5 Top Tips to designing and preparing for your extension
- Decide what you want from your extension / renovation and write it down.
You can refer to it during the process. It’s no good spending thousands of pounds on an extension that doesn’t suit your needs. Are you extending for practical reasons like more space, for aesthetics such as more light, or to add value to your property? If it’s a mix of reasons, think about each one in-turn and make sure your final design meets those criteria as well as possible within budget and planning constraints.
- Consider internal changes at the same time.
Your extension will change the aspect and the layout of your house. Sometimes it’s better to reconfigure the layout of your house to take full advantage of extending the property. Consider making other changes at the same time, or at least include them in your plans, which may save you money overall on design and build.
- Get professional advice from either an architect or a builder
Or both! Here at W H Thomson www.wh-thomson.com we are happy to talk through your ideas, offer advice and help devise a solution for any of your building ideas. There is no charge for us to give you advice; we can provide guidance on what’s possible, what your options are, whether you will need planning permission and if you will need an architect to create drawings for planning, or engineering drawings for the builder.
- Check what permits or permission you will require for your build.
There are a host of different rules and regulations that dictate what you can and can’t do with an extension, most of them will be taken care of by the builder or an architect, however, it’s a big part of the decision whether you will need planning permission or not. The main things that affect the outcome are the size of your build, the proximity to the road and other boundaries. If the extension is more than 5m from the road or other public access and no more than 30% of the volume of the house, then your builder can certify, this means it can be cheaper and faster to get your build completed. Otherwise, you will need planning permission and an architect to produce drawings for the planning office that they are likely to approve.
- Consider a set of drawings, regardless of whether you need planning
You will need a set of architectural drawings and specification plans for the planning office but also for your builder to give you a more accurate quote. It is documented that 80% of builds go over budget because of poor detailed quotes pre-build. Better to know the finished cost in advance than runout of money half way through.
Our local planning office – www.wyreforestdc.gov.uk/planning-and-buildings.aspx
We have all watched TV shows where ambitious builds go way over budget, but if you follow our tips and approach your build with a good company then your build should come-in on budget, as long as you don’t change your mind! (That includes all those finishing touches with decoration and furnishing once your build if complete).
5 Questions to ask yourself before you start your build?
- Will my new extension meet my family needs, will it improve our everyday living?
- Will we need planning? If in any doubt, check!
It’s not just buildings that need planning, certain size decking can need planning permission depending on height, size and proximity to your house so always best to check.
- How do I get the best build for my money?
At W H Thomas we will give you a detailed itemised quote so you can pick and choose what you would like to match your budget. Unless you have a limitless budget be prepared to make compromises with your build. By having an itemised quote you can prioritise what is a must and what’s just desirable.
- Have I taken professional advice before making a decision?
Our advice is free, so no problem to call us and discuss your ideas.
- Have I chosen a recommended builder that will look after my job?
Find a good trustworthy builder, get reviews, visit properties that your potential builder has completed, talk to their previous clients. Besides buying your house this may be the biggest purchase you will ever make so do your homework. Here at W H Thomson we pride ourselves on customer satisfaction. We are always happy to provide references and as you can see our work on our website www.wh-thomson.co.uk we have many testimonials for you to read from our happy customers.