There are many reasons why we choose to extend our homes. Perhaps you’re short on space to accommodate a growing family, maybe you have one eye on selling your home in the future and wish to maximise your investment profit or are tired of having to queue for the bathroom every morning. It’s fair to say that the motives for extending your home are personal and subjective.
Ground floor extensions are particularly popular with homeowners across the UK. The most common reasons for extending the ground floor of homes include a lack of light, to make the interior of homes more open or changing the layout by creating an inviting and expansive living area.
But, before you call in an architect and the builders, is there something that you’ll need to check? Yes, there is – planning permission. Not all extensions require planning permission, but for the ones that do, here are five extension planning necessities that you need to consider before building work gets underway.
The Reasons for the Extension
Before you start contacting local architects and builders, collating quotations, it’s paramount that you know what it is you want the extension to achieve. Do you want to add additional living space? Create a room to enjoy the south-facing sun, perhaps you want to convert and expand on a sparsely-used space in the home and create additional storage space. Knowing the reasons for the extension will save you much time.
When speaking to an architect, it’s paramount that you clearly explain the reasons behind any proposed extension. This allows them to come up with a solution that’s perfectly tailored to your needs. In some cases, compromises may have to be made, but taking this transparent and clearly-defined approach makes the design process a whole lot easier.
Why not try to list your priorities in order and see what can be reasonably achieved or what type of extension would prove wholly unsuitable.
Know Your Options
It’s important that you balance your budget with your expectations. A good architect can help you to get creative with your extension aspirations, whether they’re applicable to new house builds or traditional properties.
Should you have a limited budget, comprehensive planning and shrewd decision-making will be essential to the process. A good architect will be able to listen to your extension aspirations and help you to understand the options available to you.
This is where your options come in. Unless you have an expansive space and unlimited budget, extension planning will be dominated by compromise. Knowing your options and clearly communicating these to architects will give you more flexibility – and maybe allow you to find a better design than you were originally thinking.
Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. Regardless of the nature of your home extension, having a set budget in mind is part of sound planning. Most of us don’t have unlimited funds to extend our homes, so knowing what your budget will stretch to is essential to the planning process.
It’s a good idea to give yourself a small amount of budget flexibility. Depending on the nature of the work undertaken, you may find that an extension amounts to more than you anticipated when builders, labour and the cost of hiring an architect are all totted up.
By not agreeing to the maximum cost your budget will stretch to and give yourself a little financial wiggle room, you can achieve peace of mind that should any unforeseen costs arise, you have the money to cover them.
Make Sure that You Have Every Decision in Writing
The last reason is less of a consideration and more of sound practice to cover yourself should any traditional or new house builds extensions go awry – have every decision in writing. The benefits of having a clearly-defined agreement in writing prior to any work being undertaken cannot be overstated.
For example, you may have decided that one version of a kitchen extension, for example, favours your home or another, yet a hiccup has happened as a version of the kitchen you discarded has been built.
How are you to argue that this is not the version of the kitchen you wanted? Without anything in writing, you don’t have any evidence to back-up your argument. Before any building work commences, make sure that you have precisely the design you want in writing. Trust us, this is vital to the process.
So, there you have it, four extension planning necessities you need to consider prior to your extension work commencing. If you’d like to learn more about how to prepare and plan for an extension, contact Brightman Clarke Architects today, we’d be happy to provide you with sound advice.