A home extension is a big deal. It may be something that you have been planning for a long time, so as soon as we get involved as builders, we want to make sure that your home extension is delivered exactly as you had envisioned. To do this, we often ask our clients to think about the following questions to help prevent costly mistakes or planning faux pas.
Q1: Why do you want to extend your home?
This might seem irrelevant to a builder, but by asking this question we are often able to advise on a better solution according to the extension’s purpose. For example, whether you want room for a dining room or another bedroom, we’ll help you to make the best use of the space you already have by suggesting different extension options.
Q2: Is your home big enough to extend?
Despite the fact that your overall aim is to make your home larger, there are several reasons why your home might not be big enough to work with in the first place. For example, whilst not a legal requirement, your ceiling needs to be high enough to be practical.
Similarly, most local authorities will have recommended minimum room sizes which extensions must adhere to. For example, a double bedroom should be around 10-11 m² in size and a dining room should have 9.5m² of space.
Q3: Is your extension going to add value to your house?
Think about what the houses around you are like. If you’re situated on an estate of starter homes, then the chances are making your home into a 4 or 5-bedroom house might work for you, but when it comes to resale, would another family want to move into an area that isn’t particularly family focused?
You may not even be thinking of selling your house now, but you never know when you may want to later on. Future proofing your extension will mean that you’re far less likely to lose money on your investment.
Q4: Where do you want to extend?
Just like when you’re thinking about why to extend, whether to extend outwards, upwards or even below your house will depend on what you want to do with your extension. Once you’ve decided where and why, an architect or specialist extensions builder will help you to decide how, so that you can put your plans into action.
Q5: Do you need planning permission?
This may seem like an obvious one, but we still come across cases when a friend or family member has imparted wisdom to say whether an extension requires planning permission or not, without doing their research. Taking their word for it will only jeopardise your efforts, so take the time to find out for sure, or give a reputable builder a call and ask them to confirm for you.
Q6: Is there anything else that could get in the way?
As well as planning and building regulations, you’ll need to take your environment into consideration. This includes checking that there aren’t any restrictions on building due to being within a conservation area and also considering whether your neighbours are going to be upset if your extension will block any light to their property.
Thinking about these things upfront means that you can check, and if necessary, re-think before you find out that there’s an obstacle in the way.
Q7: Will you need different home insurance for the extension?
If you won’t be living in your house whilst you’re extending it, you may need site insurance or even unoccupied buildings insurance in place before work commences. To find out which type of insurance you will need, ask your builder or call your insurer.
Q8: Do you have time for an extension?
Planning a date for work to commence is the exciting bit and the area of planning that is never left out. However, planning when the work will be finished is both harder and less common. Many people will leave a project open ended and work with a rough estimate, which can leave you with an uninhabitable room or even house, for weeks or months. Similarly, you may want to consider plans for holidays or birthdays and whether being at home at these times is important.
To find out if the time for building work will be convenient for you and anyone else living in the property, ask your builder to confirm when the work should be finished.
Q9: Do you have the best builder?
Ask for recommendations from friends and family or at the very least ask a builder for examples of extensions that they have carried out previously. A good builder will not mind showing you what they can do.
Speak to a specialist extensions builder in Loughborough
At Abell Building Services, we have a fantastic track record in planning and delivering exemplary home extensions across Leicestershire and the surrounding areas. To speak to one of our extension experts today, call us on 01509 734550 or email us via our contact form