We all love the idea of adding to our properties, but a lot of homeowners do not know all of the aspects of extending their property. It is very easy to forget about planning permission and building regulations when you become carried away with renovating your property. Luckily for you in this article, we have covered all of the main elements that you will need to consider when undergoing an extension at your home.
What To Initially Think About
There are many aspects that you need to consider when extending your property, from the type of extension, you would like to add to your home to whether the project will add value to your home. At this point, it is worth speaking to a local estate agent who will be able to provide you with a review of whether your considered extension will add value to your house. The estate agent will also be qualified to give you an indication on how much your home would increase in value which you can then use to make informed decisions on your extension project. So, once you are aware of the potential value that will be added to your home after an extension you will be able to set an accurate budget to achieve this. Another important part to think about here is whether you will be building one or two storeys. As you will be purchasing the foundations and the roofing, a two-storey structure will not cost much more per square feet. However, you may be hit by planning permission or other restrictions so you should always be prepared to update your plans.
Permitted Developments & Planning Permission Which Could Affect You
For some projects you can complete your dream extension without requiring planning permission, this is known as permitted development rights. To qualify as a permitted development, there are certain rules which your property must follow. Detached properties can have their rear wall extended by 8 metres to the rear as a single storey home and 3 metres for two-storey houses. For semi-detached and terraced houses, this is reduced to 6 metres. Height restrictions also apply here as a single-storey extension can be no higher than 4 metres in height to the eaves and the ridge. Ridge heights of any extension should not be any higher than the existing property. Double story extensions should not be any closer than 7 metres to the rear boundary, so you should check this before moving forward with your planned project.
Planning permission is required on many properties due to many homeowners looking to extend their property by more than half of the area of land around the original property. Obtaining planning permission can be more difficult for some over others as there are various situations where planning permission could be refused. For those in conservation areas, you will be subject to different planning rules. Any renovations to listed buildings and properties will require listed building consent as well. To ensure that you can go ahead with your home extension it is recommended that you consult architects or builders for advice on how to go ahead with your planned project.
Building Regulations To Consider
Whether your extension requires planning permission or not, any renovation work to your home must comply with building regulations. Building regulations are put in place to protect the health and safety of those living within buildings as the minimum standards for both design and construction. As the homeowner, you are legally responsible for ensuring that all structural and alteration work to your property complies with relevant building standards. In this situation, you can delegate the responsibility to your builder or contractor in advance of the extension, but ultimately the responsibility will fall on yourself. To make sure that your home extension is in line with building regulations, whoever is providing any work on the project will need to self-certify the jobs/tasks they have completed. This can also be done by liaising with local building control officers at your local council to certify the work that has been carried out on your property.
Before the start of your extension your project it is essential that you get in touch with your building and contents insurance provider, so they are aware of your plans. An extension to your property will most likely increase the rebuild cost of your home. This is taken into account by insurers when they are pricing premiums as any building work to your house puts the property at risk of damage. Your insurance policy will become void if you have not let your insurer know about the extension and a problem arises.
Updating your insurance company regarding your renovation is crucial as they will be able to let you know whether your current policy will cover the proposed extension. If your insurer cannot cover your property due to the home extension you will need to seek out a new provider before your insurance is cancelled. As well as consulting your insurance provider, you should also make sure that any builder working on your home has professional indemnity insurance, so the costs are covered in the case of anything going wrong.
The Design of Your Extension
Depending on your plans and the scale of your project, including an architect in the design of your renovation will help to bring your dream extension to life. Whether you are looking to convert your loft into a new bedroom, or you are looking at a kitchen extension at the back of your property, architects can draw out your visualisations. There are no laws in place to say that you must use an architect in this process, however many homeowners find it more simple to have a professional draw up the designs for their extensions. The use of an architect generally leads to a better end result, although you will need to factor in architect fees into your budget which is usually around 15%.
Choosing The Right Builder to Complete The Project
Once you have sorted required planning permission and your final designs have been drawn up, the last aspect is picking the right builder to bring the project to life. Involving reliable and trusted tradesmen on your extension is key to successful home renovation projects, so it is crucial that you have the right people in charge of making your visions a reality. One of the best places to start when finding builders and contractors for your extension is to use online review sites. This will allow you to compare builders and contractors against each other. Using sites such as Checkatrade and Which? Trusted Trader will point you towards builders which you can trust in completing your home improvement project.
The Costs of Your Extension
The costs of your extension will most likely be one of the most important aspects to you as you will want to achieve your perfect extension within your allocated budget. When setting your budget, you should initially start by listing everything that will be included in your project from the cost of materials to architect and builder costs. This way when gathering quotes, you can compare them item by item or service by service to find yourself the best deal. When pricing up materials and services you should always check that VAT is included in the final costs. When gathering quotes, we recommend that you should aim to get three quotes from three different contractors for the project work. Shopping around is the most effective way to find the right price, however, it may require you contacting at least five different firms to gain 3 quotes. This way you will be able to find the best quote to fit your budget.