Finally getting round to starting that home extension you’re always dreamed of? Here’s a few things you might want to consider!
- Neighbour consultation scheme
If you intend to build a large single story rear extension between 4 and 8m (for a detached house) or between 3 and 6m for any other house, you can typically do so under Permitted Development (PD). But you’ll likely need to go through Neighbour Consultation Scheme, which is a prior approval process for large extensions. You must notify your local authority for your intention to build a large extension and they will then notify your adjoining neighbours and consult them about the planned extension.
- Consider ceiling value
The general rule of thumb is the balance amount you’re willing to spend on your extension with the estimated value it will add to your home. Costs are based on the size and the build quality you choose. You need a roof and foundations whether you’re building a single two-story extension so aside from interior fixtures and finished you’re only adding more walls and floors so it can work out cheaper per metre squared to build a larger and/two-story extension.
- The build route
The build route is all about how your project is managed and the route you will take on bearing costs. You can go all out and build and extension on a DIY basis employing help when needed, you can project manage the build and employ contractors, hire a project manager – the choices are endless!
- Insurance cover
Make sure you tell your home insurance company that you’re going to be carrying out some work as some policies do not cover this and your builder’s insurance might not either.
- Consider the impact on the existing plan
When kicking out the footprint of your house avoid adding ‘bolt-on’ extensions. In other words, the new space should feel like it is an integral part of the house and shouldn’t render existing rooms redundant.
- Living on site
Don’t underestimate how much dust and debris will enter your home during an extension. Most builders will leave the tack of knocking through until as late as possible, usually once the extension is watertight but that won’t stop the disruption to the tidiness of your home. Think about whether you think you can cope with the mess, or whether you can afford to move out during the build process.
- Access to site
If you’re extending a terrace or semi detached home it’s worth giving some thought to access – parking for tradespeople, deliveries, unloading materials and skips will all need to be factored it. Consider letting your neighbours know about the disruption too!
- Check your services
Extending will mean adding lighting, electrical points, heating and maybe even provision for hot water, so it’s important to look at the services during the design stage. Get any additional work done during first fix stage and get an idea of costs early.
- Consider massing
When it comes to the design of your extension, consider massing – the size and scale. You don’t want it dwarfing your existing home or neighbouring properties and consider the roof line too – a flat roof may not work well with a single-story property.
- Lights on glazing
Be aware the building regs do impose a limit on the amount of glazed windows during extensions. The area of roof windows, glazed doors and windows can’t exceed 25% of the extension’s floor area.
- Planning conditions
Approval from planning doesn’t mean you have al;l the approvals to start your build. Planning conditions can limit the types of materials you are allowed to use, especially if you are in a conservation area, so it’s worth having a conversation with a local architect and planners about this first.
- Checking foundations
The depth you need to excavate down will depend on a number of factors, digging trial holes is a way of looking at the existing foundations, exposing the intended path of the extension to help reveal soil conditions and hidden pipes.
- Dealing with trees
Roots can be a structural problem, so check if they run under the proposed trajectory and check for Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) too – this will help you avoid hefty fines.
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