Steps of a Home Extension
Having an extension added to your home can seem like a long and confusing process when you don’t know where to start. In reality, however, it doesn’t have to be as complicated as you might imagine it to be. Learn more about the different steps involved in a home extension project to get started on your home improvement goals.
Is an Extension Possible for Your Property?
The first thing to consider is whether or not the type of extension you have in mind will be viable given your existing property. Consider if you would like to build a one or two storey extension, bearing in mind that this might not have a particularly significant impact on the price. This is because the expensive elements of the extension, namely the foundations and the roofing, will be common to both options. It is also important to consider any impact that the extension may have on your neighbours, especially to access their property and in regard to parking. If your planned extension could hinder this in any way, you are unlikely to be granted planning permission. Think about how the builder will be able to access the site as well, and how they will bring in the required materials. Consider how easy your property is to get to, and where the tradesmen are going to park while the works are being carried out - try to think of an unobtrusive parking area nearby, to ease relations with those that live around you. It is also important to think about the site itself: for example, if there are any trees with roots which could potentially be problematic. Look into the condition of the soil as well, to make sure that it will be adequately able to support the weight of the extension works you have planned out.
Have questions about the process of adding an extension? One option is of course to get in contact with people you already know who have had extensions carried out already to discuss which contractor they used, how much it cost, or any aspects of the extension work that they may have carried out differently had they been given the chance to have the works carried out again. This experience can be very useful to you, to help you shape your own extension to your own circumstances, and to avoid falling into any of the traps that they may have done. An architect will also be able to answer all of your questions about building an extension and guide you through the process.
Calculating the Cost of an Extension
Once you have determined that the extension is feasible for your property, the next step is work out how much the project is going to cost and how you are going to finance it. The cost will depend on numerous factors such as the size the extension, but a general rule of thumb to keep in mind is £1,000 to £2,000 per square metre. The price will depend on the quality of materials you choose to go with, as well as the scale of the work you intend to have carried out and your geographical location within the country. For example, the cost of an extension may go up to £2,500 or even £3,000 per m2 in London and the South East.
Your budget should also include professional fees for an architect and other professionals you may choose to involve in your project, so this is also the stage in the process to make those decisions. Despite the fact that you are not legally required to hire an architect for an extension project, it is strongly recommended for numerous reasons. In addition to providing drawings and helping you secure planning permission if necessary, an architect can help you find creative ideas to make sure your extension adds value to your home. If you want a coherent extension that adds to your home’s aesthetic appeal rather than detracting from it, and that offers energy efficiency for lower energy bills, maximum natural light and a spatial layout that meets your family’s needs, the right architect will be an invaluable partner in your extension project to make sure it’s a quality investment. In addition, adding an extension is also the perfect opportunity to renovate and remodel your home or even carry out a full refurbishment.
There are various options available for you to finance the extension work. If the extension is on a small scale, consider signing up for a zero-interest credit card, which will remain zero-interest throughout the duration of the work. For larger scale extensions, there are numerous loans available with attractive terms which are destined for exactly this kind of project. These are usually available up to a value of £25,000. If the amount of work you are going to have carried out is especially significant, you may also opt to take out another mortgage - there are home improvement mortgages available, which release funds to you at a predetermined date, according to the schedule of work that you have decided with the bank.
As part of this process, you will also have to decide what items you will purchase at which stage of the project. Builders will generally take payment from you at different points during the project. Make sure to purchase large items such as kitchen appliances in your name - this means that you will still be able to have access to them in the event the builder happens to go out of business. An architect may require ongoing payment as the extension process is carried out – it’s best to discuss fees how exactly this will work with them on an individual basis, as they don’t all have the same system for fees and scheduling payments.
Planning Permission for Home Extensions
Next, find out if your works will require planning permission. Small extensions such as porches and some kinds of conservatories may fall under permitted development and might not require applying for planning permission. For larger projects, especially front and side extensions, you will likely require permission from your local authority for the proposed extension. If you are unsure about this, you can consult with your architect or you can also make a visit to your local planning office, both of whom will be able to give you more guidance. There are also building regulations to be followed, to make sure that everything is constructed correctly and safely. This will be verified by a government inspector who will come and check the state of the construction.
Next, get in touch with builders and other construction professionals who will carry the works out for you, if your architect is not handling this part for you. It is very important that you choose not only a builder who has a proven track record and who will charge you in line with your budget, but also one with whom you get on well - you will be in contact with them for a significant amount of time, and relations can sometimes become strained as the process goes on. Make sure that this is also the case for the other professionals that you will use. Once this has been done, you are ready to get the work started.
Ready to get started with your project to build an extension? Find the best architect near you specialised in house extensions and set up a meeting today to discuss your home improvement goals!