The ultimate guide to building an extension
Are you struggling to find space in your house? Or perhaps you are thinking of moving? Most people will ask themselves these questions at least once in their lifetime. Moving to a new house costs money, however it’s not as simple as selling one and buying another. There are estate agent fees, legal fees and moving costs to pay on top. Unless you are unhappy with, the area that you live in for example, building an extension onto your existing house can be a more manageable and affordable option.
A clear and concise extension design can complement your needs and improve your overall lifestyle – not to mention the potential of increasing the re-sale value of your home! Here is everything that you need to look at before building an extension.
Contact an architect
Building an extension is not your typical DIY job, it is a big project that requires a lot of specific knowledge in order to be carried out correctly. First of all, you should get in contact with an architect to discuss potential design ideas. Although this isn’t essential, discussing your ideas with a professional can be hugely beneficial. It is important to explain every little detail of your ideas in order to get the best designs drawn up.
Before you engage with an architect, you must do your research in order to find the right person for the job. For example, it would be very risky to hire an architect with very little extension experience. You want one who knows exactly what needs to be done in order to fulfil your needs. Here at SpaceSix, our staff are specialists in residential architecture and have a strong reputation for creating beautiful and unique spaces that have a positive impact on the lives of our clients.
Figure out your budget
This is one of the main things you need to know when building an extension. Ideally, this should be done before you even request a meeting with your architect. If you are unable to come up with an exact budget for the project, come up with a good estimate. This will not only give yourself an idea of how you can allocate certain amount to certain jobs, it will also allow your architect to draw up realistic designs within your budget.
NOTE: Be sure to cover costs such as VAT, architect, builders and potential planning fees. At this stage, it could be useful to factor in the time it will take from start to finish, that way you are able to plan your normal lifestyle around it. We advise that you stick to your budget as it can creep up on your when you least expect it if you don’t!
Gain planning permission
Building an extension onto your house will more than likely require planning permission from your local council to do so. Other alterations to a property such as loft conversions may not need planning permission.
The Permitted Development Rights system state that home extension can be built without planning permission if they meet certain requirements such as height, width, where it is positioned and even the materials used. However, certain councils apply this policy slightly differently so be sure to contact them and even run it by your architect.
Choose a builder and negotiate contracts
The key to any successful house extension project is having experienced and reliable builders carry out the work. This is where an architect may come in handy. If you are struggling to find a builder that you want and more importantly trust, experienced architects will be able to point you in the right direction. However, do not just take your architects advice without doing your own research. Be sure to look at examples from previous work and consider word of mouth before committing to a contract. Get in touch with previous clients. Once you commit that’s it. Take your time!
It is recommended that you try and get quotes for fixed priced contracts from between 3 and 5 different contractors. Make use of your architect at this point. Get them to analyse the contracts and be sure that the work that they aim to carry out meets your requirements.
A few other points to consider
Firstly, it would be wise to think about your extension from an investment point of view, regardless of whether you want to remain in the house after extending. Of course you want to minimise costs and stick to your budget, but you also want to maximise potential profits. Before you start building, it may be worth speaking to a local estate agent who will be able to give you an indication of how much the extension would increase the overall value of your property.
When building an extension, it is important to let your neighbours know exactly what you plan to do, especially if you are extending close to their house. If you receive planning permission, your neighbours will be notified by the council however, it is wise to let them know your intentions from the get go.
If you find yourself looking to extend onto your house or maybe you want to convert an existing space, give SpaceSix architects a call on 0141 354 1376 for professional and friendly advice.