how rough!

Concept Design Plan

House Lifters’ in-house Building, Design and Engineering team creates a Design Plan, Engineers drawings (if required), and a breakdown of costs.

We’ll present and discuss these with you in person.

Full Design & Consents

When you’ve finalised your Concept Design Plan and signed the Contract, House Lifters creates working drawings and a Full Design including Engineering, which we’ll lodge with the Council for Building Consent.

Construction Program

While awaiting Building Consent, House Lifters produces a Construction Program - detailing how your basement conversion will be completed by handover date.

Your Project Manager then has a Pre-start meeting on-site with our sub-contractors.

Basement Conversion Begins

House Lifters brings your Design to life!

The Project Manager will oversee the sub-contractors, worksite, Council inspections, monitor and update the Construction Program, and keep you fully informed throughout the basement conversion.

Basement Conversion Complete

When the property’s 100% ready to handover, your Project Manager will meet you for a final walk-through.

All documentation (e.g. Code of Compliance) will be complete, and House Lifters provides a Certified Builders Homefirst 10-Year Builders Guarantee.

basement conversion

basement conversion

Key aspects of Basement Conversions

Specialist Reports, Building & Resource Consent

Allow time and budget for any Reports (e.g. Engineering, Geotechnical, Soil) and Consent/s which may be required. House Lifters can organise these for you and we are unusual in the house lifting industry for also having in-house engineers.

Foundation & Piles

These need to be strong enough to safely support two storeys. House Lifters is the only New Zealand house lifting company providing a complete service which can also include foundation work, repiling, and ground stabilisation (underpinning).


Earthworks & Excavation

What your house is currently built on is an important consideration - for example, is it built on loose/unstable soil, sand, volcanic ash, heavy clay soils, deep topsoil, uncompacted backfill. If required, House Lifters can undertake earthworks, excavation, and ground stabilisation/strengthening - e.g. underpinning.

Drainage & Damp Proofing (Waterproofing/Watertightness)

To avoid dampness, leaks or flooding, it is extremely important to ensure there is sufficient subsoil drainage and surface drainage. Damp proofing is crucial - especially for any parts of the basement below ground level. House Lifters will ensure the basement conversion meets Building Code e.g. waterproofing of concrete floor slab and walls below ground level, with a continuous damp-proof membrane (DPM).
Learn more about Basement damp proofing: BRANZ website


Insulation, Ventilation & Heating

For a warm, dry and healthy environment inside whilst still allowing fresh air to circulate, install sufficient insulation to meet or exceed the Building Code, plus suitable ventilation and heating. When possible, also incorporate thermally-insulated glazing, passive heating and cooling into the basement conversion Design. 


To bring enough natural light in, it’s important to have sufficient ceiling heights, and a good lighting plan - which can include strategically-placed large windows, sliding doors, skylights, and solar tubes. Also consider LED lighting as an energy-efficient option.