ARCHITECTURE: Don’ts Of Planning And Building An Extension

Building Extension

When purchasing a house, a lot of buyers tend to look for the potential for improving the home over time. As a nation we spend £43 million pounds a week on home improvements. Landscaping the garden, making the inside of the house open plan or perhaps adding in an extra bathroom. Adding an extension though, is one of the most common home improvements homeowners make or strive to make at some point during the time they own their home. As well as adding extra space and looking fantastic, an extension could add a massive 22% on to the value of your home.

As house prices become more and more expensive, and nobody wants to move whilst it is unsure what Brexit is going to do to the housing market, adding extensions to the home is a popular choice. It is the perfect way to have a bigger, more beautiful home without having to put the house up for sale, and risk buying a new one.

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Building Extension

However, many homeowners go into planning and building an extension without thinking too deeply into the process. The process of adding an extension is incredibly complex and has many things you should definitely do, and that you should definitely not do.

To ensure you get maximum value from your extension, and to help the process be as flawless as possible, pay attention to these definitely don’ts of adding an extension to your home.

Do Not Forget How Hard This Is Going To Be

It is so easy to get excited about the end result, and breeze past the fact that the entire process is going to be rather stressful and difficult. It is so complex to add an extension to your property and it will have lots of different effects on your life. The money, the planning, hiring builders, living in the house through renovation – there is so much to it.

Do spend time thinking about the design, and about the whole process. Make sure you are timing it all right, and do pay special attention to the initial planning process. This will help to ensure your extension building process starts off on the right foot, and helps you to be sure nothing is going to come back down the line and cause stress and angst.

Do Not Skip A Detailed Design

It might sound a little bit strange to say that sometimes, people can go ahead on an extension without a design but it does happen.

The design is the most important part of the entire thing, and skimming over it or skipping it altogether and ‘building as you go along’ could well be a costly mistake. Have a professional to plan the extension for you, and work hard to tweak the design until it becomes the blueprint for your dream extension. Everything great grows from this initial planning process and if you ever find you are veering away from what you wanted, you will always have those concrete plans to go back to.

Do Not Avoid Budgeting In Detail

When you have a dream, or a big idea, it can be so easy to skip the process of budgeting because you think you have a rough idea of costs and you’re desperate to just get that extension built and enjoyed. Avoiding budgeting is a very very dangerous idea. You could find that because you haven’t spoken to your architect about budget, they plan an extension that is already too much for your savings. You might also find that there are added costs you didn’t know about, or you have a legal battle for planning permission which eats into the budget. You should have a budget in mind for the extension which the initial plans are created around. You should include the costs of potentially expensive additions or construction costs, like underfloor heating, beautiful external bifold doors, designer or high grade tile flooring, floor to ceiling glass, and other exciting trimmings. You should also have some additional funds in case things do run over. If you are building your extension to add value to your house, it could be worth looking into the value of the extension before you pay out, to ensure that your payout will pay back in the way you want it to. The Office Of National Statistics now have a handy extension value calculator you can use to get a rough idea of how much value your extension could add to your home.

Do Not Forget To Plan Out A Timescale

Renovation projects have a habit of running much longer than they should. You can avoid this happening by having a timescale in mind, and making a timetable to go with it. Consider using project management apps to do this, which allow you to include goals and multi-layered details all in an app on your phone. You can always adjust these times after getting quotes from builders, but you should have a base timetable you can always go back to, just like your plan.

Do Not Forget To Talk To Your Neighbours

Any heavy renovation work should not just go ahead without your neighbours getting a heads up about it all. It pays to be polite and friendly with your neighbours, letting them know there will be some noise and disruption for a time whilst the extension gets built. Having them on side means you won’t have to deal with complaints on top of everything else, and you’ll keep good relations with them, so you’ve still got that cup of sugar to borrow if you need it.

A Goal Without A Plan Is Just A Wish – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Your extension project is going to result in you having an extra room in your property which looks out onto the garden, that provides extra space for all kinds of things. Parties, romantic evenings in, a play area for the kids – there are endless possibilities. Just be sure to plan right and avoid all the key ‘don’ts’ of building an extension. That way you can feel safe in the knowledge that your renovation process will be as smooth and stress-free as possible, all with a phenomenal result that is your absolute dream renovation at the end of it all.

Images: Gerakas Apartments by Office Twentyfive Architects

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