• Gareth Jones

8 Things You Should Consider Before Planning a Building Extension

Updated: Jan 3, 2021

Looking to make your kitchen bigger, or tag an extra room or two? Let us run you through the groundwork of building extension.

Making your house a home is one of the first things. Adjusting a house according to your lifestyle and needs is part of the process. A number of homeowners choose to extend their existing property according to their way of living. Extending offers great customisation and potential in transforming your home, adding value and much-needed space for growing families, but there are several – important – things you’ll need to take into consideration before thinking about it any further.

If you’re looking to tag on some extra space, know that it’s not really as simple as you are thinking of it. Here are 8 things you should pay attention to before signing up anyone for the project.

Planning permission

Before you go out searching for ideas and designs to incorporate into your house, it’s vital to make sure that you have the planning permission. Although the majority of building extensions can go ahead without seeking any permission, in some cases (such as height restriction or listed buildings), future plans can get hurt.

Referring to the ‘permitted development rights’ system or your local council’s website is a helpful way to go about the process and find out whether there are any such restrictions in your locality that could hamper your home sweet home plans.

The surroundings of your home

You’re getting near to the point of sketching up plans, but are you sure you’ve scrutinised everything about your space and its environment?

Issues such as surrounding trees, soil conditions, and any history of earthquake or flooding could cause problems with building extension, so you should take in count of all the other factors too and make sure you’ve checked them out before going ahead with the process.

Is there decent access inside your house for builders?

It may seem obvious, but it’s easy to forget how important it is to ensure that you and the labour will be able to gain access to the property. Maybe you don’t have a driveway, maybe you have a terrace house, and perhaps your ceiling beams are low. From Gateway to guttering, make sure you have all of the practicalities appropriately covered so that the extension can feasibly go ahead.

Do your new ideas match your home?

According to renovation experts at Complete Property Solutions, extensions should be seamlessly merged into the original design of the house. However, that nowhere means you have to match all the material exactly. Choosing a different period style can actually work well for your home, looking as if the house evolved over time.

Are you looking at the best spot to extend?

You might already have it in your mind, but is this the best bit for the building extension? It might make sense to demolish a shed or a garage to make room for the extension, or perhaps build a second storey on top? It’s usually more convenient and cost-effective to build over two storeys than one because then you don’t have to spend more on the expensive elements, such as foundations and a roof. Also, you can save your garden space as greenery is always better than concrete.

Caring for neighbours

Of course, it’s your house, and you’re free to build whatever you want in it (providing, as mentioned, you have the permission to do so!), but do bear a thought for people living next to and near to you. Even if you have taken the planning permission, it’s courteous to inform your neighbours at least about your building plans. You’d be surprised to know the number of neighbours who fall out over building extensions, so be considerate and have a nice, quick chat with them before construction work gets underway.

Coping with the dirty work

Indeed your design is the best, and the end product will look great – but the everyday logistics in the meantime can be tricky. For a dust-free life at home, moving out is one option, but that’s not always possible, so you have to take some steps to navigate life for some days. You can invest in dust sheets, move unnecessary belongings to storage, and even take the family out for meals more often so you can escape the mess.

Don’t forget building certificates

Once the building extension work is complete, and your dreams have become a reality, make sure you ask your contractor or builder for all the necessary certification, including electrical and gas safety certification and building control certificates. Without these, selling your property later would be harder.

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