A critical first step in any home extension project is to have comprehensive plans drawn up. These should include every inch of the proposed extension – length, width and depth. This level of detail leaves less room for interpretation, ensuring your vision is clearly communicated to your builders. With thoroughly considered plans, you’re setting the stage for accurate budgeting, effective scheduling and a smoother overall process.
BUDGETING: THE MAKE-OR-BREAK FACTOR
Planning costs and budgeting are aspects you can’t afford to skimp on. Every element of your extension should be accounted for, and you need to be realistic about what your wallet can handle. You may need to make sacrifices to meet your budget, but planning this ahead of time is crucial.
Your thorough upfront plans will aid your builders in providing accurate estimates. However, remember to factor in unexpected costs as issues may arise throughout the process. Having a buffer in your budget is essential to tackle these unforeseen expenses. Always prioritise quality over cost when selecting a builder, as the cheapest option might lead to expensive problems down the line.
PERMISSIONS AND REGULATIONS: THE LEGAL SIDE OF THINGS
It’s vital not to assume that your extension will fall within permitted development rights. Take the time to understand the rules and regulations, determining if you need to apply for planning permission. Aspects such as previous extensions and the size and location of the new one could affect whether your plans fall under permitted development.
If building under permitted development, remember there are strict guidelines to adhere to. If these restrictions hinder your dream extension, consider applying for planning permission.
SCHEDULING: TIMING IS EVERYTHING
One significant aspect of planning is considering the time of year. Avoid winter, as factors like frozen ground and bad weather can cause substantial delays. Starting in spring is ideal, particularly for larger projects. Have open discussions with your contractors about estimated timeframes and plan accordingly. If you’re responsible for arranging the delivery of materials, allow ample time to avoid any delays.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: THINKING LONG TERM
Throughout the process, it’s essential to consider how the extension will impact the rest of the house, both now and in the future. Assess how the added space might affect the flow between rooms and the functionality of existing spaces.
Consider how your household’s needs may change over time, ensuring your extension is planned with this in mind. Don’t let small issues that arise distract you from your end goal. Keep your vision at the forefront of every decision and use it as motivation to stay on track.
Don’t forget, our professional friendly advisors are on hand to support you and can help you explore all of your options.