Friday, 18 December 2015

Thinking About A Home Extension? Read This First!

Sometimes, the home can feel like it’s bursting at the seams! Especially if you’ve got little ones running around your feet. When your family is growing, you need a home that grows with you. We all need our personal space, and the family needs room to expand. The obvious option is to move into a larger house, upsize to a bigger space. But, what if there’s an alternative? What about building an extension to your existing home? It’s worth considering, but there are plenty of things to bear in mind.

Photo source: Flickr

Why are you extending?

Before you start, you need to ask yourself why you’re extending. There are two main reasons why people take on a project like this. Number one, to add value to the property. Number two, to create extra space for the family. If you’re hoping to add value, make sure you do your sums correctly. In some cases, you can build an extension, without adding any value to the house. If you’re simply looking for extra space, then make a list of priorities for your new extension.

What type of extension?

You have a choice of common extensions here. One of the most popular is the attic conversion. It’s one of the easiest and cheapest to convert, but you’ll have to check if your attic is structurally sound. You could also consider a basement or garage conversion. The final option is to extend out into the garden. A conservatory is a popular option, or you can build an entire new room onto the house.

Planning permission

If you’re not altering the aesthetics or structure of the building, you don’t always need permission. That means some garage, basement, and attic conversions are exempt from planning permission. Having said that, it’s always worth checking with the local council. There may be other regulations and restrictions involved. If you’re building outwards into the garden, you will almost certainly need planning permission.

Design and architecture

Unfortunately, you can’t just jump straight into the building process. You’ll need professional plans and drawings for the builders to work from. Consult a local architect, and they will create scale drawings for you. You can even use their advice to include some eco-friendly home elements. Trust me, it’s a price worth paying to make sure the build runs smoothly!

The process

The building process itself varies according the type of conversion or extension. However, it’s safe to say that your life will be disrupted for a few months! If you’re extending into the garden, you’ll have to think about excavator hire and skip services to remove debris. You’ll also have to consider the length of the process, and how you’ll work around the builders.

The budget

I couldn’t write this post without considering the budget! An extension or conversion certainly isn’t cheap, but it is possible to keep your costs down. Create a strict budget, and stick to it [especially if you intend to add real value to the house]. Negotiate for every piece of material and labour hire, and you could save yourself some real money.

It’s a big project, but you’ll add a whole new dimension to your property. Good luck!

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