People get extensions put onto their properties for many reasons. It might be that they want to maximise the amount of space they have available to use in their home, or it might even be that they’re selling a property and they want to up its value and sell-ability in advance. Sometimes it’s even the case, that the person in question works from home and builds a studio or office onto the side – the possibilities are endless! However, there is a lot to think about before you even look into planning what sort of extension you’d like, or the design of the architecture itself.
Meeting Building Regulations
Before you do anything, you need to ensure you’re aware of the building regulations, and therefore can abide by them. Say for example you didn’t know what year your house was built – if it happens to be a listed building, then there are certain regulations you have to follow. Sometimes the more you know, the easier it’s likely to be.
Some buildings will require a number of things to be checked and to get building regulations approval on prior to extending, such as fire safety, structural integrity, damp proofing, energy efficiency ventilation and some other key aspects of general home safety. Here are just a few of the examples of the types of work that may need approval before taking place:
- Any new chimneys or flues.
- A loft conversion.
- A general house conversion, for example for a kitchen, lounge, bedroom etc.
- Any installations, such as baths, showers, WCS – anything that involves waste plumbing or new drainage.
- Any installation of new heating appliances.
- Any altered openings for new windows.
Meeting building regulations is in the best interest of everybody’s safety, so it’s crucial that you look into it before making any major decisions.
Consider Whether or Not it will Add Value
As previously mentioned, one of the top reasons people consider extending their homes is because it’s like to add value to its overall price should they choose to sell it in the future.
Of course it makes sense economically to ensure that the value that’s added to the property from the extension amounts to more than the expenses you pay out on the project. Yes, it can be difficult to know for certain, but a useful guideline can be looking at similar houses to what yours will be post-extension that have recently sold, and seeing how much for.
Think About How Big You Want it to Be
You’ll also need to consider the size of your extension before committing to anything definite.
A common mistake amongst homeowners hoping to extend, is paying more attention to the literal square footage that an extension will add to the house, rather than the actual size it’s adding to the house. Bigger is not always better – and there are many cheaper and more effective ways of maximising the space you’re extending and making it appear bigger than paying for a bigger extension. Choosing the right designer is crucial for achieving this.
The Designer is Boss
And that brings us to our next point nicely – choose the right designer, because they are indeed the boss. There are a variety of different designers for you to choose from in regards to the extension itself, and these range from specialist designers, to architects, to architectural technicians and package build companies who have in house design teams.
Research the type of extension or project you’re hoping to undertake, and find out who the best in the biz are in your area for this type of thing. Sometimes word of mouth goes a long way – so don’t be afraid to ask!
Factor in Any Restrictions to Access that Could Become an Issue
Last of all, think about this: if you live in a terraced home, regardless of the internal space of your property, the amount of access, and the ease of it at that, is bound to be limited for both yourself, and the team you employ to do the work on your extension.
You’ve got a lot to consider here. They need parking, and room to bring things in and out of your home. Likewise, if you share fence panels and the like with your neighbours then you may need their permission to remove these in order to make sure that there is enough space for all of the work to take place successfully. Not preparing for these adversities could result in the work taking a lot longer than necessary, so be mindful of this in the early days.