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Home Extensions


A home extension can be a fantastic way of creating more living space for you and your family, without going through the hassle and expense of moving. Not sure where to start? While a house extension project may initially seem like a daunting undertaking, it’s completely manageable with the right steps and the right help. Learn more about how to extend your home below.

Home Extension Projects

An extension simply consists of making your house larger, by taking advantage of unused land or garden around your existing property, or even space above a garage or single-storey structure. There are many different types of extension you can choose, depending on the initial character and dimensions of the existing house, and what you have in mind aesthetically for the finished property. For example, you may choose to extend to the front, side or rear of your property, and build a ground level or double storey extension. If the land around your property is limited, another option is to add space by extending your basement or converting your attic. 

You may also decide to take the opportunity to both extend and renovate your home at the same time - this allows you to minimise the disruption caused by the works and can be both more efficient and cost-effective. As you’ll need to outfit and decorate the new space, it can be the perfect time to remodel the rest of your home. In addition, when you add an extension to your house, you may also want to make changes to the existing spatial layout to create the optimal living space to meet your family’s needs. Not sure of the best option for your property? The right architect will be able to take your vision and recommend solutions to make the best use of your space.

How Much Does a Home Extension Cost?

The cost of a home extension can depend on a number of factors. Naturally, the size of the extension figures majorly into the price, and you can generally expect to pay somewhere around €1300- €2000 per square metre. However, this is only enough to provide you with a rough estimate of how much the extension is liable to cost. Other factors such as geographical location will have an impact. Homeowners in Dublin can expect costs up to 20% higher than in the rest of Ireland, for example. Average quotes can be significantly lower in rural, less-populated areas such the Midlands, where the average build cost per m2 can be around 20%. Your budget will also depend on whether your extension will include a new kitchen or bathroom, which entails more plumbing and electricity expenses, as well as appliances and fixtures. 

The quality of materials and build are also significant factors in the cost, as well as the experience of the professionals you choose to work with for the project. The price can also be influenced by the number of storeys the extension will have. Some are surprised to learn that a two storey extension may not cost significantly more than a single storey extension. The reason is that adding the second floor is a simple question of adding walls and floor joists, which adds relatively low costs for materials and labour. The most costly parts of the build are the foundations and roof, which will need to be built whether the extension is one storey or two. 

When determining your budget, you’ll also want to bear in mind the value of your investment in the property if you are planning on selling it later on. A home extension can add significant value to your property, as long as it reflects the same quality as the existing home. However, it can be a good idea to check out the value of homes for sale in your area, as the return on your investment will be limited if you make your house more valuable than the “ceiling price” for real estate in your area. If your property exceeds the maximum asking price for your area, you may not be able to get back what you’ve spent on home alterations and improvements. 

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Planning Your Home Extension

The first thing to consider when thinking of extending your home is what the extension will be used for. Are you looking for a new kitchen? A home office, games room, master bedroom? Simply more space in general? Think about if this could be achieved without building an entire extension, but instead through adjusting the layout of the interior of your existing property. Once you have decided what the extension is going to be for, and what type of extension will be best for that purpose, it’s time to look into whether you will need planning permission for your project. 

Planning Permission for Extensions

There are a number of regulations surrounding home extensions, including limits on what size and type of extension you can build on your property. Some minor changes won’t require planning permission, but it’s critical to be certain of whether you need to obtain permission before you begin building, so don’t hesitate to check with your local planning authority. In Ireland, you will generally be able to build an extension to the rear of your property without needing to apply for planning permission, as long as it doesn’t increase your floor area by more than 40 m2, and the height doesn’t exceed that of the original house. There are also restrictions concerning the amount of open space to the back of your house, however, and naturally you’ll need to obtain planning permission if you share its use with your neighbours. 

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Hiring Professionals

Once you have determined if your extension will need planning permission, it is time to decide which professionals you would like to work with throughout the extension process, such as architects and general building contractors. It is important to choose these professionals carefully, since they will have an essential role in the success of your project, including its cost-effectiveness. 

Although you are not required to hire an architect to extend your home, it’s strongly recommended, especially when structural or planning issues are involved. An architect can also ensure that the project is professionally managed on your behalf, offering you complete peace of mind, and that the extension will be optimised according to your budget and the space available. Even though an architect may seem expensive to begin with, a quality design will save you money on maintenance and energy efficiency in the long run, and will make the whole process more streamlined. With specialist training as well as a wealth of experience under their belts, an architect will bring a significant amount of added value to your home improvement project. In addition, many architects work with a network of reliable builders and contractors to make sure your project is completed on time without a hitch.

Practical Considerations for Your Extension Project

Other aspects of a home extension to consider are the potential strain on the existing heating and electrical systems of your property - will they be able to take the extra draw on power or heating demands that your extension will create? It is wise to get this looked at by a professional before you start the process, to be sure to avoid any unfortunate surprises once the extension project starts. This could be your opportunity to carry out a general upgrade of your property’s infrastructure, since the required tradesmen will be in your home in any event to carry out the extension work. One common point of contention when it comes to a home extension is that the existing boiler is not powerful enough to provide heating to the extra space created by the extension. In such circumstances, you have several different options. One option is simply to add electric heating in the new space. You may also decide to install underfloor heating, which in addition to being more modern and efficient can also improve your interior aesthetically. Removing radiators can allow you maximise the available floor area, and in addition all the piping and other heating-related infrastructure will be hidden where nobody will be able to see it, beneath the flooring. 

You should also consider the services you will have to provide for the tradesmen working on your site. Think of things like parking, waste material disposal, toilet facilities, and the impact these works are likely to have on your neighbours. It is also worthwhile to consider the land itself and the effects this could have on your extension project. For example, you may have to decide what to do with inconveniently-located trees on your property, and it can also be wise have the ground your property is built on examined, in order to ensure that it is capable of taking the extra weight of the extension you are planning on building upon its foundations. 


Ready to get started on your home extension project? Find an extension expert near you on, and get in touch today for an initial consultation. 




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