What’s the deal with building extensions?

The economy… You can’t go anywhere without hearing a conversation about it; in a queue at the coffee shop; on breaks at work; at dinners with friends; you name it, it’s impossible to escape the chatter! It’s an endless stream of worry, doom, gloom and negativity that seems to squirm its way into every aspect of our lives.

There is some relevance to these discussions beyond all the fear mongering; at least as far as our specialist business is concerned. Spiralling house prices are forcing more people to stick with their current properties even if it may not be an entirely convenient option. Instead of selling up, people are choosing to extend their existing properties to add value for the future.

We’re not trying to say that the cost of building an extension to your home is cheap as chips but it WILL add significant value. Factoring in considerations before extension work is actually undertaken is an important first step of course. What do you want out of this building extension? Take into account things like initial designs, planning applications, labour costs and material costs.

In the first part of this blog series on building extensions (not exclusive to loft conversions) and the many, many elements involved with the process from planning to finished product. Let’s start with the design and planning stage:

Planning your building extension

You have to maintain (to some extent) the look and feel of your property as it stands unless there is going to be significant overhaul on everything anyway. Match the prominent features of the building such as the existing materials & fixtures to ensure a sense of continuity. It all starts with thinking about the combination of practicality and suitability versus aesthetics and style.

During this planning application process you should check with your neighbours to make sure they will be aware of the works being carried out and if they will be okay with it. Hopefully you will be able to assure them that the extension will blend in with the other properties. If they have objections and concerns it’s better to address them before rather than during or after the building extension.

The best thing to do when developing an devising a building extension plan is to hire an architect for direct advice on feasibility. Make sure the architect your bring in is suitably qualified to do this for you of course. If unsure of a person’s qualifications or credentials you can always go through a professional building extensions or loft conversions specialist instead. Always read the testimonials or ask around your friends who they may have used that come highly recommended.

Through an architect or professional building extension specialists you can get comprehensive extension advice, planning permissions, local factors, drawing up detailed specifications etc. Architects and independents often offer to stay on as Project Managers in some cases.

The next stage of the planning is the most essential; planning permissions. We have covered this extensively in previous blogs but just to go over it again, planning permissions are necessary to obtain under certain conditions incorporating aspects like the land your home is on, the local council’s stipulations about your street (if any), appearance of the building, road access, landscaping and the environment plus various other considerations. For more information on planning permissions please CLICK HERE.

In the next part of this series we will get deeper into the planning process. Please keep reading an if you need a free building extensions quote please Contact Us.

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