Things To Know Before Building a House Extension
All new house extension projects are exciting! However, new kitchens, office furniture and other homeware are expensive, so in this article are some things to know before building a house extension.
The purpose of your project determines many things. If your property is your forever home, your own long term space requirements and features matter. Your enjoyment is the ultimate purpose and goal. Your home is in a great location that suits you, and you have no intent on moving. You might want to extend to gain extra space in your dream home. If that’s the case, then your project is about maximising your day to day experience.
If the project aims to increase property value, the purpose includes pleasing lots of prospective future buyers. Speaking to an estate agent helps you to estimate the value potential of your home and your project. Strike a careful balance between your preferred standard of finish and just how much the value you can add with your spending.
Perhaps you need some extra space in the short term, as you can’t afford to move. Plan carefully to alter spaces to make your property work for you.
Cost, time and quality.
The purpose of setting an upper limit on your budget is to save you the cost of design time. You want the final design to be something that you can afford. A budget isn’t just for the architects, consultants, and contractors. The spending limit is there to find a design that offers the best value under budget.
Try to be realistic and set an amount that you hope will offer you a return on property value. If the purpose is to make your forever home more comfortable, bear in mind that fashions change, and you might want to update your surroundings in another five years.
Also, remember that there is generally VAT on extensions and alterations. Builders fees, building control fees, professional fees and materials all add up, and they may quote net of VAT. You must add the VAT percentage on top to understand the actual cost of your project.
Typically projects can take two weeks to survey & design, up to 3 months to plan and submit drawings for building control for approval. It then takes about another month to secure the right team of tradespeople with a possible delay of another two weeks before each contractor can start.
Try to plan for the seasons. If you want your projects to complete during the summer months, allow plenty of time for the lead builder to schedule. So, bear in mind that your project incurs costs and time from the very first day of planning, so try to identify the most important things for your project.
Neighbours & properties.
Will your project affect your neighbours. Do you share a wall? Could your extension overlook their garden? Could they complain about the light? If there are trees to remove, who do they belong to and are they protected? Is the boundary fence, wall or hedge yours? Will your extension cast a shadow on their garden?
If planning is required, experience tells us that your neighbours are likely to object. Think about pre-planning and have a word with your neighbours as soon as you can.
Let your neighbours offload their concerns by listening carefully to the objections as they see them. Stay very calm and let them say what they need to say. They want to know you have heard and listened. Write down what they say and pass your notes to your architect. There may be an alteration to resolve the objection.
After your architect has considered the facts, your neighbours may still object. At this point, they will have to raise a planning objection to submit to your local authority. A case officer will decide what proposals are acceptable.
Style, Design and Options
During the planning phase, get ideas about the styles you like by looking at other online projects. Collect some images on a virtual board to share with your architect.
Try to think beyond the extension to integrate the extra space with the rest of your property. Depending on your plans, you may need to budget for improvements to the general area.
For example, if you are creating a new space that leads directly onto the garden, you may want to save some money to improve the garden to be proud of the whole finished look. It is the perfect time to make mess and disturbance to get all the improvements done together.
Is the development Sustainable?
Is the property development sustainable? Perhaps use the opportunity to improve thermal performance and lower your running costs. Look at ventilation, windows, and ceiling or loft insulation. Older properties may have the most to gain, but some modern builds can also have inefficiencies. It’s time to think about cavity wall insulation, loft Insulation, energy-efficient windows, new thermal efficient doors, boiler & radiator upgrades, solar panels, ground source & air heat pumps.
Ask your architect to advise on the best strategies to make your home more comfortable.
If you have any things you need to know before building a house extension, you can ask us. Let’s get your project started!
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