How Do I Get An Extension For My House?
Deciding to do a home extension is no small undertaking, but the rewards are such that they can transform your living space and add significant value to your property. However, the process can be extensive and may require a lot of attention to detail, so careful consideration and planning should be done before making any final decisions about the project’s commencement.
In this guide, we’ll explore the essential steps and considerations to help you navigate the journey of how to get an extension for your house.
What to Consider Before You Start Your Extension
A home extension should not only be an extension of your home but an extension of your personal style and taste. This means your design should be carefully thought out and possibly have a professional’s opinion. On top of the actual design, there are certain preliminary legal hurdles to overcome too. A professional architect and designer can help you work through these and get the legal stuff over the line slightly quicker.
Is an Extension Worth It and Does It Add Value?
Before diving into the logistics of an extension, it’s crucial to assess the value it brings to your home. Consider your long-term goals and whether the added space aligns with your lifestyle. Extensions often contribute to increased property value, making them a worthwhile investment in most cases. However, you should also take into account other factors like logistics and the timeline you can afford into consideration.
Understanding the planning permission requirements is a fundamental step. Check with your local planning authority to determine whether your proposed extension complies with regulations. Factors such as size, height, and impact on neighbours can influence the need for planning permission. As mentioned, a professional architect will be able to assist you with this step and help you to get planning permissions over the line on time. Should you decide to proceed with the extension, this is useful as it avoids initial delays.
Compliance with building regulations is non-negotiable. These regulations ensure that your extension meets safety and performance standards. Consult with a professional architect or builder to navigate these requirements and secure the necessary approvals. It’s best to consult with a professional on these as they tend to change quite regularly. Having someone who knows about all the regulatory administration in your corner will help to avoid delays and mistakes in the initial applications.
Inform your home insurance provider about your extension plans. Extending your property may affect your coverage, and it’s essential to update your policy to reflect the changes. Failure to do so could lead to complications in the event of an insurance claim. Before you start with your home extension, you should also consider adjusting your home insurance coverage so that it covers any damage to the main property that may be incurred during the extension. You should also consider getting liability coverage for any incidents that may occur on-site, although professional contractors should have some sort of coverage in place too.
Consider how your extension might impact your neighbours. Open communication is key to avoiding potential conflicts with those residing around you. Discuss your plans with them openly, and make yourself accessible to address concerns they may have. This will ensure a harmonious process throughout the project. You should also be considerate of when any construction work takes place, as some activities can prove to be loud, which is not ideal on weekends, for example.
If your extension involves work on a shared wall or structure, you may need a Party Wall Agreement. This legal document outlines the rights and responsibilities of both parties and helps prevent disputes when it comes to any land overlaps or infringements on property parameters. When conducting a home extension, it’s best to seek professional advice to navigate this aspect smoothly.
Finding and Hiring Professionals
If there’s one aspect of the home extension process that can make or break its success, it’s the team you decide to hire for the job. Engaging the right professionals is crucial and it’s essential that you feel as though your opinions are heard and that communication remains transparent throughout the process.
When looking for a team of professionals and contractors to work with, consider the following factors for each stakeholder:
- Architects: Work with an experienced architect to design a space that aligns with your vision and meets regulatory requirements. You may ask to see their portfolio before you agree to hire them for your extension, as this will help to ensure they have worked on projects with a similar vision to yours.
- Builders: Research and hire reputable builders with a track record of successful home extensions. You should try to check out at least two properties that they have worked on before you decide to take them on as this will give you the reassurance you need that they are the best people for the job.
- Structural Engineers: If needed, consult with structural engineers to ensure the stability and safety of your extension. If you hire a professional architect, they should know of structural engineers that can help you assess and verify the integrity of your home. Always ensure these are qualified professionals so that there is little to no risk of something happening after construction has taken place.
- Planning Consultants: Consider hiring planning consultants to navigate the complexities of planning permission and building regulations. This will save you a lot of time and will also provide you with assistance for managing the project. A planning consultant should always put your needs first, and should have excellent communication skills, keeping all lines open throughout the project. You should only hire a planning consultant that you completely align with in terms of vision, budget, and management style.
- Legal Advisors: It’s good to consult legal advisors for guidance on contracts, permissions, and any legal aspects of the extension process. Although legal matters surrounding home extensions are usually quite straightforward, there are some instances, like neighbourly disputes, where a legal consultant can prove valuable.
For a seamless home extension journey, explore BGR’s comprehensive design and architectural services. Our team of experts is ready to guide you through every step of the process, ensuring a successful and stress-free experience that prioritises your vision every step of the way.
How Much Does a Home Extension Cost?
Understanding the costs associated with a home extension is essential when you have to come up with an accurate budget. It’s important to note that prices can vary based on cost factors such as the project’s location, size, and materials required. If your home is located closer to London, for example, the price tends to be a lot higher for extensions.
Typically, the construction rate for extensions is quoted per square metre. This gives you the estimated cost of the shell of the extension. What you choose to do with the space will incur additional costs to you. The cost of an extension is also dependent on the materials you want to use to construct it. Bricks are a standard material, so you can expect entry-level pricing when using these. However, other materials may be more expensive. You have to factor in materials when considering windows, doors, and flooring too.
However, just to provide you with a ballpark figure, here are some rough estimates to provide an initial understanding:
|Type of Extension
|Ballpark Price (per Sqm)
|Single story extension
|£1,800 – £3,000
|Double story extension
|£2,150 – £3,000
|£1,800 – £3,000
|Side of house extension
|£1,800 – £3,000
Extensions by Purpose
|£25,000 – £55,000
|£1,800 – £18,000
|Living or dining area
|£30,000 – £50,000
Remember, these figures are just rough estimates as there are other factors you will have to consider when getting a quote from your designers and contractors. When obtaining detailed quotes from professionals, make sure you do some research beforehand to ensure that you are getting the best price possible for what you want, without compromising on quality. Getting more than one quote is essential for accurate budgeting. For best budgeting practices, you should also factor in potential additional costs for unforeseen circumstances and contingencies.
Your Home Extension Sorted
Getting an extension for your house involves careful planning, compliance with regulations, and engaging the right professionals. In this guide, we’ve given you all the tools you need to assess the value and navigate the legalities surrounding your extension. Communication with your neighbours and project managers is key to your extension’s success, as well as enlisting experienced professionals who will add value to the overall project.
If you’re ready to begin your extension journey, BGR Designs and our team of experts in the design field are here to guide you every step of the way. Get in touch with us today to get the ball rolling, and we’ll happily assist you with any queries you may have about possibly extending your home.