Plan ahead to get ahead. When you’ve covered all bases, you can start your build with confidence. So take some time to consider:
- Site access
How will you get materials and your people to the site? Make sure you’ve planned a good, clear path to avoid delays. Your builder can help advise on the best routes.
- Ground quality
The ground needs to be good enough to hold your new structure. Call in a land surveyor to check that the land is not liable to subsistence or flooding.
- Right to light
Your neighbours have what is known as a ‘right to light’. That means if your extension is likely to cast a shadow over their land, you may have to rethink your plans.
How will you connect your new building to gas, electricity, water supply and sewerage. You’ll need the details of your existing utilities and to plan with a builder or building contractor how it will all work.
Once you’ve planned, designed, researched and completed all the preliminary stages of your extension, it’s a good time to ask yourself these 7 questions before you give the green light:
1. Can I afford it?
Sit down with the figures and be realistic.
2. Is my property currently empty?
If you are extending a property that has been empty for two years or more, it falls under a conversion and you could get a 5% VAT reduction.
3. Where will I live?
Will you need to move out during construction? If you have to leave the property while work is underway, try to stay somewhere close so you can check in on it easily.
4. Does my extension meet building regulations?
Building regulations include fire safety, insulation, drainage, access and more. Submit your plans as a Full Plan Submission or Building Notice to your Local Authority to ensure you’ve covered all bases. An architect or architectural engineer can help you draw out the best plans – and get them ready to hand over to your builder.
5. Will my builder provide an itemised quote?
An itemised quote as opposed to an estimate based on day-rate figures can help to keep your costs in line with your budget. And make sure you’ve got a warranty, so they are responsible should there be any defects in the work.
6. Do I need to update my circuits?
By adding additional space to your property, you could be putting extra strain on your existing energy supply. If your heating system or electrical circuits are old, you might want to look at improving them before you begin on the next stage.
7. Can I find multi-skilled tradespeople?
If you can find people who can turn their hand to a number of jobs, you could keep your costs down. Especially if they bring their own tools and equipment.
Once the planning stages are over, you’re ready to get started – and create the space you’ve always dreamed of.