How To Plan And Build Your New Extension

Tips On Planning And Constructing Your New Home Extension

Home Extension How ToThe Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) issued a 2012 report indicating the housing inventory continues to expand. However, many suggest that residents in the UK are staying in their homes longer than in the past. Statistics say that homeowners are now residing in their homes for about 14.5 years. Another interesting statistics from the RICS indicates that for every individual who chooses to build a new home, 15 persons either self-build or add an extension.

Extensions offer many advantages.

  • Avoid prohibitive stamp fees associated with new purchase.
  • No need to pack and move.
  • Remain in same school district.
  • Remain in same neighbourhood.
  • Government incentives for energy efficiency can help.
  • Can add value to the residence.

The choice to build or extend is personal but the above points are the most commonly mentioned advantages of building an extension rather than relocating, although there are many others.

The secrets to success with building an extension are to be smart, use a good architect / designer and always look for ways to add value to your home. One of the ways to increase the value is to improve the energy efficiency of the residence. In this light, many extensions now implement modern windows and doors with superior thermal insulation qualities. It is truly amazing what new sliding doors and glazed windows can do for a property’s value, appearance and feel.

The Extension Process

Like all forms of investment, there are good extension investments and extension investments that are not so clever. Adding value, increasing energy efficiency, budget and practicality must be some of the important concerns. To protect your investment, investing in an extension takes discipline, expert advice and an ability to work with local building planners.

If you are contemplating an extension, one prudent move would be to discuss the process with someone in the neighbourhood who has undertaken a similar project. For large extensions, you may need a comprehensive architecturally designed plan. The difference between an informal extension and a formal extension varies between localities. In any case, it is wise to meet with the local planning body to get input about the process and your specific needs. You must ensure that the extension is in compliance with all local regulations. In other words, do not build first and ask later.

Choosing Your Designer/Architect

Once you speak with the planning department, you will know whether you need architecturally drawn plans or designer plans. The plans will be one element in the overall cost of the extension. However, a good designer or architect can save a lot of money in the construction costs and add substantial value to the residence.

If you are unfamiliar with a good designer or a good architect for your specific needs, many suppliers are in positions to make recommendations based upon experiences. The selection of this trusted advisor is an important one.

Every extension should have a designer who is familiar with local procedures and codes. In some cases, the designer or architect may have to attend meetings and make a presentation to explain the nuances of your extension. The best designers are very familiar with all building industry trends and supplies and can make recommendations about cost and energy efficiency ratings.

Many extensions do not require any planning permissions. However, you should always keep the planning agency advised. Building Regulations are rules approved by Parliament and are designed to keep design and constructions costs at a minimum. However, there are exceptions and some variances between local ordinances. In any case, every extension will require a Buildings Regulations Approval issued by the local planning department.

Building control officers do not supervise work for homeowners. Their role in the extension industry is to ensure compliance with minimum standards. In most cases, a Full Plan Submission is delivered to the local authority, who reviews the specifications and plan. Assuming your submission is approved, the building inspector will use it to ensure compliance. If the submission does not comply, you will be asked to make changes to bring the project into full compliance. The inspector can also insist upon making changes on the site if work is not performed to the minimum standards as depicted in your submission.

Many homeowners use a designer to ensure compliance before during and after the project is constructed.

However, do not overlook the cooperative energy of your local suppliers. They are familiar with all regulations and minimum standards. They can also explain why sometimes it better to use quality products. Remember, an additional but important goal of this extension is to add value!

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