Every growing family has probably thought of this solution at least once. As the family gets older and larger, the demand for square footage increases. It starts to feel claustrophobic, and everyone wants their own space. So what’s the solution? Perhaps the answer lies in a home extension. You could convert the loft, dig down into the basement, or extend outwards into the garden. There are lots of possibilities, but what do you need to know before you get started? Today, we’ll run through the basics.
Why, and how?
First of all, you’ve got to ask yourself two crucial questions. Why are you extending? People take on this big project for all sorts of reasons, and they’re not always good reasons. For example, some families extend their home to add value. However, this all depends on the area you live, and the manner in which you expand. Speak to a real estate agent in your area before you spend a fortune on something that might not prove valuable. If you’re extending for space reasons, then consider what type of extension you’ll built. Is it a loft conversion, a conservatory, or a garage makeover?
Next, you’ll need to check with the local authorities about any planning permission. If you are altering the external shape or appearance of the property, you need permission. If your plans are likely to block out light or overlook your neighbours, it may be declined. If you’re considering a basement conversion, you probably don’t need permission. However, you certainly will need to apply for permits and underground checks and audits. Don’t start building until you have full permission to do so.
Set a budget
Of course, every major project like this needs a strict budget. Consider how much you are willing to spend from day one. Next, speak to an architect to draw up your plans to an industry standard. At this point, you can begin to get hard quotes from all the tradesmen. Our advice is budget an extra 20% for emergencies, as these projects have a tendency to overrun!
To complete your project on time, you need to coordinate the tradesmen on site at all times. You will often have brickies, plumbers, glaziers, and electricians all on site at once. You’ll also have footing excavation experts and waste removal teams to manage. It’s crucial that you find the best prices for each, and manage every trade effectively.
Last of all, you’ll have to decide whether to project manage the build yourself, or outsource this task. Project management means ensuring that everything runs to schedule, and stays on budget. It’s a demanding and tough job, especially if you have no experience of the role. Passing this job onto an expert is costly, but their skills and organization will often save you money in the long-run.
Building an extension is a huge project, but it might just give you the extra room you need. Use this advice as a springboard, and start looking for in-depth information for each stage of the journey. Best of luck!
Site last updated: 14. February 2019