Desperate to create some extra space at home but daunted by the process of designing and building an extension? It’s understandable, especially as no two home extension projects are the same. However, whether you’re creating a relatively simple side extension or embarking on a more complex two-storey project, there are some fundamental things you should keep in mind. Here, the construction experts at Revere Contracts explain all in this simple step by step guide to home extensions.
The repercussions of Brexit and the pandemic are still having a major impact on the construction industry. Materials, labour and HGV driver shortages, coupled with delivery delays and a surge in demand are all continuing to have a knock-on effect. A degree of flexibility is therefore required with regards to timescales and costs, and it’s important to acknowledge this right from the get-go.
Think carefully about your budget
Before starting any project, it is important to have a clear idea of your budget. It is easy to get carried away at the thought of designing your dream home, but think carefully about what you can realistically afford and how much of a return on investment the extension is likely to give you.
Consider how you will fund the project, for example through savings, a personal loan, home improvement loan, or re-mortgaging your property. Factor in potential additional costs, such as renting elsewhere while the building work is being completed. And crucially, remember to set aside a contingency fund to cover any unforeseen circumstances, particularly if the extension is for a period property as these can often throw up unpredictable challenges. 20% is generally the recommended amount for a sensible contingency fund.
Choose your architect wisely
A good architect will be able to get to the root of what currently does and does not work for your property – which spaces are overcrowded or under-utilised, for example. This key information will inform their brief and give you a realistic expectation of what can be achieved with the addition of a home extension.
As well as being responsible for the design, architects can liaise with various consultants on your behalf. They can consult with the structural engineers who will produce drawings and calculations for Building Regulation purposes, as well the party wall surveyors, and the Building Control Officer, for example.
Finally, the architect can guide you through the planning process and ensure all relevant authorities are appropriately notified.
Keep in contact with your main contractor throughout the project
A trusted, experienced main contractor can make all the difference to the success of a building project. For full peace of mind from the offset, ask for references and details of previously completed projects, agree payment terms before commencing, and sign a contract.
The main contractor can then be entrusted to project manage the entire build – from the laying of the foundations right through to the final finishes. They can organise the tradesmen, hire building equipment and machinery, and ensure the project runs according to plan. The key is to keep in contact so they can communicate openly about the progress of the project.
- First up, the foundations will be laid before being approved by the Building Control Officer from your local planning authority.
- Reinforcement, pipework and drainage will then be laid, concrete poured, and the Building Control Officer will return to sign off this work.
- Next is the creation of the superstructure – whether that be with bricks or blockwork, plus the cavity wall insulation.
- Internal walls will then be constructed.
- The roof will then be added, followed by windows, doors, guttering and downpipes.
- All first fix carpentry, plumbing, and electrics will be completed next, and any stud walls finished.
- The plastering will follow, plus second fix electrics and plumbing.
- The flooring will be installed, followed by any fixings and units.
- Then it’s over to you to complete the project with the decoration and styling of the interiors.
Find out more
If you are considering adding an extension to your home, call Revere Contracts on 0345 241 7010 or drop us a message via www.revere-contracts.co.uk/contact to arrange your free quote.