5 things to remember about home extensions
Home extensions have always been a popular home improvement in the UK. In a country with a track record for chilly and overcast weather, sacrificing outside area for more living space seems like a smart move.
But just what do homeowners tend to overlook when they start dreaming of an extension? Here are five things its worth keeping in mind when planning one.
1. Planning limitations
The UK is home to a great deal of legislation that limits exactly what you can and can’t do to your home. While you might be annoyed that you can’t extend your home exactly how you would like, it works two ways: you’d probably be pretty irked if your neighbour constructed a colossal extension that cast your garden in constant shadow.
Many extensions can be carried out under the remit of permitted development. However, if your home is in a conservation area or is listed there may be further limitations in place. Don’t worry if your extension aspirations do not fit within the confines of permitted development, getting planning permission is always an option.
2. Bigger isn’t always better
It stands to reason that if your motive for extending is to make your home bigger then biggest is best, but that isn’t really true. What you really want to do is get most out of as little space as possible, which a talented architect or designer will be able to do.
Smaller extensions are cheaper and faster to complete, plus you get to keep more of your garden! Talk to your designer about exactly what you want from your space, and then let them work out how large it actually needs to be.
3. Upgrade your utilities
Homeowners often forget that extending your home puts extra demands on their plumbing and electrics, and to get sign off these often need to be improved. While a better boiler is rarely anything to break into a sweat about, a total electrical rewire could be costly and disruptive.
4. Extending above is tricky
Many homeowners look at an existing single story extension or garage and just assume that putting another floor on it will be a breeze. While sometimes this is a case, often the reality is that these amenities were not built to support an additional floor on top.
This means in order to add another storey extensive load bearing alternations need to be carried out. Not only is this disruptive, on occasion it’s actually cheaper and quicker to just demolish and rebuild as a two-story extension.
5. Speak to an estate agent
In an ideal world, no one would have to talk to an estate agent unless they have to. Sadly, they are uniquely able to expertly advise you what kind of improvements boost property value in your area. So, if this is part of the motive behind your extension speaking to one is a good idea.