A few years ago I had a decision to make regarding where I was living, I loved the home that I was in but found the need for some more space after my second child came along. I flirted with the idea of moving home but the property market was not in a good state and I begrudged the idea of moving away from my family, social circle and the last thing I wanted was to take my child to a new school to start again. I opted instead to renovate my existing home and add an extra floor as well as some more space on the side of the house. I always knew that the process wouldn’t be easy but I definitely underestimated just how hard it would be. If you are planning something similar then here is my advice to you.
Get Prices For Everything
I massively underestimated how much the raw materials would cost and didn’t look into this until quite far throughout the process. My advice would be that once you have a solid plan from the architect, start getting prices. For example, the quote which I received from David Montoya Stonemakers was very reasonable for the brick work and I got a little carried away, it turned out to be the only quote that I received which was anywhere near my expectation. This caused a lot of to and fro between myself an the architect and forced me to up my budget. Stick to your budget and make that plans around it rather than the other way around.
I would wholeheartedly recommend that, if possible, you move out of the property whilst the work is being undertaken. The level of noise, mess and interruption is not helpful when you are trying to run a family home and if you stay, the work will also take a longer amount of time. Start planning as soon as possible to move out of your home for a while and even if you need to stay in a hotel, the money which you will save on the faster building work will more than pay of your time in the hotel.
Th most important advice that I can offer you is to check out all of the legality surrounding your proposed extension before you sign any contracts. We had great difficulty in getting planning permission for the extension and I had assumed that it would not be a problem. Thankfully we had great neighbors and an open dialogue with them about what we wanted to do and without them, we would not have been able to get permission. If you want to extend your home then make sure that you have all of the legal issues in place before you even consider signing up to the project or hiring contractors. Make sure also that you have a strong relationship with your neighbors or at the very least that you have informed them of your plans.
As life moves on so to does your housing requirements and when the time comes that you decide you need more space in the home you have several options in front of you. Sometimes it can be as simple as knocking down a wall in the home to create a larger room, sometimes you may need to opt to move house in order to have the space that you want and sometimes you should be considering an extension on your home in order to give your house the extra room that it needs. I recently extended my home to add 3 new rooms and with the expert help of Jon Bunge and his team, the extension looks perfect and achieved the results that I wanted. If you have been thinking about extending your home then here are some tips to help your planning process.
Ensure That You Have a Tight Budget
In order to decide on any parts of the extension you need to already have in place the amount of money that you are going to spend on your extension. It is important that you consider how much money you have to spend on the extension rather than working on how much money you will need to find for the extension that you want. There are many different construction and planning costs involved and you need to be fully prepared to pay what you can for this as opposed for looking at a carte-blanche style approach to extending your home which can leave you in debt or financial difficulties.
Talk With Your Neighbors
It is important that during this time you have a strong relationship with your neighbors as you are going to need their support and patience. Not only will they have something new to look at when they stare out of the window (your extension could block their view,) but also there will be a lot of upheaval in your street as construction vehicles come and go and building materials adorn the street. Get your neighbors on board and create an open dialogue with them so that if any problems should arise, they can talk to you directly.
Make Sure That All Planning Has Been Passed
I’ve heard some terrible stories over the years of those who invested in their extension, got their construction team in place, made down payments on supplies and then failed to get their planning passed by local government. To avoid making such financial errors as these it is vital that you seek to get all aspects of your planning permission passed long before you part with any money. There is nothing wrong with having your construction team in place and a list of the exact materials that you will need for your extension whilst your planning application is being submitted. There is a huge difference however between being prepared for your extension in this way, and actually starting it before it has all been approved.