Important Things To Consider Before Building An Extension On Your Home

by Editor on June 1, 2013

Extension

If you’re planning to build an extension on your home then there are a couple of very important things to consider first. While some include laws and applications, others include choosing a construction company, the location and even your new neighbours. The following points should all be considered before you hire professionals to begin work and your build and talking to an expert about these matters would certainly be recommended.

Accessibility

The accessibility of the extension should always be considered before building. For example, creating a throughway that can only be accessed from one room is often a mistake, especially if the extension is relatively small to begin with. Throughways often require that the larger room be chopped up and furniture re-arranged which takes away from the space that is already present. Typically a good extension should be accessible from multiple rooms, a large living room or a hallway.

Building Regulations

Building regulations including permitted development rights, minimum room size, ceiling height and other elements should all be considered.  For example, the minimum size for a dining room is 9.2 square metres while the minimum size for a bedroom is 6.5 to 8.4 square metres depending on the location. Check with the city hall to see any local building regulations and then follow them.

Removing Trees

It is not always legal to remove trees to make way for an extension. In fact, some trees are protected by Tree Preservation Orders. Any trees inside of a conservation area have a TPO so long as they are 75mm or greater at the base. In other areas, it may be possible to remove the TPO with a planning consent from the city hall.

Neighbour Complaints

Your builders may be required to stop construction if the neighbour complains that the extension will block light to their windows. By law, this is illegal but does only extend to normal light conditions. Therefore it is essential to plan an extension that does not block light in any way to the neighbour’s house. However, the Party Wall Act of 1996 allows you to legally build up to your neighbour’s property, even if it requires that you access the extension from their property. While this is not likely to make you any friends, it is definitely within the bounds of the law.

Restructuring

Restructuring is always a possibility, especially if you already have local builders in the area. For example, you are allowed to remove walls, move doors and even add new connections to a conservatory for example without city permission. While your builders are there, why not restructure some of your home, remove some walls and make more space. Sometimes a bit of restructuring can greatly expand the available living area, so you should think it over.

Cost

The cost should always be very important to anyone considering an extension; especially since quote and final cost can vary greatly. Unfortunately no quote can cover the full expense because of unknown details. For this reason it is usually important to have a budget that is higher than the initial quote.  Finally, remember that quotes, even written ones, are in no way legally binding and are instead seen as a guess of the final price. If you would like to compare quote to final price, ask for a written estimate with broken down costs before hiring and then compare it to the final bill.

There are plenty of things to consider before hiring someone to build an extension on your home but one of the most important factors is the contractor. Look for a local contractor who is recommended in your area and who offers a reputable and professional service. Hiring local builders will save you money on transportation as well as company fees

About the Author

Katie Latchford is a writer who understands the importance of checking costs and regulations before you begin a building project. When seeking quotes and information from local builders, Stockport experts recommend speaking to reputable firms for advice on who you should talk to.

photo by: exfordy

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