If you’re planning on a new house extension, then there are certain things you need to think about before you do anything. It’s such a large endeavour that it’s enough to leave you feeling overwhelmed. However, do not despair because we’ve come up with a guide on planning the perfect house extension.
House Extension Budget
This is always an important one, how much money can you afford to spend? Sit down and decide exactly what’s in the money pot and how much you can afford to spend. You’ll need to figure in costs for a planning application, although this may not be necessary, and also consider architect’s fees. Once you know how much you can afford to spend, stick to the budget and try not to go over.
What exactly is it you want out of your house extension?
Are you planning on a new bedroom, living area or an extra bathroom for guests, or perhaps you’re hankering after a new office? Whatever it is, make sure you’ve decided first and you’ll see a pattern coming together of the type of alterations you’re going to need to make.
How long will your house extension take to be built?
You’ll need to figure in the time taken to get planning permission and approval from the building regulations office. All of this can take months before you even start doing anything. Don’t be impatient, once the build starts there’ll be mess, upheaval and interruption, so keep this in mind. Depending on the time of year, you’ll also have to figure in vacations, special occasions and time off school for the children, so be careful at what time of year you decide to have it done.
Depending on the nature of the alterations you’re having, you may need to seek planning permission. If you’re having a single storey extension perhaps, or certain types of loft conversion or a conservatory, you’ll need permission. Check all the regulations and make sure you understand what’s required of you before you do anything. You can ask your architect or builder about this before filling in an application.
We’ve mentioned an architect once or twice now, but your house extension may not necessarily need one, it all depends on the complexity of your extension. It’s not going to be a simply DIY job if you have something more sophisticated and have major alterations to your home. If you are, then you’ll need an architect to provide plans, plans which will have to be part of your planning application.
Will your neighbours be affected by the noise?
If you are going to be making some serious alterations to your property beware of the impact the noise will make on your neighbours. You also need to consider how the extension itself will impact on the quality of life of those around you, living nearby. Fill them in on what’s going on from the get go, so they’re fully informed.
Do you live near or are in an area of conservation?
Check with your local authority if you’re unsure, if you are then there may be strict rules on what alterations you’re allowed to make, if any.
Where are you having your house extension built?
Where you place your extension will largely determine on whether you need planning permission. It will save you time and money if you can extend within your home (a simple loft conversion is one example) rather than extending outwards, so give this some thought. However, if you want a one or two storey extension, then building on the side of your house may be the better option.
Find a Good House Builder
Always make sure you have a good builder, shop around, look out for the best one you can find. A good builder will have a good reputation, listen out for word-of-mouth recommendations and check that they’re members of a trade association. Look at samples of their previous work, at before and after pictures.
Plan Your House Extension Properly in Advance
If you plan ahead, you’ll have time to prepare for the upheaval. Make sure your builders know how much time you’ve allocated and that they’ve given you a clear indication of how long it’s going to take. Make sure they understand that they can’t over-run too much and that you have plans. Yes, it may not go exactly to plan, and yes it probably will over run, but you don’t want to be sitting in rubble for weeks or possibly months on end.