People build home extensions for a number of reasons, maybe you’re outgrowing the home you love, the home you’ve built with your family and maybe that home is in your ideal location, you possibly just need that bit more room and a house extension is a real option but you are unsure.
Maybe you just cannot find a house you want to move into so extending is the only way to go, whatever it is let’s see if we can answer a few questions you may have on your mind.
First and foremost think about your budget, work out what you can afford and maybe discuss your options with friends and neighbours who may have already been down the route of a home extension, maybe even factor in a contingency budget just in case.
Will an extension add value to your home?
For a house extension to make real sense it ideally needs to add more value to your property than it costs to build it, this can be a hard one to work out but a quick scour of the local market and a look back through the history of the local area can help here, Zoopla has a property archive that may help with this. This method can help you chop and change plans to get the project right in terms of both need and value.
Does extending an existing property need to comply with building regs?
In short yes it does, any substantial building work will need to comply with building regulations such as Damp proofing, Fire safety, Ventilation, Structural integrity and of course energy efficiency.
Unlike most repair work, most new building work such as house extensions, loft conversions, knocking down load-bearing walls etc need to comply with building regulations, this is beneficial for you too as you know the building is safe and not going to cause any damage in the future.
How big should I or can I build my house extension?
This is entirely up to you and dependant on the space you have but remember bigger is not always better, clever design can create better use of space than just going gung-ho and building the biggest house extension you can imagine. Think about exactly what you need and what you are trying to achieve and plan accordingly.
Bluebell Tip: Remember to take time to source matching materials properly, take samples where possible to help get it right as even a slight mismatch could be very noticeable.
Should I consider the efficiency of my extension?
Without a doubt you need to factor in how efficient your building can be, remember you are creating a bigger space than you already have so warming it and cooling it as well as cleaning it, decorating it etc will all become bigger, more expensive jobs in the long run so consider the materials used such as windows etc from the outset.
I want to extend above a single storey, am I safe to do so?
This may seem like the most natural way to extend your home but you need to consider the strength and capability of the single-storey building that you will be building on top of, can it support the load? There are options available to you here even if the building isn’t up to it, such as building a steel frame over it or by underpinning existing foundations but this could be a costly mistake so you should check thoroughly first.
I’m concerned about a sewer and some drainage?
If you are looking to build over or close to a sewer you need to speak with your local water board before you begin, it may be that a manhole needs to be dug or moved before you begin and this can be a costly exercise.
These are just a small selection of the things you should consider but there are also other things to think about such as will your boiler stack up to the extra need for heating and maybe a new shower or other water uses, are you capable of managing the project? After all it’s your property and you know what you want and how much you have to spend?
You should speak with a proper building company before you begin as they will know all of the ins and outs and what you need and don’t need, a building company will also be able to help source the materials needed at more competitive prices.
Even though there is a lot to take in and a lot you may need to do, the correct planning can make the building of your home extension a breeze and done correctly, extending your home can give you the space and freedom you and your family need and require.