Extending your house has always been a popular and exciting option and never more so than in the current financial climate. People are increasingly looking for alternative ways of refreshing and improving their lifestyles than having to up-sticks and move house with all the upheaval, hard work and expense that usually entails. Before deciding to build an extension it is important to consider a number of things and maybe do a little research to ensure a trouble free and successful result.
There are several reasons you might want to extend your house. Perhaps you need more space as your family is growing and you need an extra room or rooms. Maybe you have decided to work from home but need somewhere to use as an office, a playroom or perhaps you dream of a larger, luxurious kitchen. If the idea of moving house is too stressful, you will be probably be thinking about building an extension. Quite apart from all the other benefits, an extension can add value to your home. Whatever your motives are for building an extension you will need to consider some basic facts about how to approach extending your house.
Unless you are a builder yourself, or very confident in your talent at picking things up or following instructions, you will probably think about approaching a builder or a company that specialises in house extensions. Builders such as SJP Builders offer a complete package from designing and drawing up plans to completing the building work, obtaining the required certifications and finishing off. There are quite a lot of considerations involved so finding a builder that will take control of everything can save a lot of unnecessary stress.
Once you have decided on what type of extension you would like, where it should be and if you have enough extra land to accommodate it, you may wish to discuss the building plan with your neighbour. They will be consulted about the plans by the council in any case, so they may as well hear about it, informally, from you.
When you have had your plans drawn up, the next step, before any building activity can be considered, is to submit the building plans to your local council’s planning department. This process can be daunting and time consuming for the novice. This is one very good reason to appoint a Design & Build specialist such as SJP Builders. Such contractors have the experience to liaise with the planning officer to quickly and inexpensively respond to any issues raised to the building proposals.
You might think this seems like a bit of a nuisance but planning departments usually try to be helpful and accommodating. This first step can really help to avoid the possibility of frustration, inconvenience and upset further down the line when building is underway. Building Regulations also have to be considered. Building Regs are there not as an inconvenience but primarily to ensure the health and safety of those people occupying the building.
You should also take time to discuss with your builder your hopes, expectations and concerns. There may be questions relating to where your extension is situated and the suitability of this. Your builder can suggest ideas give advice and tips on aspects such as electricity, gas, drainage, windows, layout and help you to judge what your best choices are.
You will need a written, itemised quotation from your builder of the cost of building your extension. You will need to see the expected building time scale and possible start date plus any inconvenience it is likely to cause, as you will need to plan how to minimise the disruption to daily life as building progresses. It is advisable to try to obtain references and feedback from previous customers of the builder you choose, to ensure a professional experience.
When evaluating the quotations you receive for building your house extension, it is not always wise to accept the lowest quotation simply because it is the lowest. You need to ask yourself ‘Do I feel totally comfortable with the builder I am about to select’. Unless the answer is yes, don’t do it – you could end up literally ‘paying the price’ further down the line.
Once all of these considerations have been taken into account you can sit back relax and decide how you will decorate and furnish your new dwelling.
For details of the Design & Build service offered by SJP Builders, please visit Design & Build.