How to Plan Your Dream Home Extension
Home extensions are a fantastic way to give your family more space without the hassle of selling and moving house. They also add more value to the home and give you an opportunity to personalise your space exactly the way you want it. As home extensions are a hefty undertaking, it’s important you understand the planning process and what it takes to execute a beautiful extension to your house. From a kitchen expansion to more bedrooms or a home office, there are so many options to make your home extension a valuable addition, that increases the value of your property, and creates a more comfortable space for your family.
When planning and building a home extension there are many things to sort such as design plans, planning permission, contractors and even design styles and furniture. Here we’ve compiled everything you need to know about home extensions to help you understand the process better.
The first thing you need to consider is whether or not you need to obtain planning permission for your build. Some extensions may not need planning permission as some extension projects may be referred to as your permitted development rights. These rights allow the improvement or extension of homes without the need for planning permission. They state that a rear wall of a detached home can be extended by 8m to the rear if it is a single storey, and 3m if it is a double-storey. If your house is a semi or terraced house, this is reduced to 6m. The height restriction for a permitted development extension is 4m in height to the ridge and eaves, and double-storey builds mustn’t be closer than 7m to the rear boundary.
There are a few other factors you need to know. For example, if the extension is more than half the area of land around the original house, you will need planning permission. Also, extensions must be built with similar materials to the existing property. If your home is in a Conservation Area or if it is a Listed Property you will need to get listed building consent. You can submit your planning permission yourself or your builder or architect can do it for you.
All buildings need to comply with building regulations to ensure they are safe and structurally sound. You need to make sure that whoever carries out the work on your extension can either self-certify the work they do, or can liaise with the local Building Control Officers at your council. If your building is not compliant, you may have to deal with delays in the building process or a notice could be served asking you to take the extension down. Furthermore, if you don’t have the correct Building Regulations certificates, you may have trouble selling your home in the future, as they are an important aspect of proving that the building work completed is safe.
When making any substantial changes to your home you need to update your insurance provider. Contact your home and contents insurance provider to let them know what you’re planning to do. Completing an extension will increase the rebuild cost of your house so your insurance provider needs to be aware or else it could make your policy void. They will be able to let you know if your current policy can cover the new extension or if your premiums will increase. It’s also worth checking that the builders working on your property have professional indemnity insurance to cover if anything goes wrong.
Create a design plan
In order to get the ball rolling, decide what you want from your extension and have an idea in mind of what kind of building it will be. Find an architect to draw up plans for you that put your thoughts and ideas onto paper. This will give you a clear idea of what your extension will look like and gives you a solid plan to take to the council in order to achieve planning permission if it is needed. Architects don’t always need to be involved but it is very helpful to get a professional draw up of the design plan. A structural engineer can also provide technical drawings and calculations which you can use to seek Building Regulation approval and will be used by your building contractor and architect.
The things you’ll need to know when discussing with an architect is roughly how big you want your extension to be, including height and footprint, what building materials you’d like to use and what you would like the inside to look like. The architect will then be able to create a clear plan which can be referred to by everyone involved.
Try and get a few different quotes from contractors to see which one will be the most cost effective. When creating a budget, list everything you want to be included in the build and try to find the most affordable options for each of these things. Also bear in mind that a single storey won’t be that much cheaper than a double storey because most of the costs are for the foundations. Keep at least 10% of the total cost available in case anything goes wrong or you run into unexpected costs.
Once all the planning is out the way and you have contractors ready to get started, your build will be underway. Depending on how complex the build is, it could take anywhere between 3 to 7 months. The process of the build will, in general, go as follows:
- Site establishment such as securing access, protecting habitable spaces, putting in skips, toilet facilities and scaffolding and health and safety briefing and risk assessments for all site operatives.
- Contractors will then lay the foundations and excavate and prepare groundwork with drainage such as gullies and soakaway.
- The building structure then takes place, erecting walls and roofing along with survey and measuring for windows and doors and finally fitting downpipes and connections to the drainage system.
- Internal renovation and remodelling can then start which involves the reconfiguration of the internal space and the removal and erection of walls where required.
- Final touches such as installation of electrical and plumbing facilities, fitting of carpentry, flooring, kitchen fittings and appliances. This gives you a chance to make it your own and finally see the end product of all your hard work.
Home extension ideas
If you’re unsure how you would like to utilise a home extension, here are some ideas:
- A light-filled rear extension- Increase the natural light in your home with bifold doors and a double-glazed atrium. A perfect place for socialising by opening up the doors and creating a bright and airy space that leads into your garden.
- A large kitchen diner- Expand your existing kitchen to create even more space and incorporate features like an island and extra seating to maximise the area.
- Convert an outdated conservatory into a modern addition to your home with contemporary grey panelling and a tiled roof.
- A micro-extension- You don’t have to go all out and spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on a build, smaller extensions are just as great and can provide you with a little bit of extra space you may really need.
Create more space with house extensions from James Dunn Roofing
Our team of experts can help manage your home extension from start to finish, ensuring your project is completed on time and under budget with a build that exceeds your expectations. At James Dunn Roofing, we provide roofing and building services in Oxford and throughout Oxfordshire. With over 35 years of experience and a talented team of professionals, we can help complete your home extension so that you can sit back and relax. We also offer services covering commercial and domestic roofing, heritage renovation and kitchen and bathroom installations among many more. To find out more about how we can assist you, visit our website or call 01865 373 614.