What You Need to Know Before Planning a Home Extension
An old adage states that your home is your castle, but an even newer one – penned for the first time ever in this very article – notes that even the most superlative castle could probably benefit from the addition of an extension.
However, deciding that you want an extension is only the beginning of the process; there is planning that must be done, there are things you need to know, and there are calls you will have to make.
So, with that in mind, and without any further ado, let’s take a look at exactly what you need to know prior to getting an extension added to your home.
- The initial considerations
If the work that is to be carried out will involve any form of digging, requires foundations to be built, or will see you making use of a shared wall, then you will very likely have to ensure that you are in complete compliance with the necessary legislation for your area.
It is also worth thinking carefully about how easy it will be for workers to access the site. Is there a place for materials and various tools to be stored? Will workers be able to manoeuvre machinery without difficulty? Is there a place where lorries or vans can be parked so that items can be unloaded easily?
- Get your insurance in order
You definitely need to ensure that you get in touch with your insurance provider and see if you can be covered while the work is ongoing. Some insurers will, undoubtedly, refuse to offer specific cover with regard to this, though others have a range of packages that will support you financially should something go amiss.
- Planning permissions
Of course, if you want to get an extension added to your property, you need to consider planning permissions. Sometimes planning permission will not be required, but it is absolutely worth checking this out before committing to any work. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that it’s okay to apply for permission afterwards, either – retrospective planning permission applications can be very risky. Research from Churchill reveals that 12% of such applications are turned down, leaving homeowners in the unfortunate position of having to remove the extension they’ve already paid for.
The same research also reveals what the most common retrospective planning applications are made for – and the results might surprise you. Single floor extensions were the most popular form of extension, followed by double-floor extensions, loft conversions, and then garage conversions.
- What sort of design you want
Are you aware of what sort of extension you actually want? Have you considered the functions it will have to carry out, the size it’s going to be, how it’s going to impact the size of your garden, and what sort of impact it is liable to have on the overall value of your property?
Sometimes it can be difficult to know exactly what sort of design you require – it is, after all, not something you’ll generally be used to thinking about on a routine basis – so don’t be afraid to ask for advice from experts who have been in the game for a long time.
- How much you’re willing to spend
Of course, it is absolutely essential that you know how much you can afford – are you working on a tight budget? This will not only ensure that you don’t end up facing unnecessary debt, but will also give you an idea of what sort of extension you can likely obtain for your money.
- Managing work
You also need to be very aware of how any work will be managed while it is happening. Is this something you want to do yourself? Would you rather use a design company? Are you going to hire a subcontractor? Should you get a project manager? It is vital that you think about this because it is essential to every successful build to get such details nailed down.
Planning an extension to your home can, of course, be very exciting. But don’t get carried away – with the right research and preparation, the whole process is likely to go much more smoothly!