Considering building an extension on your property and feeling apprehensive about where to start? Have no fear because I’ve created a checklist for you to ensure you’re covering all bases.
An extension can be a great alternative solution to moving house if you want to increase space for a growing family, improve the functionality and create a hub for entertaining friends and family.
There are many things to consider within the overall project, some of which are boring and important, and some of which are exciting and fun (being the interior design part of course!). And I’m the one to help you with that 😉
The purpose of this simple guide is to help you plan ahead and ensure you don’t forget the nitty gritty things that often get put off or forgotten about, giving you the brain space to enjoy the process of creating your perfect home.
Extension planning permission
You may need to obtain planning permission from the council depending on the size of your extension, however you can carry out an extension without permission if it fits within the criteria of permitted development.
Check the government website to see if you require building regulations approval.
Add value to your home
An extension or loft conversion is a great way to add value to your home, but be mindful of the property ceiling prices in your area when working out how much you are going to spend. It’s a great idea to speak to your local estate agent who can give you advice on what you can expect to sell your home for after making any alterations.
Have you spoken to your neighbours to get their views on that double height extension that will block the sun from their garden on a lovely Sunday afternoon? If not, then maybe broach this first with your neighbours to keep things amicable and avoid any disputes further down the line. Your local council will get in touch with neighbours for their views if you do have to submit for planning permission so you may as well be the ones to tell them first!
Make sure to speak to your buildings insurance provider to ensure your property will be covered over the duration of the works and once the changes have been made.
” Depending where you are in the UK, the cost of a straightforward extension should allow for around £1,000–£2,000/m². The standard of specification you choose will have an enormous influence on the build cost. On average, an excellent finish is 40% more than a standard finish.”Homebuilding.co.uk – How much does an extension cost?
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Will it be better for your family to rent during the period of the building work? Or are you able to zone off a separate area of your house so the disruption doesn’t cause too much stress. If you are renovating your kitchen, will you be ok with eating out/takeaways for 3/4 months or can you set up a temporary kitchen elsewhere? Really think about the practicalities and how much it will impact on your day to day lives and weigh it up against the extra cost of renting. This will be an extra cost you’ll have to consider within the overall budget if you do choose to rent.
Do you have suitable access for building materials to be delivered on site during the building work and where will the tradesmen park? This is often something you forget to consider! Be mindful that if you don’t have suitable access nearby, it will add on extra time to the project if workers are having to hand ball materials into the property from a distance.
Will your current heating and electrical services be ok with the extra demand for larger spaces? Whilst you can replace your boiler, it’s a great time for you to re-consider and look at alternative solutions such as under floor heating or more eco friendly options such as a geothermal heat pump.
WHERE THE FUN BEGINS!
Inspiration and ideas
Collate any images together or ideas in platforms such as Houzz idea books or Pinterest. This will help you figure out what style or look you’d like to create and will also help you communicate your vision visually to the professionals you’re looking to working with.
Hiring the right professionals
The suitable professionals that can work with you to create your dream home are an Architect, Interior Designer and Builder. Each profession will look at every aspect from a different perspective and all roles are just as important as each other. When working together they will ensure you get things right first time, reducing stress and therefore making the whole process much more fun and enjoyable.
Hiring an Interior Designer and getting them on board early on in the project is key. It can help to highlight any problems before you make any costly mistakes.
Designers aren’t just there to plump cushions and pick paint colours 😉 If you’re unsure of what the role of an interior designer is and how they can help in your project, read my blog 6 reasons why you should hire an Interior Designer.