House Extensions: where to get started

House Extensions: where to get started

Our guide will help you get your head around the planning process before beginning a dream refurbishment at your home.

Should I be moving or improving?

Home extension can be a great way to make your home a safer place to live. Plus, research by Hiscox found that the conversion of a loft alone could add 10% to the price of a home.

Homeowners balance these considerations against the creeping costs of selling a home, such as stamp duty and conveyances, among others. With this in mind, it’s easy to see why 15% of homeowners wanted to ‘do’ their home in 2018, compared to just 3% five years earlier.

Securing an extension application

Usually, planning permission is required for new construction and major changes to the structure or function of the building. Despite the well-worn difficulties associated with obtaining planning approval, only nine out of ten proposals are actually accepted by local authorities.

Decisions on the approval or rejection of development proposals are eventually taken by local planning authorities. Less generally, many citizens have to request by calling the Private Building Control Body (BCB) – a procedure that includes applying through a private licenced inspector.

Once you have determined the correct approval for your own designs, double-check that the construction company and the architect you have selected are in agreement with what has been officially decided upon. If you need to make some changes after some construction work begins, things could get messy pretty quickly.

How to make an extension

When it comes to building your extension, you’ll need to determine whether you want to do something on your own or with the assistance of the architect. Another choice may be to partner with a construction and design firm. Unless you’re very enthusiastic about and experienced in renovating homes, it’s probably a good idea to go down the skilled support path.

How to choose a great architect and builder?

The trick to building a beautiful extension is to find an outstanding architect to help you make your plans. To do so, make sure you do a lot of research and get as many feedback and suggestions from clients as you can. This is a vital part of the process, even though you design the extension yourself, as you will still need a planner or designer to draw up the designs to get the planning approval.

Later on in your project, it’s just as important to find reliable, reliable builders who have excellent problem-solving abilities, as this could save you money on labour costs if something goes wrong. You may be able to start a quest on even a website, and it’s also wise to look for word-of-mouth feedback from other people with first-hand knowledge of the contractor’s work.

Home owners insurance and extension

Both the buildings and material insurance plans could be affected – and even nullified – by having work completed at home.

• Insurance of buildings This protects your home’s fixtures and fittings. Before you think about making structural improvements to your house, consult with your insurance provider to see if you will still be protected after an extension. You can need to change your strategy, depending on the type of work you are doing.

• Content insurance When construction work is taking place on your home, there might well be a higher chance of theft or harm to your belongings – it’s no surprise to think of all the doors opened or removed, and a lot of people coming and going to your house when the builders are in. It’s worth going back to your contract to see whether any of your expensive belongings are no longer protected by your new insurance.

If you notice that your current home insurance policy may not protect you at any time during or after your renewal, you will benefit from shopping around for a new policy. To prevent early departure payments for your new homeowners insurance policy, you can opt to wait until your current policy expires. Alternatively, you can need to get specialised renovation insurance.

At the end of the day, even though you are sure that you have adequate cover in place, you should take reasonable measures to prevent damage to your house. Attempt to make a measure to avoid any appliances or fittings from being dusty or destroyed. Tarpaulin sheets are very useful for furniture protection.

Financing the extension

If you’re looking at a larger kitchen, a new garage, or some other addition, you may need to consider your financial options to pay for work.

A re-mortgage is only one way to raise money for your project. You may even try to increase your current mortgage so that you can borrow more money in advance. You can want to do this if your current mortgage has favourable interest rates and you want to stick with your current lender.

A second mortgage could also be worth looking at. But it’s worth noting that, in addition to the long-term loan options to consider, there are likely to be fees related to changing your mortgage.

If you feel that the risks of taking another mortgage are too high, you might find that a specialised home improvement loan is better suited to your needs. A lower-rate personal loan like this can be one of the better ways to bank your extension. Read our article on how to finance your extension for more details.

Learn the steps of the expansion of the house

The extension appears to be broken down to the following stages:

• Foundations/groundwork

• Low-level work

• Internal and exterior walls

• Windows and doors

• Guttering, pipes, wiring and plumbing

• Grinding and plastering

• Light fittings, buttons and connections

• Taps and fittings

It’s a good idea to get acquainted with the granular detail of and stage of the expansion such that you hit the correct questions well before the shell comes up. This can help you prevent a few of the unavoidable complications that are so normal, but are not always part of the planning process for an extension of the building.

If you prepare well, you’ll be able to think about the fun part before you know it: painting and decorating your once-in-a-lifetime structure.

Contact us today to find out more about what we can do for you!

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