Category Archives: Extensions

What’s the cost of a house extension?

The price of a home extension can vary massively dependent on, not only the size of the extension but the level of finish you require in regards to such things as kitchens and bathrooms.

The starting point of any good home extension project is to employ the services of an architect to help you plan exactly what you want to create. A good architect will listen to your list of requirements and “must haves” and then explore what is possible within building regulations. The architect will then produce a first draft of the proposed drawings for you to peruse and discuss.

Once you are happy with the design and the plans have been passed by the planning office it’s time to get some quotes, I would recommend you get three quotes so you have an idea of the minimum and maximum prices.

It is important that you know the level of involvement you want with the project, do you want to manage the project yourself, which could save you money, or do you want to employ a main contractor so you have one point of contact for the project who is dealing with every element of the build from foundations to finish.

It is also important to have an idea of the level of finish you require if your extension is to include a kitchen, utility room or bathroom. The price of these products vary enormously, you need to have an idea of what proportion of your budget is to be spent on these items, this process can help you decide how much you want those granite worktops or expensive taps on the bath!

Always allow for some contingency money in your budget for any unforeseeable problems or extra works you may require whilst the build is in progress and if none arise, maybe you can have those fancy bath taps after all!

Don’t throw your money down the drain

The sun is out again and the forecast for the bank holiday weekend is good. You may decide that it’s time to get out into the garden and start digging out for the new patio or decking you’ve been planning all through the cold dark winter, but before you fire up the breaker on the old concrete base you need to remove or start swinging the pick axe, have you considered what lies beneath? Be sure to check where the drains run and check if any other services, Gas, Electric, Cable TV, you don’t want your budget spending on costly repairs!

Are ministers going to ease planning restrictions?

The growth and Infrastructure bill was amended by the House of Lords last month which may lead to councils being given the right to opt out changes to planning rules.

The idea, which was announced last year, is to relax planning rules which would allow an increase in the size of a single story extension to 8 metres on a detached house and 6 metres for other houses without planning consent.

Some MPs are saying the planned changes are a “recipe for disaster” and will cause disputes between neighbours.

If the bill is passed when ministers vote later, it could give the building trade a huge boost and could create much needed jobs but at what price?

Tips to add value and space to your property

 

 

There are many ways that we can change our homes in order to give ourselves that extra space we crave whilst at the same time adding value.

The are some ideas of what to do and not to do

  1. Add an extension, be sure to speak to a local estate agent to gauge what value an extra bedroom would add, you don’t want to over develop
  2. Add a conservatory, they’re quick to put up, increase your homes desirability and don’t usually need planning permission.
  3. Do some internal re-modelling, usually a cheaper option than an extension. Removing an internal wall can open up the whole house, but before you start to knock down walls have a structural engineer check that it’s safe to do so.
  4. Build a small side extension, normally a cheaper option than a full size extension.
  5. Don’t reduce the number of bedrooms by turning 2 into 1 or converting one into an en-suite bathroom, this could de-value your house!
  6. Keep the décor neutral, you may well love bright colours and vibrant wallpapers but a potential buyer may not!
  7. Swimming pools and Jacuzzis are great if you’re staying put but the extra value they add doesn’t always cover the installation cost.

Extend, convert or move?

Spring is in the air (along with the snow) and soon peoples minds will turn to either moving home or some home improvements.

One of the most popular ways to both improve your home and increase its value is to add some living space. If you are finding that you need some extra space at home but don’t want the hassle or expense of moving home then maybe an extension, loft or garage conversion is the answer. You must be careful not to make the wrong choice, if you decided to have a loft conversion to create an additional bedroom you must ensure that there is enough living space downstairs to cater for the extra bedroom, you don’t want to make the house top heavy.

It is always advisable to talk to a good architect to get some ideas of what is possible and get some answers to those nagging questions in the back of your head, what are the costs, is my loft suitable to be converted, what planning permission do I need? It is also a good idea to talk to your local estate agent to ensure that what you have planned is going to not only increase the saleability of your home but also the value.

Home Extensions Derby

Many home owners are looking for extra space in their home and often the most sensible solution is a home extension. This is the ideal time of year to start to plan your home extension ready for a build in the spring or summer. There is some time required before you can start your home extension the planning stage usually takes around three months. Depending if you need planning permission and how long it takes to finalise a design with your architect. Your architect may also need to involve the planning department and often a structural engineer to conform to the building regulations. All home extensions require approval from the building regulations department although an independent building control officer can be used. Usually a home extension will require a full plans submission building regulation application although it can be done under a building notice but this is not really advisable as issues can arise during the build that have been resolved during the design stage.

Home extension builders

Home extensions have become increasing popular with a more stagnant housing market as many home owners chose to improve rather than move. The increase in the number of home extensions being built has also been increased due to the relaxation of planning laws in recent laws. Also home extension designs have improved along with technical advances in materials and building techniques. This has allowed architects, homeowners and building contractors to indulge in more contemporary and stylish home extensions. Also homeowners are looking to active open plan living spaces for entertaining and family living space. The use of glass and incorporating indoor outdoor living has lead to a popular addition to many home extensions of Bi- folding doors. Also many home owners are following the lead of large house builders and property developers by adding French doors and Juliet baloneys to upper floors of their homes and extensions. These are obviously popular when home owners enjoy large gardens or open aspect views. Many are also adding features like under floor heating to avoid taking up space in their new home extension with radiators. Often it is now the case that home extensions are opened up into the main house by inserting an RSJ or steel beam to allow for the removal of large sections of masonry walls. Also ridge beams and other structural designs are being used more commonly to create open ceilings and warm roof design. With these increasingly complex designs using a variety of materials and technologies it is becoming increasingly difficult to rely on a one man bands to tie together all these elements. Many home owners are opting for design and build companies who can provide a one stop solution for the whole building project. This gives the home or building owner not only one point of contact but also more control over costs and extras as design and build companies tend to take extra care when designing and pricing works to avoid extra costs. If you employ an architect and separate main contractor builder there is always a chance of additional costs if there are issues with the design or the contractor has not fully understood some items of the designs or ground works.

Building refurbishments and alterations

When carrying out building refurbishments it is important to plan out the end result that you would like to achieve. This is sometimes done by professionals like architects or surveyors but often it is left to the property owner and building contractor to finalise the specifications. This needs to be managed carefully because you do not want the works to not comply with the UK building regulations and other statutory requirements that can potentially cause expensive re-working if not done correctly. So your building contractor will need to have a good understanding of the building regulations and other statutory requirements. These are not always well known or understood by some building contractors, you will be able to get a feel for your builders knowledge by asking them some simple questions about the UK building regulations for instance what sections covers the structural elements? It is section “A”. There are other regulations for instance if you are going to use a computer screen in a commercial environment you will need to select the correct light fitting to meet the required regulations. This is not always known to some building contractors and could potentially have you paying for the same item of work twice. Again as with most things it can be a case of buy cheap buy twice.

Building refurbishments

Most property owners need various building refurbishments and repairs doing from time to time. These range from simple roof repairs through to electrical and building works. Many homeowners and in fact some building contractors are either unsure or unaware that even some repairs will trigger the need to inform the local authority building control department. This is usually done through a building regulations building notice. These vary in costs dependant on the value of the works being carried out, the building inspector will usually be required to conduct a site visit at various stages throughout the building works to check each element of the works as items are covered in. They will want to see drainage, insulation footings details and structural elements that fall under part “A” of the UK building regulations. Good building contractors will take care of managing the building notice as part of their service but ultimately the responsibility lies with the property owner. So make sure you check with your local building control department if your works will require a building regulations building notice application. Some works may not require a building regulations application when you start the works but a change to the works if an unforeseen issue arises can trigger the requirement for an application. Very often this is an issue under part “L”, of the UK building regulations. This is because if more than 25% of any external surface for examples roofs, floors or walls are being repaired it will require a building notice and site inspections.

New Year, new building project

Today many people are starting New Year resolutions and many are planning to get those things done they have been putting off. After a Christmas at home is it time to consider getting that new home extension or building project underway. Many people are put off by not knowing where to start? Do you need an architect or a builder first? Well most home owners have some budget constraints so speaking to good reputable builders will give you some idea of if your project can be done in budget. They will also be able to recommend an architect who they have worked with before it is always a good idea to have a good working relationship between your main building contractor and your architect. They will be able to resolve design and site issues between them and will be keen to help each other out and get your building project complete as designed. It is also an ideal time as the design, planning and building regulation process timescales will mean that you are ready to get building in the spring a favoured time for many home owners. You could be showing your friends and family round your beautiful new home extension or completed building project at a summer barbeque. So why not get an easy tick on your new years to do list and get your building project underway in 2013.