So your house isn’t big enough? If an attic or cellar conversion won’t do, a full-blown extension might. It’s cheaper than buying or building a new home, which really is the only other option beyond an extension to gain the extra space you require. Extensions can transform a standard sized house into a spacious beautiful home. With some careful planning and a trusted building company on your side, an extension can turn your current home into your dream home.
- Planning Permission. Do you have planning permission? Extensions are great additions to homes however; many constraints stand in the way. The first thing to consider is simple, are you allowed to build it? If the house is a listed building or in a conservation area you will definitely need planning permission. You can build an extension without permission provided you abide by certain rules but it is always best to speak with the local council and the Extension Company to find out the regulations.
- Space. This is a defining factor when building an extension. You must ensure you have sufficient space on your plot to fit the extension and you must make sure its proportionate. If you need a lot of room but only have a small space, then consider building a two story extension.
- Function. What is the extension for? Do you want an additional room for dining? Do you want to expand your kitchen? The purpose of the extension will give you a good idea as to the reality of building it, for instance a kitchen or bathroom will require plumbing work. Furthermore, will a kitchen fit within the space extending? This is worth serious consideration. If not, don’t give up hope. There is always the possibility of re-arranging the rooms in your house i.e. move the living room into the extension and the kitchen into the old living room etc.
Neighbours. The last but by no means least important consideration to take is neighbours. You must consider their “right to light” which will affect the parameters of your extension. If it will block the light that reaches them, you will have to reduce the height. Also consider privacy, when fitting a window into your extension, make sure it isn’t directly facing your neighbours. This would be troublesome for both of you.
Materials. Do they match the rest of the house? This is possibly the most important consideration. It’s the difference between having an end result that is a house with an extension stuck on the side of it, or a wonderfully complete new home. The building materials roofing etc. should all match where it can and if not it should at least complement the rest. Which brings us to…
- Windows and Doors. Do they match the rest of the house? If you can’t directly match the original windows and doors then again, at least find ones that complement the original. Also, consider light, how much natural light will the windows let in.
- Fixtures. This is important when the purpose of the extension is decided. What is going into the extension? Electrical work, plumbing work, plastering work etc. make sure you know before work begins so the builders can accommodate for these fixtures. Also any storage space, use the opportunity to have built-in wardrobes or shelving units, these not only look better, but allow for more free space within your new room.
- Heating/Ventilation. A massively important yet often overlooked aspect of extensions, will it be warm enough during the colder months? Will it be cool enough during the warmer months? Make sure you stress this point early on. Have a plumber check the boiler to ensure it’s capable of the extra work. Ensure the builders ventilate the room well enough to keep it cool for summer.