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Extending your home gives you the additional space you need, with the level of alteration depending on your specific requirements.
Typically, homeowners extend their lofts or add a conservatory for example. This is a major home renovation project that will require a lot of work and it must be done right.
We have put together the top six things you should consider before and when taking on such a serious project.
Planning is crucial before you start, and the planning stage will also involve you setting the goals for the extension. For example, are you looking to add a new bedroom with its own bathroom? Are you looking to extend your living space? Some extensions may require planning permission from the local authority, which can take weeks, so it’s best to plan ahead and schedule this.
2. Hire a Contractor or Do It Yourself?
There are pros and cons to hiring a contractor and doing it yourself. A contractor will assess your needs, keeping in mind your goals and objectives, and then draw up plans for the extension. They will also consider the safety of the resulting structure for your sake and that of your family.
The contractor will also help you obtain any permits you might need depending on what the project entails. The contractor will also complete the project faster because they will be working on it full time and they might also have a crew helping them with the work. Your contractor might also leverage their existing relationships to get you a better deal on the different materials you require for the project.
The main downside of hiring a contractor is that you will have to pay for their services, but it will be worth it because of how many things they do as part of the project. They will also be nearby in suitable contractors accommodation in London or wherever you are.
Building it yourself can be an option if the project is small and does not require extensive structural changes. However, it might take you much longer, especially if you do not have the skills and experience to take on a project of that size.
Additionally, you might still have to call a professional to inspect the resulting structure to ensure it is safe for occupation. They will check the structure as well as its various additions such as electrical wiring outlets and plumbing to ensure everything is okay.
3. Planning Proposal
A planning proposal is typically required for most house renovations, extensions, and alterations, but that depends on certain requirements. Permitted development rights allow you to continue with the extension without obtaining a planning proposal if the building will not rise above four meters and the extension is not more than three meters from the main structure.
You can hire a contractor to look over your plans and let you know whether you need planning permission because these are not the only considerations to keep in mind. If you need planning permission, there are other requirements you might have to meet to ensure it is approved quickly.
For example, any buildings with hanging tiles that are located within 200 meters of a water body require an ecology survey. These ecology surveys are done to assess the impact the development will have on surrounding wildlife. Ecological consultants will identify local wildlife and look for ways to mitigate the impact of your project on them and their habitats. You can talk to the ecological consultants from Ecology Surveys so they can give you a quote, do the survey, and ensure your planning application is approved.
The amount of time it will take to complete the extension will depend on the scale of the project. It might be difficult to estimate the timeframe if you are doing things yourself, but a contractor should give you an estimation fairly quickly.
They will check your goals and objectives and look at what needs to be done before, during, and after the development. Choosing the right contractor will come in handy at this stage because while they may give you a short timeframe, they will ensure that everything is done properly without any compromises. Additionally, an honest contractor will complete the work in the given timeframe regardless of whether you are on the property or not.
Setting a budget is one of the more difficult things to do when carrying out any significant work in a house. If you will be working on the project yourself, you might be forced to have a set budget and adjust it as you go because you might not know about everything you need at the start of the project. You will also need some additional resources set aside in case you need things you haven’t budgeted for.
When working with a contractor, you can tell them the budget you have and they will let you know what is feasible within that budget. On the other hand, you can let them do their inspections and surveys and then hand you a quote. You can then decide if you like the quote they have come up with.
Some contractors will ask you to give them a list of everything you need to be done and the budget. They will then work with you to determine what the priorities are and what they can do with the given budget. This way, you get the most out of your money and you can always work on anything that remains later.
A crucial thing to remember is to ask the contractor to tell you of all costs involved with the project. Get everything in writing to ensure they do not tack on hidden charges down the road. If anything needs to be changed, ask them to let you know so you can approve it.
6. Value and Reselling
If the extension is being added because you would like to sell the house, your choices and decisions will be different from the ones you would make if you just want to live in it. This is because in the former case you want the extensions to have features that will increase the home’s value as much as possible while in the latter case you might consider comfort and liveability more.
A home extension is a good idea if you would like to increase your home’s size. Before you do it, though, there are some things you need to think about to ensure the best outcome and that everything goes smoothly.