Extending your home is a great way to get more use and more pleasure out of your home, or to add value on to a property that you want to sell. On the flip side, if you try and start an extension project without the proper planning, law, design and construction knowledge, then it’s likely to go horribly wrong. Here are our tips for making it go as smoothly as possible.
Know the Building Regulations
Even if you don’t need planning permission for your extension, because you’re using permitted development rights, you have to get building regulation approval.
The Building Regulations set out requirements for structural integrity, fire safety, energy efficiency, damp proofing, ventilation and other key aspects that make sure that the building will be safe.
Are You in a Conservation Area?
If you live in a conservation area then you are subject to different development rights. Each local area has its own policy for conservation areas, but the basis is to prevent the loss of character. This means that things like changing the roof or windows has to be approved first, which means that an attic conversion will definitely require planning permission in a conservation area.
While the legal minimum ceiling height has been removed, there’s still a practical minimum height. Standard ceiling height is 2.4m, and the practical minimum height is 2.1m. This is especially worth thinking about with attic and basement conversions.
There are also minimum room sizes to make sure that you’re not dividing up space to make your property appear bigger than it actually it is. The minimum room size depends on what type of room it is.
Avoiding Through Rooms
Figuring out the most efficient and practical way to access an extension is one of the most difficult things to do when you’re planning one. If you sacrifice more than you’re gaining, then it’s a pointless thing to do. For instance, if you have to cut up a bedroom to access another bedroom, then it’s an exercise in futility.
Remember the Difference Between an Estimate and a Quote
An estimate is a contractor’s guess as to what the work will cost. This is not legally binding and the final bill may exceed it.
A quotation is a definite price. When deciding on a builder, make sure you get a written quote from at least three contractors.
They are not the same thing, so you need to be clear which one you have.
Extension insurance is really important for your peace of mind, and will help cover you for those things that might go wrong. Take the precaution of contacting insurance providers like UKinsuranceNET