Things to Consider When Building an Extension

An image of a house under construction, featuring a conservatory extension.

 

Adding an extension to your home can bring lots of great benefits. Not only will you have more space, but it can also add a lot of value to the property.

 

However, before extending your home, there are quite a lot of things you need to consider. The purpose of the extension, the materials you’ll plan to use and your budget are all important factors to think about. Here, you’ll discover some of the top things to consider when building an extension.

 

Do you need planning permission?

 

The first thing you need to determine is whether or not you require planning permission. Failing to do this could lead to disastrous consequences, including large penalties and potentially having to rip the extension down again! There are a few cases when you will definitely need planning permission:

 

  • The extension will be higher than the current highest point of your roof
  • Any part of the extension is over four metres high and within two metres of your property’s boundary
  • The volume of the property will be increased by more than ten per cent with the addition of the extension

 

Then you’ll have to wait to see if your local council approves the plans or not. Get in touch with your local authority to find out what the regulations are in your area.

 

Drywall or Plaster – which is better?

 

Once you know your extension can legally go ahead, the next dilemma you face is which type of materials should be used to build it. It’s easy to forget about the interior walls but choosing whether to use drywall or plaster is a pretty important decision you need to make.

 

Plaster tends to be the most common option, but did you know drywall could be better? It’s a lot more durable and also much easier and quicker to install than plaster. You can find everything you need at an affordable price from companies such as CCF.

 

Enlisting the right help

 

Another factor you’ll need to consider is who will be building the extension? There’s a lot of “cowboy builders” out there who offer really low rates. It’s tempting to go with the contractor who offers you the lowest price. However, it could also come back to bite you later on.

 

The trouble with cowboy builders is, they often have very little experience, they hardly ever do a job correctly and their work often needs to be corrected by a professional builder; costing you even more money than it would have done to hire a professional in the first place.

 

You will also need to enlist the services of a credible structural engineer, to determine the specifications and calculations for the design you have in mind.  Whoever you decide to work with should be able to recommend a trust worthy builder.

 

Can You Afford the Extension?

 

Budgeting is one of the main areas that can put plans for an extension on hold, or worse stop the project when it’s already half-way done. It’s important to work out the costs of building the extension, including plenty of extras in case you go over budget in the process, and comparing this against the value it will hopefully add to your home.

 

When using professional builders for any part, ask around to find the best value option. Or if you intend to do everything yourself just remember that it could take longer, and you’ll need to budget for all the building materials and tools. Stay realistic in what you can afford and do, not stretching yourself too tight as emergencies could crop up during the building process that you need to set cash aside for.

 

These are just some of the important considerations to make when building an extension. Without adequate planning and ensuring you’re using the right materials, your extension could end up costing you a small fortune. However, when done correctly, it can add thousands of pounds onto the value of your home.

 

At HLN Engineering, our experienced structural engineers and architects are on hand to guide you through the process of extending your property.  Get in touch to discuss your plans today.

 

 

 

 

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