If you’ve decided to take the plunge and get that house extension you’ve always dreamed of, you might be wondering how to start. There’s a lot to consider before any construction can begin.
House extensions are a great way to add extra space to a home without the hassle of having to move to a bigger property. Whether it’s a bigger kitchen, a spare bedroom or a playroom for the kids, a house extension can add value to your home and help it better suit the needs of your growing family. Here’s how to get started on your house extension.
Considerations Before You Start
First, are your plans going to add value to your home? It might be a good idea to consult an estate agent who can inform you of how much value the extension would add to your home, which may influence your budget for the project.
You don’t need planning permission for an extension, but there are restrictions. A detached house can be extended by 8m to the rear on a single storey property, and 3m if it is a double storey. It’s 6m for a semi or terraced house. A single storey house may also not exceed 4m in height to the ridge or eaves, and the extension cannot be higher than the existing property.
If the extension is going to be more than half the area of land around the house, you will need planning permission, and the extension must be built with similar materials to the existing property. There are also different rules for homes in Conservation Areas, and for renovations on a Listed Property, you will need listed building consent.
Your extension must comply with building regulations regardless of whether or not you need planning permission. You must ensure the person who carries out the work can self-certify the work or liaise with the local Building Control Officers at the council. Without this, you could be served with a notice to have the extension taken down.
Contact your home and contents insurance providers to let them know about the construction. If you don’t, and there’s a problem with the property, your policy may become void. Your current policy may cover the extension, but your premiums may increase; otherwise, you may have to find a different provider if they can’t cover the property for whatever reason.
If planning permission is needed, the local planning authority will inform your neighbours by letter. But you should let them know about the plans, as construction can cause disputes between neighbours. Additionally, if you have a shared wall between a terrace or semi-detached house, you may need a Party Wall Agreement.
Design the Extension
Once you’ve sorted the admin, you can get to work on the design of your new extension. You may wish to involve an architect to draw up the designs for you. They will have fees you’ll need to pay, however, but getting a professional involved in the design stage will likely yield better final results.
A structural engineer can provide technical drawings of the extension, and these drawings and calculations can be used to get Building Regulation approval and will then be used by your contractor or architect during the work.
Choose a Builder
For a successful extension, you’ll need reliable tradespeople. Online review sites are a great place to start when comparing builders and contractors. Don’t forget to ask friends and family too; word of mouth recommendations are a great way to feel assured that the people you’re bringing in to do the job have been vetted by people you trust. Don’t be afraid to ask for references and examples of previous work when choosing your contractor; they should be more than happy to provide these for you.
Before the work can begin, you need to ensure you’ve budgeted enough for the project, with some funds leftover (approximately 10% of the total cost) in case anything goes wrong and needs to be corrected. Shop around and get a few different quotes from contractors for the work.
Make a list of everything that needs to be included and compare your quotes item by item, and don’t forget to check that the VAT is included in the costs of all the services and materials.
Once you’ve finalised all the admin, designed the extension, picked the right contractor and signed the paperwork, you’re ready to get that extension construction underway. If you’re looking for professional, reliable contractors for your new extension, consider Heritage Builders, no project is too big for our skilled team. Our builders in Leicester have the knowledge and experience to bring your dream extension to life. Contact us today to find out more.