10 Top Rules For Extending Your Home
When you start the journey of considering to extend your property there are lots of factors you need to consider to ensure a successful project from start to finish. These top ten tips give you some frank and honest advise.
Does it make sense to extend your property?
Spend some time and consider your options does it make sense to extend your current home? In some cases its more logical to move than extend your current home, it could be extending your property will spoil its character or be an over development of your plot in these cases it makes more sense to move.
However if an extension will enhance your home and give you the additional space you need and add value to your property then extending makes sense.
Draw up a brief for your project
Sit down and determine what the additional space should produce for you and what issues your current homes has that it will resolve. Without a brief either your architect or builder will be second guessing what you wish to achieve, the brief should be more detailed than just a bigger kitchen. For example a bigger kitchen area with space for an island and social space as we like to entertain lots of friends and in the summer we like to make use of the garden when eating.
Think about where light comes in
Do you want to sit and enjoy your garden from within your new extension
This is sometimes defined by your existing property and material choices are obvious or dictated by conditions on your home such as listings and conservation areas.
For properties with no defined character or styling, then in some cases contrast can enhance both elements. The key when contrasting materials are added that thought and attention are given to the process to ensure that the final result enhances your home for years to come.
The materials used on any extension are an intrinsic part of the architectural style of your home so don’t choose materials based on value or as an after thought. Remember you and future generations have to live with your decisions for many years to come.
Establish the right size of extension
When thinking of the size your extension needs to be this should be considered in line with the second tip on creating your brief, there is no point building an extension that is not sufficient in size to achieve your needs. But on the flip side there is no point having an extension that is too large and dominates your property and could spoil the original house.
When thinking about the size consider the actual internal space created rather than the extension foot print as traditional construction i.e brick and block-work with an insulated cavity is 30 cm wide.
Careful consideration to architectural style
Every home has a style whether is a period Georgian home or a property from the 60’s and will be built with particular materials. So there is great importance in the architectural style of the extension to achieve the right combined end result.
If you want your extension to look like it was always there its important to get the details, materials and proportions of the design right to make it appear authentic.
So this would make you think contrast is easier, but this is not necessarily the case. If you want to add a modern extension the must add something to the existing property and proportions and materials are still a critical design decision. This could mean incorporating more glazing rather than traditional walls or contrasting colours.
Be respectful to your neighbours
Consider the affect your extension will have on neighbouring properties, design your extension with respect for your neighbours properties.
This may fall into areas such as avoiding over looking into your neighbours properties, avoid the look of creating the appearance of terrace properties when this was never intended for your street scene by avoiding the look of properties joining up.
Quantity versus Quality
Consider carefully quantity versus quality, how much is your extension going to cost to build including all necessary pre build items such as drawings, building regulation fees through to internal fit out. It is always the better option to build with better materials and design than form more space with less quality. Its is also important to factor in contingency funds for unforeseen extras and things you may add in during the build.
Re model or extend?
There is a point in some projects where the amount of internal re configuration factored into a design coupled with extending the original foot print the question may arise “should we knock it down and replace?” However re configuring your existing home is much more environmentally friendly in most cases and can greatly depend on the condition of the original property.
There are also then considerations financially as different options fall into various VAT brackets for example like a new build is zero VAT rated.
If you are planning on extending or renovating your home prepare for disruption and mess, however considerate your builder there will times during any build where disruption is inevitable. If you can move out during your build this allows your builder to get on with you build and offers many advantages.
The actual build can be carried out faster and a shorter build schedule saves money
Power, water and heating can be turned off or isolated
Time is saving by not having to pack equipment away each day which in turns saves time and money.
If you do have to stay in your property during the build consider your builder carefully, what methods will they use to work around your family. Will they provide a site toilet, how will they isolate work areas.
Yes this can be a tough part of the build but keep smiling and remember at the end of the journey if you have followed these tips you will be living in your dream home.
Appraise the difference between value and cost
When working through your brief, size and these tips work through the costs from day one. In reality only you can decide what is good value, the costs can be in most elements be determined by your builder but the final decision on whether its value be its monetary, enjoyment of usefulness is down to you the home owner.