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Many people choose to extend their home as an alternative to moving, particularly in areas where house prices are rising fast.
Otherwise it may just be that you love where you live but need some extra space. Whichever camp you fall into, remember that good planning is the key to a successful extension.
Initially, you need to think about the space you’re hoping to create and what you want it to be used for. You’ll need an architect to draw up plans for you and a good architect should be able to make suggestions as to the best way to maximise your extension and therefore your investment.
Once you’ve decided what you want and your plans have been drawn, you’ll need to get the plans passed by your local planning authority and building control department. Most architects will help with this part of the process, but if in any doubt at all, do call your local authority.
Importantly, you’ll need to find a building company that will build your extension within a timescale you’re happy with and at a cost you can afford. Recommendations from friends and neighbours are often the best way to find a good builder, but make sure you also research your builder’s credentials fully.
- Plan your extension properly. Employ an architect and ensure you have fulfilled all the legal requirements of your local authority before the builders start.
- Do your research – make sure any tradesmen you employ have the correct credentials for the job they’re doing.
- Plan your finances and bear in mind that costs for large scale projects sometimes exceed original budget expectations. It’s worth keeping some money to one side in case this happens – in most cases a 10% contingency should cover this.
- Remember, any building work on your home can be stressful, inconvenient and dirty – be prepared!
- You’ll need to decorate and furnish the new part of your house once it’s built, so make sure you have enough in the budget to cover this.