Every homeowner seeks to either jazz up the interiors or widen the living space, but many make the mistake of undertaking such a major project without proper planning. There are several things to consider including planning your extension, magnetic particle inspection, the materials to use, and your budget. If you’ve been thinking about extending your home but aren’t quite sure what should be on your checklist, here are some of the basic things you need to consider when finalizing your expansion plans.
Discuss your plans with your neighbors.
Probably one of the most important yet over-looked factors when it comes to planning and carrying out a home expansion, communicating your plans to your neighbors will save you time and money right from the early stages of your project. By discussing it with your neighbors, you get to settle important details like “right of way” and “right to light” (your extension should not block your neighbor’s window), as well as other possible objections and concerns they may have over the construction work.
Consult an architect to check if your requirements are feasible.
Consider seeking an experienced architect’s opinion regarding your extension plans and ideas, so you know which ones are feasible given the available space. You will also be given expert advice and assessment when it comes to planning permissions, or any probable local factors that may affect your plans for the expansion. Some architects are also willing to oversee the building project as a manager, for an extra fee.
Find out if you need to apply for planning permits.
Majority of house extension projects will only be allowed to commence after a planning permission is secured. This is because each town or city may have its own limitations and parameters on the extent of the construction. This is to ensure that all buildings and properties follow the set parameters for the appearance, landscaping details, road access, and environmental considerations. Your architect may be able to give you advice regarding this matter and help you secure planning permission.
Secure building regulations approval.
Aside from planning permits, extending buildings will also often require compliance with the government’s building regulations regarding minimum design standards, disability considerations, and health and safety regulations. A credible builder should be able to help you make sure that your expansion work complies with the building regulations and the construction and performance standards are met.
Be wary of builders who may charge you less but also do shabby work or cut corners with materials.
To avoid compromising the quality of materials and work, don’t simply go for the builder that offers to give you the lowest rates. Shop around, talk to several contractors, and ask for quotes for your expansion project. All the building supplies should be accounted for in the quote, and see if you can get discounted prices for any special materials such as glass panels and iron works that your extension may require.
Work within a budget and track your expenses.
This is often the pitfall for many homeowners, often due to miscalculations in the time and money necessary to complete the expansion work. When setting the budget for your project, set realistic goals, avoid over-stretching finances, allot emergency funds if possible, include fees for applications and permits, and set aside funds for decorations, finishing touches, or new furniture. Also, while it may be tempting to take on some work yourself to save on labor costs, it’s advisable to leave them to specialists who can do it better and finish it faster, eventually saving you time and ensuring the quality of the entire project.