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How not to build an extension

With so many guides out there on how to build the perfect extension, we thought we would do something a little different and compile some tips on what you should avoid whilst trying to add value to your current property.

Don’t use unusual materials

When it comes to building an extension, people often tend to come up with innovative ideas that will really set their extension apart from those of their neighbours or friends. Of course you want your extension to be the best of the best, but bare in mind the building materials that you are planning to use.

Asking your builder to create something completely bespoke, or to use unusual building materials, is not always the way to go. Listen to their views and take into consideration the experience they have within this field. They will often know best and be able to guide you accordingly.

Also, be careful not to micromanage your builder. Yes, the job might take a little longer than expected, but wouldn’t you prefer that than for something to go wrong later down the line?

Don’t let the site get untidy

Anyone who’s looking to build an extension will very quickly learn that there will be a tremendous amount of rubble and waste created. You need to have an agreement about who is going to remove the rubble, and how regularly. If you let it all pile up, your workmen will have no room to work in, and it also creates a hazardous environment.

Consider your neighbours too – you may have had a tough job convincing your neighbours to agree with building your extension in the first place, So don’t upset them by making a mess of their driveway too.

Another thing to add here is not to let children have access to the area where the extension is being built. Not only will there be lots of dangerous tools in the area, but there are likely to be heavy materials and piles of bricks too.

Don’t forget the time of year

We’ve all seen those extensions that have been worked on in the middle of winter – when either freezing conditions stop play, or the rain just creates a mud bath for the builders to work in. Be sensible and think about what time of the year it’s best to build your extension – preferably not winter! As the extension progresses, more of the house will be exposed to the elements and this is much easier to deal with in the warmer spring/summer months.

Don’t neglect your furniture

Extensions create mess. Be prepared, and either temporarily move your furniture away from the area that the builders will be working on, or cover it up completely. Trust us, it is an expensive mistake to make when you’re left scrubbing the dust off your beloved sofa.

Don’t ignore planning permission

This should go without saying, but you wouldn’t believe the number of extensions that are built before planning permission is sought. Imagine creating your dream extension, spending thousands of pounds making it look perfect – only to be told to knock it down as you didn’t have permission from the local authorities to build it in the first place. Yes, it can sometimes be a lengthy process, but isn’t it better to wait a little longer for your extension than to waste all that money?

Take this recent article from @HarpendenHerts as an example. The historic building was knocked down before being granted planning permission for an extension! Now that is slightly awkward, especially as the building was listed too.



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Studio 2 4 The Highlands Exning Newmarket Suffolk CB8 7NT
T: 01638 662393
How not to build an extension