This is a hot topic, not only are you having this conversation, many thousands of people are too. With programs such as Channel 4’s ‘Kirsty and Phil’s Love it or List it’ running for 4 series, house prices continuing to stay high and the cost of moving so expensive, never has this subject seemed so relevant.
Why should I Extend?
- Maybe your family has outgrown your home and would benefit from the extra space
- You’ve worked out that it will cost less to extend, rather than move to a new house.
- Your home would increase in value
- Neighbours have already achieved these things with great success
- It’s been a lifelong dream to take on a project like this!
But does the idea of making alterations to your home seem overwhelming?
Maybe you don’t know where to start?
That’s where the experts come in!
While you are thinking about changing your home you often think about new rooms you want to add or spaces you would like to make larger. An architect can think in a broad way about how all the spaces flow together and will often find unexpected solutions.
It may prove less expensive than you first thought or there could be cost-effective ways to achieve what you’re looking to do.
Where to start?
You don’t have to go too far to find someone who has tackled a similar project to you, with social media sites such as Pinterest, thousands of people are sharing their ideas, advice and pitfalls, it’s a great way to start working out what you like and don’t like.
Word of mouth recommendations for architects and builders are always the best. When using an architect always ensure they are RIBA members and/or on the ARB register, this will give you peace of mind that the people you are speaking with are qualified and know what can legally be achieved.
Should I Project Manage It?
Hiring a professional to plan and oversee the build will always benefit your project. They will know what needs to be ordered when and what tradesman will be required for what job and when. They will also be able to manage budgets and usually have good relationships with other local tradespeople to suit your build. Usually, on a domestic project, this will be handled by your builder.
In our experience, projects managed by inexperienced homeowners often fall behind schedule and or run over budget, which in turn makes the whole experience far more stressful for all parties concerned.
How much will it cost?
As they say, “every construction job is a prototype.” No two projects are the same, so it’s always difficult to say until you start speaking to the professionals and start planning the work.
Client’s priorities vary from project to project. If you want to have a view of costs early on, then employing a Quantity Surveyor will help. Otherwise, it is common to gain an understanding of costs by getting quotes once the work has been designed.
Don’t forget to add VAT! Most contractors including architects will quote prices excluding VAT at 20%, this can throw your budget out if you have not forecasted it to begin with.
Also, don’t forget to consider a cost for moving out for a period while the work is being carried out, living on site in some circumstances can delay the project as builders and contractors work around you.
Will I need Planning Permission?
Why not read our blog Planning Permission v Permitted Development to understand better what route you should take?