With continued Covid 19 lockdowns we have all had to endure longer periods of time at home, for some this has been a welcome relief for others it has shown us that maybe our homes are not as suited to our needs as initially thought ..
With working from home becoming the new normal for many professionals, zoning areas and boundaries have become a necessary requirement within the home with home extensions the perfect solution for those who love their current home but just need to add a little more space. Extensions are also a solution when you need dedicated space that you may not be able to create through a massive renovation of your home.
So whether you intend to extend up, out or to the side or even down below, there are some key things to know before your project begins:
First and Foremost – Will My House Extensions Add Value?
For house extensions to make economic sense, you need to make sure the value added is greater than the cost of the project. It can be difficult to assess, but finding similar local properties and seeing how much they’ve sold for can be a useful guide. Be aware of the ceiling value in your area, and be prepared to adjust your plans if necessary.
Get All of the Necessary Approvals First
Every local council is different, but almost all of them require planning permission to build an extension on your home. Even loft conversions and the installation of new heating appliances may require planning permission.
Work with a designer who understands your area’s design code and can deliver both what you want and what the local council will allow.
Talk to Your Neighbours First
Talk to your neighbours about the design while it is on the drawing board. If you get their approval early on, your neighbours cannot stop you from building up to, or even on, the boundary between your properties, even if it requires access onto their land (providing you have planning permission to do so, and there are no restrictive covenants) but it’s better to eliminate any problems before work begins especially if there are party wall issues or if you need to use their land for access.
Is Bigger Always Better?
Often extenders get preoccupied with only thinking of the project in terms of square metres, not in terms of what that size is adding to the house. Bigger is not always better when it comes to house extensions, and there are often ways of creating the feeling of more space, without adding a large extension.
This is often achieved through clever design, not only of the new space, but also what is already there.
Design in Efficiency Early On
By focusing on the fabric of your new house extension, you may be able to far outstrip the U values and airtightness levels specified by the Building Regulations.
However, appending a thermally-efficient extension to a poorly insulated home will not make it cheaper to run overnight and you should look to improve the efficiency of the main house while the builders are on site.
Connecting the Old and the New
How well the additional space sits alongside the original property will undoubtedly affect the success of the project. While there are no hard and fast rules, you will need to make a decision on whether you want your new house extension to complement or contrast with the main house.
Finally – Consider the Long-Term Uses of the Extension
The build budget is not the only thing you have to worry about. You also have to take value-added taxes, designer fees, and local authority fees into account. That’s why you should design a space that can be used in a variety of ways. For example, you could build a home office that can later be turned into a granny flat.
Home extensions allow you to keep the home you love while growing with your family and changing lifestyle habits but do your homework in advance so that building your dream home doesn’t become a nightmare.