Home > Building > Building An Extension

Building An Extension

By: Chris Hogan MSc - Updated: 15 May 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Storey Property Renovation Renovate

With house prices the way they are these days it’s no wonder that many householders choose to extend their property rather than sell and move on. An extension can give growing families the extra room they need and, if planned properly, will add value to the house. Now that the housing boom has taken so many houses above the higher stamp duty threshold, it’s possible to build for less than the cost of moving.

Know Your Own Mind

It’s essential to know exactly why you’re extending and what you want to use the extra space for. If the tiny kitchen is getting you down you can give yourself a bigger kitchen, more space in the dining room and build in a utility room too. If the family is growing you might need extra space downstairs, but have you considered factoring in an extra bedroom or bathroom at the same time?

The majority of extensions are single story additions, and doing both storeys might seem like a big job, but consider whether or not it might be worthwhile. A lot of the cost of an extension is in the roof, and that’s the same for one storey or two, and the aggravation while the building work is going on won’t be a great deal more. The extra bedroom should reap dividends, as in the UK houses are valued on their number of bedrooms rather than overall space.

Talk to the Planners

Planning permission is almost certain to be required for all but the smallest extensions, particularly if it’s going to have plumbing for a kitchen, utility room or bathroom. The rules as to what needs permission and what doesn’t differ around the United Kingdom so it’s essential to get in touch with your local planning department.

Hiring an architect is a good idea, not only will they know the regulations and deliver plans that can be used by the planning department and the builders, but they will also be able to show you ideas that you may not have though of yourself.

Internal Space

Plan the internal layout carefully, think about the paths that people take through the house now, and where they will go when the extension is in place. Try to avoid rooms with doors at either end as they end up becoming wide corridors with hard to use spaces at the sides.

An architect or builder will be able to pick out places where your ideal layout may cause building problems, or snags linking into existing services such as plumbing, gas, drainage and electricity.

Exterior Choices

It is very important to arrive at an external design that will enhance, rather than detract from, your home. Unless you are doing a simple one-storey box on the back of your home and you don’t think you’ll be moving for a number of years, it’s critical that the new build blends in with the existing property. Look at what others have done in your area to similar homes and if you know anyone who’s had a good job done recently ask to have a look round and find out who they used.

Get Cracking!

Once you have a good idea of what you need, look for builders, preferably through personal recommendation. Follow the tips in the articles in our ‘Getting Started’ section for more details on the actual build process.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Dav
    Re: Adding A Porch
    Hi I've build a porch to the front of my home, it a detached house with a garage that comes out 600mm passed the front of my house which is included…
    13 January 2019
  • Mitch
    Re: Getting a Renovation Grant
    @Vicky - you won't get a grant for this sort of revovation. No one is going to pay you to renovate your own home, sorry. Not these…
    17 September 2018
  • Dan
    Re: Adding A Porch
    Hi I’m thinking of building a porch on the front of my house and I was wondering if I can join it to my next door neighbors house because I’m in a…
    16 September 2018
  • Vicky
    Re: Getting a Renovation Grant
    Hi I am looking for funding to reinstate a farm house that is over 100 years old and has been derelict for 30years. Do you know who I…
    15 September 2018
  • woody56
    Re: Adding A Porch
    I am looking at building a porch within the 3 metres guidelines so not needing planning permission. It will have approx 750mm brick base with…
    8 August 2018
  • Ingrid
    Re: Getting a Renovation Grant
    Hi. I'm making an enquiry on behalf of my elderly parents who live in a house in Scotland, built circa 1894. They are both on state…
    3 July 2018
  • Roget
    Re: Getting a Renovation Grant
    @Aims - I don't think you can get grants for this sort of home improvements. Grants are much more scarce these days. A can of white…
    12 June 2018
  • Aims
    Re: Getting a Renovation Grant
    Hi I am a lone parent to 2 children and have always worked long hours as a nurse in the NHS, I simply can't afford to redecorate my…
    12 June 2018
  • Seiyune
    Re: Adding A Porch
    I need a side shelter/porch, partly for storage, partly for shelter and partly to protect a lobby that's freezing in winter and boiling in summer.…
    21 May 2018
  • buddie
    Re: Getting a Renovation Grant
    i am in the process of having my late mothers house left to me...its about a hundred old house but in need of a lot of work as not…
    25 April 2018