If you have decided that building an extension on your home is the best option for you, then this is an exciting time! However, there are some things which you may not have thought about but will need to consider.
- Don’t assume you’ll be able to live on site.
Your home will become a construction site. If you can live with dust, mess and dirt then by all means, feel free to live amongst the excitement! But if this sounds like your idea of a living nightmare, it may be wise to source temporary accommodation. It may be useful to bear in mind that living on site can also sometimes slow the project down as your builder will have to work around you. We however offer the client some helpful options such as installation of a temporary kitchen if needed and construction of temporary walls which help to minimise dust and noise disturbances.
- Choose your designer wisely.
You will be working closely with various professionals aside from your builder. This includes, but is not limited to, architects, architectural technicians, specialist designers and in-house design teams so it is important that you pick the best from the bunch. A good designer will listen to and understand your specifications and requirements and should come up with solutions that you hadn’t thought of. If a family member, friend or someone in the area has built an extension similar to you then try and get some recommendations.
- Know the building regulations.
You might not need planning permission, but you will need to adhere to the applicable building regulations. This ensures the structural integrity, fire safety, energy efficiency, damp proofing and ventilation meets at least the minimum requirements to ensure your building is safe. You will need to think about this for any kitchen, bedroom or lounge extension, loft conversion, internal structural alterations such as the removal of load bearing walls, new drainage or waste systems and new heating, chimneys or flues.
- Off site construction may save you time.
If you are short on space or time, off site construction may be a worthy consideration. Cross Laminated Timber (CLT), oak frames, Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) and timber frames may be better constructed into your desired design off site and then delivered to site ready for erection.
- Set a budget.
It is advisable to set a budget for your extension to give you a rough idea of how much you are willing and can afford to pay. When setting a budget, factor in your location, your desired quality of finish and size of extension. Also set a realistic contingency to cover any unexpected costs.
- Don’t forget building control!
Before you begin to carry out any works, you must submit a building notice or a full plans application to your local building control. It is preferable to submit a full plans application in advance to building control as they can sign off the design, confirming that the design meets all the required standards before the work commences. Please be aware that if you choose to submit a building notice, you are liable to correct any work that fails to meet Building Regulations standards upon inspection.