The Main Things to Consider When Planning an Extension

An extension is a great way to expand your existing home, to add value and to adapt a property to suit a changing lifestyle. We appreciate that it can be an expensive and extensive project, here are a few factors to consider when planning an extension.

Style

Whatever extension you intend to add on, ensure the flow of space makes sense. While you may want a guest suite added to the back, it may make better sense to make it a conservatory that flows well from your living area. Also, consider the architectural style of the existing building. If your home is traditional yet you want something modern, be sure to retain enough classic features so there is not so much awkward contrast.

Timeframe

Some projects are lengthy to complete, for instance, if it is a double story extension that will impact on all of your main living areas. Consult with your builder to determine what reasonable timeframe within which you can expect the work to be completed. If you are planning to move out for the duration of the renovation or want to plan a party to celebrate its completion, understanding how long it will take will matter even more.

Budget

With any kind of home project, you need to set a budget. Knowing what you can afford will allow you to prioritise what needs doing when negotiating with your builder. List down what you want most so that it can be incorporated into the design first while still taking into consideration your set budget. Do keep in mind that this investment will likely add value to your home. Always remember however to include a healthy contingency fund of at least 10% of the build costs for those surprise costs – there will always be some!

Planning permission and approval

Depending on certain factors, you may or may not require planning permission or building regulations approval for your project. Permissive development builds have become easier in the past 12 months so this is worth exploring to see if you can work your project within these. Planning can be a lengthy process taking anything from 6 weeks as an average into months and even years if there are objections. The sooner planning is obtained, the better. Most builders will not quote for projects until planning permission is in place, and building regulation drawings have been completed.