House extensions offer great utility in the form of additional living space at much less cost than changing a home. Leaving your current home can be even more difficult if you have spent considerable time in the neighborhood and love it there.
Before you decide to move, you should consider house extensions because some can add significant living space. Here are a few tips if you have already decided to carry out a house extension.
First things first- Get all the relevant approval
House extensions are of several types. These include rear, side return, wrap-around, and multiple-story extensions. Some of these may not require planning permission approval, while others do. If your home is in a conservation area or falls under listed buildings.
You will need planning permission approval for any extension you want to carry out. Rules and regulations may also vary from area to area. They might be different for House Extensions in Portsmouth than in London.
Don’t let this discourage you because since the government revised “permitted development rights”, many extensions can now be carried out without this approval. Regardless of the extension type, you must comply with building regulations. If you need to know what these are, then they are a long list of regulations about insulation, fire safety, plumbing, construction, etc.
Again, don’t let these regulations confuse or discourage you because the contractors or the construction company you hire will take care of these. You may also need to sign other agreements, such as a party wall agreement. Knowing these regulations and agreements beforehand will allow you to plan accordingly.
Integrating your extension
A house extension should never seem to be a separate part of your house as if it has been bolted together. The extension should be integrated with your current house structure to present an elegant and highly aesthetic appearance.
It is also essential to consider the extension’s impact on the existing utility set up in your home. For example, your plumbing network, electric circuits, heating systems, HVAC systems, and others should conveniently provide uninterrupted services to the entire house, including the extension. You will have to increase their capacity and coverage if they cannot.
Every house has a different layout and design. The same goes for house extensions. You will come across countless designs and layouts on the internet. However, house extension designs need to follow some basic rules.
The design should not be highly contrasting to the present personality of your home. The integration of the extensions with your home should reflect harmony. If your home’s current style is traditional and historical.
You can still create a modern extension with some elements of your existing design. It should also be mentioned that the style you can choose for your house extension may be restricted if you live in a conservation area, and you might need planning permission approval.
Make a realistic schedule.
Project completion time is one of the determinants of construction cost. Many construction projects would usually take more time than planned. It is, therefore, best for you to set a completion time. The completion time depends on the size of the extension.
The type of rooms you intend to build, and your contractor. Make sure you sit down with your contractor and identify a time frame instead of a fixed date. As the construction work begins, you can sit down with your contractor after every few days to review essential milestones which have been reached or which should have been reached by a specific date.
Be nice to your neighbors.
Nobody likes construction site noise and interruption. While you might be able to tolerate it because it is your project, the same does not hold for your neighbors. After all, they will experience noise and traffic for weeks or months. Therefore, having good relations with your neighbors is a good idea.
While building regulations ensure that your extension does not infringe on your neighbor’s house, you need to ensure that you are courteous. Tell them in advance that you must carry out a house extension and give them a timeframe for completion. You should also remember that if your property is in close proximity to your neighbors, you might need to sign a party wall agreement.
Move out temporarily
A construction site contains raw materials, equipment, dust, and noise. Living in an under-construction building can be a nuisance. Your privacy will also be compromised because a construction site witnesses high traffic from technicians and construction workers. If you can, try moving to another family member’s or friend’s house.
Set a budget
Budgeting for construction projects can be highly challenging. Take quotes from more than one service provider and compare their costs and services to the estimated break-up of all construction activities. As a rule of thumb, make a contingency fund valuing 10 to 20 % of your expected construction cost and set it aside. The cost will also vary from place to place. The cost of a House Extension in Southampton may be different than in other areas.
Finding the right people
The most essential part of any construction project is to find the right people for the job. A house extension is an extensive project and requires the services of several different tradespeople. Hiring them individually and then monitoring them will be impossible.
It is best to hire companies that offer comprehensive services. From getting planning permission approval to communicating with the building department, from designing to completing construction, all activities should be performed by a single company with their team.