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A Guide to the Building the Perfect Extension

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These days it seems that people are happier to stay in their current homes and improve them rather than move somewhere completely new. This may be because of house prices, or maybe because it’s easier than swapping their children’s schools, but there is always so much to consider.

It’s not all to do with construction, but making sure that you have planned out every detail before it’s too late and the work is irreversible.

Here are a few things to think about before you even apply for planning permission:

Are you sacrificing your drive for this extension? Be sure that you have space to park your car or if it’s legal for your to park on the street. Some streets are not built to accommodate vehicles which is why the properties were built with driveways. If you block this up, you may have caused yourself some big problems.

Can your street accommodate the construction? Some roads aren’t wide enough for the heavy machinery to access the property, especially if you share a driveway. Be sure that the workmen can access the site easily, otherwise you may have to be prepared to have materials carted through your home so that the job can be done.

Believe it or not, even if you have planning permission, your property simply may not be suitable to have an extension. The house may not be able to bear it, or the land gradient may be too steep to accommodate. Even the soil can be an issue of it is too hard! You may be able to fix these problems, but the increased work can strain your budget.

It’s a good idea to get a surveyor to come and out and give the property a once over before you get too excited. This means that you are well prepared for any future problems too.

You could do a bit of research and see if any of your neighbours have tried the same thing. See what problems they may have had and how they solved them to get an idea of the area. This is also helpful for a price estimation.

Planning Permission-
Now you can start to think about planning permission. For some people this is nearly impossible. It all depends on where you live and what you want to build. The planning authorities usually have good reason for their decisions, whether it’s a location of natural beauty or your extension will block light to a neighbour's home, you should prepare yourself to be told that your extension isn’t possible.  

You should never build an extension without permission. Your local planning authority does have the right to destroy your developments if you go ahead without them.

Building Regulations-
In a lot of cases you may not need any planning permission, however you will need the Buildings Regulations Approval. This is because the government need to be sure that you have met building standards regarding safety, insulation, drainage and access.

Listed Buildings-
If you happen to be living in a listed building, you can have some big issues if you have decided you want to make a change. It is an offence to make changes to a listed building without consent, even with interior decorating.

If you are lucky enough to be granted permission to make changes to a listed building, you will have to follow guidelines which keep the properties original appearance and do not damage the historical value.

It is advised that you hire an architect to create these plans and advise you to the correct materials that should be used to be sure that you do not break any laws. It is also best to mention that this will probably be more costly than an adding an extra room to your average home.

Heating and Electric- 
One thing that worth thinking about before your build is connecting your existing systems to the ones in the main part of the house.

Some existing heating systems can’t actually cope with the extra space that you’re adding. It could mean you budgeting for a new boiler that can handle the added work load. It could be cheaper to add a smaller system to the new part of the house.

As for your electrics, you will need a qualified electrician to assess your best option to join your current circuit with your new rooms.

These jobs need to be completed first to ensure that all pipe work is covered properly and your new work doesn’t need to be ripped out later to fix these problems.

Whether you leaving the property while the work is being done or staying where you are, there are always added risks that your normal Home Insurance policy won’t cover.

We deal with high risk circumstances and understand the importance of having the correct cover so that your plans don’t fall through, get an instant online quote with us today. Extension Quote.

If you have found this article useful, you may also like to read Top Renovation Fails for Landlords.

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