Extending your home: Where to start

Posted on Friday, 8 March 2019 | Written by Hayward Moon

Outgrown your home? An extension is a fantastic way to add space and value without having to move and incur the expense of stamp duty and solicitor fees. But where do you start?

Whether you’re considering a two storey extension or an annexe, there are many questions to consider before signalling ‘Go!’ on your grand plans. 

Will your extension add value to your property?
It’s important you check whether the extension you have in mind will add value to your property, or at least not damage the value of your property. You can check local property listings to see how much homes with similar modifications in your area are selling for or speak to an estate agent.

What’s your total budget?
The average extension costs between £10,000 and £40,000. Decide what you’re comfortable with before getting quotes to ensure you’re not easily ‘sold’ to or made to reach beyond your means.

What’s the realistic cost of your ideal build?
Get a minimum of three quotes from different contractors – ideally a couple that are recommended to you and others that are well-reviewed online on sites such as Checkatrade. Then, add 10% of the total build cost to the quotes you receive, in case any problems arise.

Where can you compromise?
If the quotes you’ve received are beyond your budget, you may need to compromise on your vision. Speak to the tradespeople you liked and trusted the most to a) see whether there’s room for negotiation and b) ask how you can reduce the cost of the build, if necessary.

Do you need an architect?
If your build is relatively simple and you have a planning consultant you can speak to, you may not need an architect. However, having an architect can make the process less stressful as they will see you through the planning process. If you decide to work with an architect, refer to the Architects Register or ask family and friends for recommendations.

Do you need planning permission?
Once you’ve found the right contractor and are happy with the cost of your build, you must check with your local planning authority to confirm whether you need planning permission and, if you do, attain it. If you have an architect, they will be able to help you with this.

Once you’ve answered the above questions, taken the necessary steps (such as getting planning permission) and chosen your builder, you’re ready to proceed with your extension.

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