If you’re expecting a new addition to your family, but you’re having trouble finding a new place that isn’t triple the price, why not try building an extension? With today’s property market prone to seesawing all over the place, staying where you are can sometimes be the safest bet, but if you want to continue expanding your family, at some point you might need to expand your home as well.
A proper home expansion, if done professionally and not to excess, can have a great effect on the value of your home when you eventually come to sell it. However it is important to get everything right when planning an extension, otherwise you might end up with what looks like a poorly constructed box tacked onto the side of your house and that is just an eyesore to everyone.
Follow this short and sweet checklist of what to take care of when planning the design stage of your extension, and what you need to think about before going to a professional or even the council with your proposed extension!
Planning permission is essential! Some people think ‘oh its fine, it’ll be alright’ but in reality if you do not obtain planning permission and the local council then order you to demolish the extension, you’ll have waste d a lot of time effort and money on nothing. You’ll certainly want to get planning permission if you’re prone to nosy or complaining neighbours, as you can bet they’ll have something to say about it if you don’t go through the proper channels first.
Permission normally entails you submitting a set of proposed blueprints to the local council, which they will then assess and approve, deny or request changes made in order to make sure it is in keeping with the style of the rest of the area. Be aware that if you are currently living in a period or listed property, the changes of getting planning permission are a bit lower so be aware of this when planning for an extension! Otherwise you may have to move after all.
Hire a Professional
Unless you have several relatives who are honest to god, certificate wielding, licensed professionals in building and engineering, always, always hire a professional to complete your extension for you. Although it may be a tad more expensive than a DIY job (honestly in the end it comes down to pennies when you consider the hours of elbow grease it takes actually building and fitting the extension yourself), it will be completed to a high standard with a guarantee that if anything goes wrong, your insurance will be able to cover it.
You could even go one step further and get a construction company to manage the entire project, where they will be able to hire out tradesmen to help sort out the central heating, plumbing and electrics for you in a package deal.
Central Heating – how do you plan to heat your extension? Do you want to install radiator? Or perhaps try something a little different by installing under floor heating? It is important to figure these out in the design stages because once construction is underway, it will become much harder to make changes without having to pay extra to change the extension as you see fit.
Electricity – how many sockets do you need? Where do you want them? What sort of light fixture do you want and where? Did you want a dimming feature? Again it is important to consider all these in the design plan as the electrics need to be professionally and safely wired up in conjunction with the rest of the house, so that you avoid any potential fire hazards or messy wiring.
You can’t plan an extension without also planning what you’re going to put in there! If you’re planning on using the extension as the baby room, obviously you want to kit it out with soft pastel wallpaper, colourful chairs and a beautiful cot.
If you’re planning on a slightly larger extension and the baby room is only a part of it, make sure to get a real idea of what you want to do with the space once created. Getting a rough idea of how the extension will be furnished before construction starts is a great way to stay prepared throughout the construction process, but it also gives you time to change your plans if you see the build heading in a different direction.
Proposing your first home extension can be a nerve-wracking experience, particularly if you’re worried about it going wrong, or you’re worried you might not quite have the budget for it, but it is a really exciting event. Plus, just think of how lovely the extension will look once it is finished, and then you’ll be right and ready for a new arrival when it does decide to show its face!
This post is a PR collaboration. Image courtesy of IdeaGo at FreeDigitalPhotos.net