There are lots of different reasons why you may be considering an extension to your home. Maybe you have a growing family and need more room, but don’t want to move from your current location. Perhaps you want a big kitchen/diner or more bedrooms, irrespective of the reason, a well-built extension can not only add usable square footage to a property but also increase its value.
Regardless of the reason for adding an extension, you should consider several factors before you start. Remember, extensions take time to build so be prepared for some inconvenience and disruption to your day to day living. Also, keep a firm hand on the budget, if not, before you know it you could be spending way more than you planned. These are the basics but let’s have a look at some of the practicalities, to help here are five things to take into account before starting.
Be Clear on Exactly What You Want
Having a clear understanding of the purpose of your extension is essential before you begin. There is nothing worse or more costly than getting halfway through a build then realising it is not going to deliver what you need. Be sure to plan carefully, and if necessary employ the services of a professional architect and get the plans drawn up to ensure you get exactly what you want.
Do You Need Planning Permission
Depending on the type of extension, some extensions will not require planning permission, while others will. Be sure to check with the local planning department to see what is allowed and if you need planning permission. It is still necessary to adhere to some building regulations even when no planning permission is needed. You must have this information at the beginning to avoid the disappointment and expense of having to change plans or even worse knock it down later.
Ensure Everything Complies with Health and Safety
Now, you may think that private developments are not always subject to rigorous health and safety regulations, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Do not put yourself at risk of problems that may arise from oversights. For example, if you are building a multi-storey extension make sure you use appropriate scaffolding. Construction sites are one of the main locations when it comes to fall from height claims, so you must do everything possible to eliminate the chance of accidents, by ensuring any contractors you employ have the appropriate cover.
Get Several Quotes
Getting many quotes is useful for reasons other than finding out who is the cheapest. It gives you a chance to speak to the builders and get a feel for how they work, how reliable you think they are and what type of materials they are planning to use. Remember your builders are likely to be around for a while, so it is important you not only trust them but can build a good relationship with them. A word of caution: cheapest is not always best and hiring unreliable contractors may end up costing you a lot more in the long run.
Speak to Your Neighbours
Your neighbours, especially the one’s next door are likely to be affected by any work you undertake. So, it makes sense you give them the heads up as soon as possible about what you are planning and see if they have any objections. An early conversation can help avoid difficulties further down the line. This could be anything from disagreements with your builders to more complex legal issues should there be a dispute on how the work affects them.
While there are more factors you need to consider when planning an extension, following these guidelines will make sure you don’t make mistakes.