Planning an extension? What you need to know
You may look at your house and feel the need to add more space, in which case an extension can add value to your home, as well as precious useable space. When it comes to extending your home, the heart of the property will be your kitchen.
Extending your living room or sitting room will provide you with more space, but in terms of adding value to your property in a versatile entertaining area, the kitchen is key. But it’s important to consider the layout of your house first; having an enormous kitchen dining space but a small living room will unbalance the layout, whereas a small extension to both spaces would be a better solution.
If you are extending towards the rear of your property, as most kitchens are situated in this space, you should consider your neighbours. Will you be overlooked, or will an extension overlook someone else’s property? And structurally, would an extension mean moving any structural walls or damp proofing party walls – in this case, you need to research the party wall agreement.
Extensions to your downstairs bathroom or WC will not be particularly beneficial; better to spend a little bit of extra money on replacing the taps or adding a fresh coat of paint – in the long run this won’t add value to your property, and as long as it’s of a useable size you probably won’t miss an extra square metre of room.
Once you’ve chosen which room you’d like to extend, before rushing into designing your new space you should find out if you require planning permission for an extension. Many extensions of a certain size are classified as a permitted development and don’t require planning permission, and if you are faced with the choice, opting for a smaller but just as functional extension could save time and money in the long run.
Additional rules apply to listed houses or houses within a certain area, however, you should check with your Local Planning Authority for the most up to date information for your area.
Inspiration and design
Extending your property can be a wonderful experience that adds value to your home, but in order to best utilise the space available, it’s imperative that you take time to plan and design so you are absolutely sure that your new space will cater to your every need.
It is important to remember that your tastes will change over time, and whilst you may not need a large extension now, if you are planning on having a family or using the room for a different purpose in future, it might be a good idea to invest in the extra few square feet of room.
The internet is a valuable resource; even the most computer illiterate of us can type a few keywords into Google and achieve fantastic inspirational images. And whilst you may find extensions to houses that are the complete opposite of your own, you will be able to identify elements you like and might like to include in your design, such as floor to ceiling glass panels to maximise light and space, LED floor lights, or flat roofing.
You will also find helpful tips regarding extensions such as related interior design or a guide to understanding planning permission, or this blog itself!
Another good place to start for inspiration is your very own neighbourhood; visit your neighbours, take a tour of your local area, and ask lots of questions. This is a useful step because you can see what worked for other people with the same period or build type as your own home, and to rule out any extensions which you don’t like or which wouldn’t work for you.
It’s easy to lose your head in the clouds at this point as you’re dreaming of your perfect extension, but remember to critically evaluate your needs and how they match up to the extensions you’ve seen, and learn from other people’s experiences. It’s important to have a space that is functional as well as beautifully designed.
Ask the professionals
Cutting corners in your extension, in most cases, will lead to long term problems that will burn a crater sized hole in your wallet. Perhaps you will be one of the lucky few who receive excellent work for amateur prices, but if you’d like a guarantee and a service you can trust, you should always choose a professional company who specialise in extension work.
Bosaco is a local family run construction company in Nottingham. With years of experience their builders are renowned when it comes to house extensions. They project manage everything from start to finish. From the foundations to the roofing and everything in between. Their professional builders and tradesmen cover all aspects of Building Works, Plumbing & Heating and Electrical Work.