House extensions are more popular than ever before. And, why shouldn’t they be?
After all, they present a simple way to remain in your current home while enjoying additional, liveable space you otherwise would have to do without. But at the same time, few homeowners take the time to learn more about their extension project and what it will entail before taking the plunge and getting started.
But, as you can imagine, this is a serious mistake.
Luckily, we’ve put together a short list of the 10 things you should know before extending your home. And below, you can begin your education to make sure that before any plans are drawn or ground is broken, you’re prepared for the process that’s to come.
1.You Must Understand Building Regulations
You won’t necessarily need planning permission for your extension. However, you must still get building regulation approval because you’re using permitted development rights for your extension.
Typically, home extensions, loft conversions, or even something as simple as the installation of a new heating appliance will require approval and compliance with building regulations. As such, you can’t just do whatever you want; there are limitations you must know and recognize.
2.Your Neighbours Have a “Right to Light”
You aren’t the only factor influencing your extension. In fact, your neighbours will have a say in matters as well, provided that your homes or buildings are close together.
The right to light means that you may not be able to block a neighbour’s window, but there are special circumstances and rules that apply. However, this is still something to be aware of, especially if you’re building up rather than out.
3.You Must Consider Minimum Ceiling Heights
Minimum ceiling heights are no longer are part of Building Regulations. However, there are still minimum heights you should consider for practical reasons.
Generally, all rooms should have floor to ceiling heights of at least 2.2 metres. This will keep your new space liveable and enjoyable.
4.Consider What You’re Doing to Your Current Home
Sometimes, extensions aren’t practical choices based off what you must do to your current home to achieve this space. Consider this: If you slice space off a bedroom to make space to access the extension, you’re not truly adding value to your home (especially if you’re simply adding another small bedroom).
Approach any extensions with the goal to maximise space and minimise disruption to your current structure. You’ll be glad you did.
5.Building Can Begin Within 48 Hours of Notifying Building Control
After giving building control just 48 hours of notice of your plans, you can get started with your extension! Typically, work will commence after you submit a Full Plans application that offers specific details, calculations, and the location of your new extension. This plan must be inspected by a local authority and submitted with a fee to get started.
This means you won’t have to wait weeks for approval either (which is a great thing when you consider how long construction can take).
6.You Must Think Through Every Potential Extension or Conversion
Let’s say you’re considering a loft conversion: Is it really worth the cost? With any plan, you should consider the cost relative to the amount of space you’ll add to your home. Doing so makes it simple to make a practical decision regarding whether you’re extension is actually “worth it.”
Naturally, your current loft or attic will impact your conversion plans and how much of a change you can make. But no matter what, take time to weigh the pros and cons of your decision before jumping in and making changes.
7.Costs Will Almost Always be More Than the Estimate
Remember, an estimate is simply what your contractor thinks the extension will cost. This is not legally binding and by beginning a renovation, you’re agreeing to pay whatever costs surface throughout the entire process.
When possible, obtain a quotation from your contractor. This price is the guaranteed cost of the project and is binding (meaning there will be no surprises along the way).
8.Extending Your Home Can Come With Complications
If you live in a listed building or are planning on using the new extension for business purposes, there are additional layers of complexity that you must address throughout the entire process.
This isn’t a problem but can make the legality of the situation more complicated (making this another important factor to understand before you get started).
9.Think About Balance
Balancing your home and the accommodations you have to offer is important because you don’t want to add another bedroom without adding a bathroom as well. After all, the useability and practicality of your home is much more important than simply adding “space.”
This means that when you’re discussing your house extension plan with a contractor, you should let their experience and expertise guide the decision-making and planning process.
10.Converting Existing Space is Sometimes a Better Option Than Building an Extension
While not every home comes equipped with a cellar or loft that can be converted, many do. And before you decide to build an extension rather than convert, it’s important to consider what you can do with the space you already have in your home.
In fact, conversions are often more cost-effective than extensions, especially because there is typically less construction involved. Moreover, a conversion can add better value to your home than an extension can. As such, you should weigh all potential options before getting started.
At Management Joinery Solutions, We Use Our Expertise to Make the Most of Your Home and Space
No matter whether you’re considering a home extension or are interested in a conversion instead, the team at Management Joinery Solutions can help.
All of our work is completed in-house, meaning your project is always finished on time and to the highest quality standards. Combine this with our extensive expertise and experience in Fife and Edinburgh and you have a solution that meets all your needs.
Contact a member of our team today on 07772608248 to discuss your potential house extension or how we can use a conversion to make the most of your current space. We look forward to discussing your options for expansion!