Perhaps your family is growing, or maybe you have some savings that you are keen to invest in your property; whatever your motivation for extending, make sure to thoroughly research the project before you spend any money. It seems that most people you talk to have a building horror story to tell. Whether they hired a rogue firm, or their neighbor’s new conservatory collapsed after two months, make sure that whatever happens your home improvements don’t end in disaster. With so many things to consider it can seem hard to know where to begin! Try here:
The first thing you must figure out is what the application process is for building construction or alteration is like. Before you spend money on an architect or plans, assess how likely you will be to get permission. In most cases, altering an existing building requires a permit. Do not get trapped by an illegal extension, you may be forced to take it down.
- Get Inspired
Before any plans are drawn up you must decide what kind of extension you are looking for, remember this will have permit implications. If you want a two-story extension, look around at what other local homeowners have done to similar properties. Maybe you like the idea of a conservatory, or a glass fronted building. Do a bit of research to see what works and what doesn’t. Make sure that whatever you are planning, you are not going to be overlooked by the neighbors.
- Get help with the Plans
Unless you are a qualified tradesperson, don’t try to save money by doing the plans yourself. Even for a simple building, the calculations are complex and if done wrong, could lead to a nightmare situation for you and your family. If you are planning to extend across multiple floors, or if the proposed work will interfere with the weight bearing of the original structure, you will need a qualified structural engineer to conduct a thorough survey. Although it is tempting to try and cut costs when building an extension, doing so could cost you money and potentially put you in danger. If you are going to do it, make sure you do it properly.
- Careful of over-improving
When extending your home, it is easy to assume that bigger is better. But nothing feels less welcoming than a vast, unfurnished space that looks spliced onto the original structure. While it might be true generally that a larger house has a higher sale price, this is not always the case. If your new extension eats away at the yard, for example, it might put off potential buyers with families or keen gardeners. Furthermore, is your proposed extension in line with the houses in your neighborhood? Watch out for the pitfalls of over-improving.
- Go Slow
The best thing you can do when looking to extend your home is relax and take it as slowly as possible. Make sure you have considered all the possibilities and eventualities before making any decisions, if you rush through the details you might find yourself in a difficult situation. It is often the case that by trying to save time or work quickly, things are not done properly. Remember, the tortoise wins the race in the end.