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Top Tips when Planning a House Extension


If you are happy with your property but perhaps want to expand and improve your living space, then an extension is a possible way forward. From extending the kitchen, to adding a guest bedroom, or even creating a kids playroom, the options are practically endless.

But adding to your property is a big decision and one that shouldn’t be made lightly. To help you begin the planning process and ensure your project is a success, we’ve put together a list of our top tips.

Think about the purpose of the extension

Building an extension to increase the floor space is the obvious answer, but usually there’s a lot more to it. Consider who will use this space, what it is used for and when it will be used. Think about the surrounding views and sunlight, and what type of living space will best fit in this new area.

Be creative with your plans

An extension doesn’t have to mean you simply extend your floor space on the ground floor; it can also include a loft extension or the addition of a basement. Try to think outside the box and remember bigger isn’t always better. Harnessing the natural light and improving links to outside spaces can make any property feel more spacious.

Work out a budget

For any house extensions, no matter how small, it’s best to set a budget. As a general rule, start by allowing £1,000-£2,000 per sq. meter and then an extra 10-20% contingency to cover any unexpected costs. When meeting with construction companies ask the quantity surveyor to provide an accurate cost.  Don’t forget to include other costs on top of the build costs such as government VAT and application fees.

Take time to find your desired materials

Your chosen materials are what bring your home to life. Whether you’re trying to make your new extension blend in or stand out as a contemporary structure, then you’ll need to choose your materials wisely. Figure out what you like best and take pictures of your desired materials with you when you meet with your construction team.

Future proof your extension

If you’re taking the time to extend your home, you’re probably planning on living in the property for a number of years, so make sure it is future proof. Try to design your extension so that it works well with the current theme of your house—this will ensure you are adding value to your home. Think about how your family’s needs for the living space might change and what this means for the extension in the long run.

Speak with your neighbours

Talk to your neighbours well in advance of applying for planning permission. Try to explain your plans in as much detail as possible and your reasoning for extending your house. Hopefully this will help them better understand your proposal and limit any objections to your planning application.

Be sure to get approvals

Once you have your designs you can then secure any necessary planning permission. This can be done online providing you have digital copies of all relevant documents to hand.

You must also get building regulation approval even if you do not need planning permission for house extensions. All new building work must comply with the Building Regulations, which set out minimum requirements for structural integrity, fire safety, energy efficiency, damp proofing, ventilation and other key aspects that ensure a building is safe.

Plan your timescale

Extending your home can take longer than you might think. Along with build time, simply acquiring planning permission and building regulations approval can be a lengthy process.  You may wish to think about the time of year you wish for building work to commence, and take into consideration any holidays and events where you may want to utilise your full home.

Find the right architect/ construction team

Do your research to find a construction company that will understand your plans and ideas and help you put together your dream home. Plan meetings with them and take a look at their previous work to be sure you’re working with quality tradesmen.

At JVB we have a proven track record in creating high quality home extensions that add real value. Our talented construction team can extend properties to your desired specification, within budget, and using a range of quality materials.  We work carefully to plans and can seek design assistance from our trusted architect if required.

We are very proud of our outstanding reputation and have fast become the building and construction company of choice for residential projects across Surrey.