Deciding to extend your home is a big decision, and whether you want to add more space or increase the value of your property, a home extension is a great option. There are several ways to increase the size of your home via an extension, including reducing your outdoor space and increasing your indoor space as well as basement or loft conversions.
Once you’ve decided that a home extension is for you, it can be daunting knowing where to start and what you need to do first. This guide covers everything you need to know about getting started with extending your home. This includes what to consider before you begin, the design stages, and how to choose a workforce.
Before You Start Your Home Extension
Any major renovation to your home needs to be carefully thought through, and there are a few things to consider before you begin designing your new space:
Are you adding value?
Your property is likely to be one of your biggest investments and an extension has the potential to increase its value. It is always worthwhile speaking to some experts about your plans to ensure they really will add some value, and how much more your home would potentially be worth when it is complete.
Do you need planning permission?
Some home extension projects don’t require any planning permission thanks to your ‘permitted development rights’. However, there are still restrictions and regulations that you must follow, for example, a detached, single-storey home can be extended by 8 metres to the rear, or 3 metres for double storeys. You will need to look into the regulations for your specific property and area before you begin your home extension plans.
Have you informed your insurance provider?
Before beginning any major changes to your home, it is vital that you let your home and contents insurance providers aware of your plans. Once you have an extension, it will increase the rebuild cost of your home should something happen to it. This means your insurance premiums are likely to increase, especially while the work is being carried out as it will be at higher risk of being damaged. Failing to inform your insurance provider could leave your insurance policy invalid, and you won’t be covered should something happen.
Designing And Planning Your Home Extension
Once everything is in place for your extension, it is time to start thinking about your plans and designs for the project:
How to choose the right architect?
While there is no requirement to use an architect for a home extension, it might be worthwhile seeking the help of a professional. It is often worth having someone in-the-know involved to draw up your designs and have their input. Look for an architect with plenty of experience in designing similar projects and meet with a few before deciding which is right for you.
How to brief your architect?
Once you’ve chosen the right architect for the job, you will need to give them a brief outlining your home extension plans. It is important that you provide them with as much information as possible, including:
- Your expectations and requirements from the project
- Your timescale for the project
- How and when you will be paying them
- Any penalties that will be in place if deadlines are missed.
Workforce And Costs For Your Home Extension
The next stage in planning your extension is appointing tradesmen, getting quotes and setting budgets for the project:
How to choose your workforce
A successful home extension is dependent on the team you choose to complete it, so it is vital that you choose professional, reliable and trusted builders for the job. Your architect may be able to recommend some tradesmen that they have worked with in the past. It is also worth looking through online review sites to find some potential builders to meet with.
When you meet with them, ask them for examples of other similar projects and ask if you can reach out to their previous clients for reference.
How many quotes should you get?
When you have a few potential contractors in mind, it is best to get a number of quotes to compare. Just like any purchase, it is good to shop around a bit. Get at least three to five quotes from different builders and compare their different prices before making a final decision. Bear in mind that it often isn’t best to just go with the cheapest quote, you also need to consider the quality of their work and if they are a trusted contractor.
How to set a budget for your project
Once you have decided on what you want and whom you want to complete the work, you can set a budget for the project. Write a list of everything involved and the cost associated with them. Always ensure you have VAT included in your costs as many workers and suppliers will quote ex VAT.