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Compare My Local ... House Extensions

An extension will radically improve your home. It will create extra living space and bigger rooms, which will add value to your property and make it more desirable to potential buyers.

You’ve probably heard it before – the wisest investment you can make is to your home. The reason you have heard this saying once or twice is because it’s true! Maybe your existing home no longer meets all of your changing needs; you have kids on the way, your kids are growing up and you can’t stand the constant bickering that comes with sharing a room, you may have been lucky enough to pay of your mortgage and are looking for a way to reinvest your money – whatever the reason an extension to the home you already own and love is a wise investment and great way of gaining extra space.

There are many reasons why people decide to add a home extension. The most common being the growth of a family in order to provide more bedrooms or more living space. The lounge, kitchen and main bedroom are the most popular rooms to develop. If they have an outer wall, then this can easily be knocked down and a new wall can be erected further into the garden or drive way.

If one room just isn’t enough then you may like to consider a single or double storey extension, which will add a considerable amount of space to your existing home – perfect for extending or growing families. A conservatory is another great way of creating a little extra space. Reading a book while looking out into the garden, watching the kids play or simply having dinner makes having a conservatory a perfect extension to your home.

Occasionally houses are not actually extended because of any particular need, but largely as a way to increase a property’s value. Rising property prices with a premium being put on space can make extensions a wise investment. An extension will add value to your property and the outlays compared to the investment are minimal.

If you are considering having an extension then you should discuss your ideas with a professional. They will be able to develop initial thoughts or help with big plans.  

 

Extension Types

You've made the decision to extend your home and you have managed to convince the family that the work will definitely be worth it. Now the tricky part, what extension to choose?

The traditional extension

This is when either the rear or side of your home is extended. You will need to employ a reputable builder who has experience in building extensions. You should consider using an architect to draw up some plans for your builder to work from. These drawings will also give you an idea of how the finished extension will be, which will enable you to make any amendments or tweeks before the building works start. The last thing you want is to start changing your mind half way through!

You may need planning permission for your extension, so employing the services of an architect means they can advise and help you decide on how best to approach the extension and reduce disruption to your day to day living while the project is underway.

Loft and cellar conversions

These are becoming increasingly more and more popular. Converting these areas is a great way of creating extra space at a relatively cost effective price. What are these rooms currently used for? Storing that old TV that "may come in handy one day?" Come on, the thought of even lifting it must just bring on a sweat! Maybe these rooms are chock full of old baby clothes and toys or items you are clinging on to. If you haven't looked at something in the last year, you're unlikely to ever need it.

The structures of these rooms are already in place, which means that planning permission may not be necessary, but it is always best to check with your local authority before starting any work. Loft and cellar conversions can create extra space and may help to increase the property value on your home. It will also stop you from hording!

A conservatory

Conservatories were popular during the Victorian period when they were often attached to larger houses and used for growing plants. During much of the 20th century they seemed to drop in popularity and it was not until the 1980's they started to become more common. This was due to the growing UPVC window industry, the exemption of conservatories under the building regulations and the widespread availability of polycarbonate roof sheets.

These extensions are now very common as they are the most affordable. They help to create an extra living space, which is used predominately during the summer months. Conservatories can be built as large as the space permits and requires a lot less building work, meaning they can be erected faster than a rear or side extension and aren't so intrusive on your day to day living.

An orangery extension

An orangery extension is a combination of a traditional extension and a conservatory. They are a fantastic choice for a single storey rear extension. They are typically built with a central glazed area to the roof but a solid area around it. Despite these extensions being quite unusual, they are growing in popularity due to the amount of extra space and natural light that is created. These types of extensions are ideal for those wishing to extend a kitchen area or add a little extra living space to the back of the property. An orangery extension is a contemporary way of extending your kitchen or dining area and can be used all year round.

No matter what type of extension you choose to have, always make sure you contact your local authority to check if you need planning permission and / or building regulations approval.

Extension Ideas

Whether you love your house and want to develop it, or dream of extra living space then an extension is perfect. Forget about moving and the expense that brings, an extension is a great solution and a cost effective way of making the home you love have the space you desire.

Choose a room

The lounge, kitchen and main bedroom are the most popular rooms to develop. If they have an outer wall, then this can easily be knocked down and a new wall can be erected further into the garden or drive way. You could even bring more light into the new room by adding windows to the majority or entire wall.

The lounge is where we relax, read a book, watch TV. It should make us feel welcome and comfortable. There’s nothing worse than not being able to stretch out, trying to squeeze on a sofa or sitting on the floor so everyone can fit in. Our lounge should be able to cope with entertaining a few guests or at the very least be cosy and not overwhelmingly claustrophobic. A few extra feet could mean a bigger TV, an extra sofa, a book shelf, a table – just more space!    

The kitchen is the central hub of most homes. If you love entertaining or you’re a regular at house parties, then you’ll know that the kitchen is where people tend to congregate. It contains the food and drink, which is a great drawing point!

A larger kitchen with more work space is always a necessity. Open-planned living spaces are becoming increasingly popular. They allow the chefs amongst us to carry on cooking while still being involved with the conversation and entertaining that is continuing in the living room.

Whether you like a sea of tranquillity or all the latest mod cons fitted, the bedroom should be designed specifically to our needs. It’s where we spend the vast majority of time, albeit asleep – which is why it needs to be large enough so we can fully relax and unwind. A bedroom where clothes are thrown all over the place and there’s no space for anything can leave us feeling stressed, somewhere we don’t want to spend time and is certainly not great for our love of sleep! A bedroom extension can mean having your room just the way you want it.

Maybe one room just isn’t enough!

There are lots of options open to you if you are thinking of extending your house and not just one room.

A single storey extension will add value to your home and create more living space, perfect for growing families.

A double storey extension will make a substantial difference to your home. It will mean lots more space and possibly the idea of an extra bedroom or bathroom.

A conservatory is a great way of adding value to your home. It’s a sun trap without the sweatiness of being outdoors! Reading a book while looking out into the garden, watching the kids play or simply having dinner makes having a conservatory the perfect extension to your home.

If you are considering having an extension then you should discuss your ideas with a professional. They will be able to develop initial thoughts or help with big plans.  


Building Regulations

You’ve been dreaming about your extension for years, you know exactly what you want, the plans have all been made and the work is about to begin…WAIT. Have you checked with your local council whether you need planning permission and/or building regulations approval?

Planning permission and building regulations approval isn’t just for large organisations who are developing large scale projects. They may be needed for a small and simple extension on a house. It is far better to check and meet any local government requirements first, before starting any work. If you carry out work without the appropriate permission and regulations you may be forced to have your work removed or altered, which will result in great expense.

Planning Permission

Before any extension work begins, you should always ask the planning department at your local council if you need planning permission. Whether you need planning permission can depend on a number of factors such as the type of work you are doing, the details of your work, the scale of your extension or the location of your property. Before any work is carried out always check with your local planning authority, no matter how small you think your job is.

Building Regulations Approval

Building regulations make sure that new building work is safe, healthy, accessible and energy efficient.

Before you start any building work, you should always check if you need building regulations approval. You can do this by checking with your local authority building control department. Or you can use an approved inspector. Approved inspectors work in conjunction with local authorities and provide an alternative building control service. Make sure they are approved inspectors as this could have serious ramifications if they are not. The Construction Industry Council (CIC)'s website provides a list of all approved inspectors.

If you are only installing new windows or a boiler, then make sure the tradesman is registered with a competent person scheme, which means the installer will be able to self-certify the work. This means the approval is already in place and you will not have to gain it from your local government.

If you don’t need building regulations approval, then always make sure that your building work follows the safety and energy efficiency guidelines in the building regulations.

If you are unsure on any of these matters, it is always best to contact your local authority so you can discuss any concerns with them.

Always remember to check with your local council before any work is carried out.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Deciding on an extension for your home can be a daunting task. There is a lot to think about and many decisions to be made. We have answered some frequently asked question to assist you in your new build and in order to turn your home extension into the exciting venture it should be.

This depends on the size, location and type of extension. An extension or addition to your home is usually considered to be a permitted development, which means a planning permission application is not necessarily required. However, a number of conditions need to be met in order for your extension to be deemed as a permitted development.

Examples of work that are considered permitted developments are a small porch, certain conservatories and in some case a single storey home extension. If you are thinking about a home extension we recommend that you submit drawings to your local planning authority for written confirmation of your rights. Before any work begins you should contact your local authority and check to see if planning permission is required.

This will depend on your local planning authority, but you should expect for it to take about 2 – 3 months. Planning permission can take 6 – 8 weeks and then taking into consideration the design process and building regulations approval, the whole process will usually take a few months.

Unless otherwise stated, you usually have three years to start the work. If this time frame lapses, then a new application will need to be submitted.

Many residential buildings are listed Grade 2, which means that all alterations have to be approved under Listed Building Consent. Submitting planning permission for a listed Grade 2 home is similar to making a planning application.

However, process may be handled by a conservation officer within your local planning department or might be referred to English Heritage.

There is also no application fee.

In most cases, a building regulations application is required for all new buildings and alterations to existing buildings whether domestic, commercial or industrial. These regulations help to make sure that new building work is safe, healthy, accessible and energy efficient. If you are only installing new windows or a boiler, then make sure the tradesman is registered with a competent person scheme. This means the installer will be able to self-certify the work, which means you are not required to have a building regulations application.

Before you start any building work, you should always check if you need building regulations approval. You can do this by checking with your local authority building control department. Or you can use an approved inspector. Approved inspectors work in conjunction with local authorities and provide an alternative building control service. Make sure they are approved inspectors as this could have serious ramifications if they are not. The Construction Industry Council (CIC)'s website provides a list of all approved inspectors.

This very much depends on what building works you are having done. There are a number of factors that can affect the price such as location, size of the extension, complexity of work and types of specification required. It is best practice to get a few quotes from different companies.

When a property is empty or undergoing any work most insurance policies are void. You will most likely need to arrange specialist ‘All Risks’ renovation insurance to cover your property while work is being carried out. This type of policy covers the entire project and includes public liability, employer’s liability as well as legal expenses. If you are employing contractors, don’t assume their insurance will cover you and your property as well.

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