A guide to building a house extension

If you need more living space in your home, consider building an extension. This type of building project can be expensive, so you need to get it right. However, an architect can work with you to create a design that looks good, functions well and is built within your budget.

How much will it cost?

Perhaps the first question people ask themselves when considering building an extension is how much it will cost.

As a rough guide, an extension can cost between £1,000 to £2,000 per square metre. There are so many variables in costs, it’s impossible for most households to know how much to budget without expert help. You could ask a number of builders to quote for the extension, and their estimates will vary. You may be tempted to go for the cheapest quote, but is the builder reliable, and will they use quality materials and fixtures?

The type of building materials used also affects the cost. For example, concrete blockwork is cheaper than timber-framed construction.

If you use an architect, they will estimate an approximate cost and can help you find the best builder for the job. This may not the cheapest builder, but it will be one who is reliable and has a skilled team of workers.

Can you build it yourself?

It is not recommended that you do the building work yourself. An extension has to conform to building regulations, and it’s best to leave the heavy-duty structural work to experts who can complete the job on time.

If you want to save money, there are some jobs suitable for a person with good do-it-yourself skills. These include installing flooring after the sub floor has been constructed, plastering, tiling and decorating.

Adding value to the home

An extension will add value to a home, but you won’t necessarily recoup the whole of the building cost when you sell the property. You should add an extension because you want extra space, rather than seeing it as an investment.

Planning permission

Some extensions are classified as permitted developments that don’t require planning permission. There are complex regulations about which extensions need planning permission and which don’t. There are also regulations about what materials can be used, which is usually the same materials as the rest of the house. Some planning regulations changed in August 2020.

Before an extension is designed, you should seek expert advice about planning permission.

It’s easier with an architect

An architect is the best person to design an extension. They will make detailed plans, help you find a builder that can construct the extension within budget and help with the planning process. You can ask an architect to liaise with the builders to monitor their work. If payment is in stages, an architect can check that work has been completed to satisfy each of the stage payment requirements.

Emotionally and financially, a new extension is a difficult project, but an architect can make the process a lot easier.

Posted by Mark
July 1, 2021

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