Mar 06, 2023

Taking the time to hire a professional architect to design your extension is vital if you want to make the most of your space and create a visually pleasing addition to your home. The design should accommodate your budget, which is important when you consider the costs involved: building materials and labour, planning fees, architect’s fees, and, in some cases, relocation costs if you need to live somewhere else while the work is carried out. With all this in mind, building an extension is not to be taken lightly and good planning will limit or remove any potential pitfalls.

Getting started

Expanding the size of your home is an increasingly popular way to increase its value. But before you embark on this endeavour, be sure to assess both your needs and budget carefully.

Finding an experienced architect is essential for building an extension that not only looks great but also enhances your home, making good use of space. Look for an established firm of architects with experience building extensions in your area, as this could save you time and energy. There are many cases where things go wrong, so you need to make sure your builders and architect are reputable.

When hiring an architect or architectural technologist to design your home extension, make sure they possess the necessary qualifications and professional indemnity insurance. Try to find an architect who understands both your lifestyle and family dynamics – having this insight and experience can produce ideas you may not have considered.

Planning permission may be another essential step in the process. It is essential to understand all the regulations involved. In addition to meeting building regulations, you may need to discuss your extension plans with your freeholder if you own a leasehold property. In these cases, acquiring planning permission can be a complicated process, or it may not even be possible depending on the terms of the lease.

Designing Your Extension

Before beginning any design work, it is recommended to get a measured survey. This will provide the precise dimensions for your new extension.

House extensions provide the opportunity to expand your living space without having to move to a larger property. The type of design will depend on the type of extension you require.  Extensions can include additional bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens or living space.

Your architect can assist in crafting an extension that complements the period and aesthetic of your home, creating a sense of unity rather than having multiple rooms that feel disconnected.

Getting planning permission

Prior to construction, it is essential to find out what planning permission is required for an extension. There have been cases where people haven’t gained planning permission and have subsequently been told to demolish what they have built.  Not every house extension will need planning permission, but if it does, the local council will make a decision on your application within eight weeks.

One thing that will make life easier when you are planning your house extension is a good relationship with your neighbours. They will need to approve your planning application after you have sent them a letter inviting them to view your plans. If, for any reason, your neighbours object to the proposal, you will be asked for their opinions, and the council will take them into account when making its assessment of the project.

This is why it is sensible to discuss your plans with your neighbours beforehand to prevent any disagreements later in the process. Not only will this save time and unnecessary discord, but it could also give you the chance to adjust your designs prior to consultation to sidestep any objections that may arise.

Building your extension

Extending your home is a large undertaking that necessitates careful consideration, strategic planning, and sufficient funding.

When it comes to building a house extension, it is essential that you find an experienced builder with knowledge in designing and completing extensions. Asking friends and family for recommendations or searching online reviews for experienced and capable tradespeople are some of the ways to find a reputable builder.

A qualified builder will guarantee your new extension is constructed according to all legal and regulatory standards. They should also supervise the construction process and coordinate all specialised subcontractors, such as plumbers, electricians, etc.

Selecting materials for your new extension is another crucial element of its design. They can be chosen to blend in or stand out from the existing house. The materials you choose will have a major impact on the total cost of the extension, as will the windows and other bespoke additions.