When you build onto your house there are a lot of things to consider - but with a little knowledge and forward thinking you can't go wrong.
There are many reasons why people decide to create extensions, extra rooms or additional structures. For example, a playroom for new additions to the family, a conservatory to enjoy more sun, or an annexe to cater for a new hobby. Of course, the size, style and nature of the build will depend on the type of planning permission you might need, so ensure you go down the correct legal and planning avenues to make sure you don't run into any problems in the future. When it comes to the actual build onto your house, you may use professionals, or do it yourself - but again this depends on the nature of the work.
The practical stuff
- Doing your own building work can be a challenging and rewarding experience. However, it can be tempting to bite off more than you can chew. Firstly, there are important safety aspects to consider. Walls shouldn't be knocked through without ensuring there is a secure lintel to support the remaining wall, and new structures should always be built under proper recommendations, with solid groundings and adequate support for walls, floors and ceilings. A building consultant can help you draw up plans and advise on making the end product safe and secure.
- Once you've drawn up a rough plan, plan your budget as meticulously as you can before you begin to build onto your house. Spending is always going to fluctuate, but if you have a rough estimate with all things considered - the price of labour if needed, raw materials, pipes, electrical cables, finishing works, fittings and decorative materials - then this should help you stay on track. Regarding gas and electricity - these will always need certifying by a professional, so don't try to undertake it unless you are one!
The legal stuff
- Consult your local council to check out the zoning laws. If you build onto your house outside the footprints of your existing home, or add an extra room, you need planning permission. There may be restrictions on whether you can build upwards, to the rear, or on the front of your house, so get the correct verification before you begin.
- Keep to all the scales in the plan so you don't get penalised in the future, and ensure you keep all proof of sign-offs from structural consultants, gas engineers and electricians to prove the build onto your house is safe and approved.