THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUILDING AN EXTENSION

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Although the cost of building an extension can be significant, it is a sure-fire way to add value to your home and will serve those looking to move away in a few year's time just as well as those who are setting up for the long haul.

As with any major project, there are a lot of factors that need to be carefully considered before any work on an extension can be undertaken. From initial designs to planning applications, supplies to labor costs, each stage of the process has the potential to cause major disruptions to the project if it is not thought through beforehand.

1. Design

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If you've designed the extension yourself you may need the aid of a designer or draftsperson to draw up your plans to submit them for planning approval (if required) and a structural engineer to produce drawings and calculations for Building Regs’ purposes.

Choose someone who's worked on similar projects before and understands what you're trying to achieve with the budget you have.

2. Cost

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Extension budget is one area where most people fall down, often underestimating the time and money that is required to complete the project. Adequately budgeting for an extension is one of the most important things to consider when planning a project to improve your home. Here are a few tips to remember:

  • You should be realistic about what you want to achieve.
  • Don't over-stretch yourself financially. Only take on a project that you feel you can comfortably manage.
  • Try to leave some money aside for emergency funds in case anything goes wrong or any changes need to be made.
  • While doing as much of the work yourself as possible could save you on labor costs, it will take much longer and the quality of the extension could suffer.
  • Remember if you are planning on selling your house that each month the project takes means an extra mortgage repayment that needs to be budgeted also.
  • Try to account in your budget for planning permission and Building Regulations application fees.
  • Set some money aside for the costs of decorating the new extension and any new furniture that you may need.

3. Access to the site

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You’ll need to factor in how trucks and lorries will reach the property and unload large items and materials. You’ll also need to determine where trades will park and store their tools.

4. Services

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Check your current services for the installation, you need to plan this before building an extension or renovating your home. Don’t assume that your electrical, heating, and plumbing will be able to cope with lighting and heating extra space.

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