Want your perfect dream home, but without the hassle of having to move out and find another? Do you feel as if you’re starting to outgrow your house and need more space? An extension could be the answer to all of your prayers, bringing your design dreams to life, changing the way you live, and adding value to your property all at the same time. Read on for three essential extension tips you need to know about before getting the process started.
Planning permission and council checks
Whether you are going for a big or small addition, most extensions will require some sort of development application, and you will need to get in contact with your local Council authority to gain permission for your extension to come to life. This is particularly important if you are working on a heritage house, as there might be some stipulations that cannot be broken in order to preserve the character and be in keeping with the historical architecture of the property. It’s best to find this out as early as possible, as it could limit your design plans quite dramatically, ranging from the layout all the way to the materials. It also allows your neighbours to voice any issues that they might have before work begins. In fact, it’s always usually best practise and courteous to speak to your neighbours during the planning stages of your extension project to alleviate any possible concerns that they might have, easing tensions and avoiding problems further down the line. Make your application as early as possible, as it typically takes a few weeks for plans to be granted.
Teamwork and project management
Throughout your extension, you will have to rely a lot on other people, including a trustworthy team of builders. If you are going for a reasonably small extension, then it is possible to undergo the project management process yourself to save on some costs. However, this will only be a success if you have done your research thoroughly and have excellent organisational skills. This will allow you to work with independent builders and contractors and give you full control over the entire process. If you are going for a significant extension, it’s wise to leave the project management to an experienced architect who can bring your vision to life thanks to their design and construction knowledge. Either way, whether you are project managing yourself or not, the extension process will be both stressful and time-consuming, and it would be best to leave any other renovations and DIY in the home, even if it needs repairs unless there is an absolute emergency.
The importance of continuity
Even if you want your extension to stand out from the rest of your home, it should be for the right reasons, and still work seamlessly with the original house, to create a feeling of natural continuity. Should it end up being too disjointed and not feel like a natural extension of your home, then not only might you actually be devaluing your property, but it might even feel uncomfortable to spend time in. While your personal tastes are essential and should be taken into account throughout the entire planning and construction process, it is also crucial to acknowledge and be aware of the architectural structure, layout, and design of your house, along with the street and the local neighbourhood.
If you are working with a more modern house, the process might be slightly more straightforward, with it being easier to blend the extension into the current existing structure. However, if you are working with an older and historic property, it will be crucial to blend the extension in, combining the old seamlessly with the new. A great way to do this is to take some architectural or design elements from your home and incorporate it into the new part of the property or use a similar colour pallet to ensure a cohesive and coherent look throughout.