Pressures on housing mean that prices have risen dramatically over the last decade. For those with the space, it’s occasionally more prudent to build an extension on their existing property rather than trying to move somewhere larger. In this post, we take a look at a variety of factors to consider when building an extension to your home.
There are a number of restrictions to building extensions in the UK. Planning permission will need to be sought from the local authority in most cases, and this can be a lengthy process. It all depends on where you’re building, especially in relation to your neighbours.
One stumbling block in more built-up areas is the “Right to Light”, a rule that states your new extension must not block out a neighbour’s windows. Even if you acquire planning permission, it can be overruled by an accepted Right to Light claim. You’ll also need to consider building regulations when constructing your extension, as noted by Homebuilding & Renovating:
“Even if you do not need planning permission for your extension, because you are using permitted development rights, you must get building regulation approval. The Building Regulations set out minimum requirements for structural integrity, fire safety, energy efficiency, damp proofing, ventilation and other key aspects that ensure a building is safe. Most repair work is excluded from the Building Regulations, with the exceptions of replacement windows, underpinning and rewiring. However, apart from certain new buildings such as sheds, outbuildings and some conservatories, all new building work, including alterations, must comply with the Building Regulations.”
If you are extending your home in order to boost its value for a potential sale further down the line, you may need to consult a local estate agent. If your area is very popular with young professionals, your extension should reflect their tastes, because that’s the type of buyer you’ll be able to attract. When building an extension, you also need to take materials into account. Using the example of young professionals, they may be more interested in function rather than form. These are the kinds of questions you should ask yourself, since a sale will need to add more value to you property than the extension costs to build.
“It sounds obvious, but builders specialise in building things and architects specialise in designing spaces. Going straight to a builder means you miss out on the crucial design stage. By using an architect, you’ll end up with a home that’s right for you and that you’ll love living in. Remember, too, a badly designed extension can actually reduce the selling price.”
When choosing an architect, begin by reviewing their portfolio. It will give you an idea of the work the architect is capable of, and where their artistic tastes lie. Although aesthetics are important, also check out how large the building projects were.
Your architect will be involved in every stage of your extension construction, from securing planning permissions to monitoring progress and overseeing the project. Should a problem arise, a competent architect will know how to solve it, reducing the stress you have to face. They will also be able to tailor plans to your specific budget, meaning you don’t end up spending more than you planned.