Building an extension – what you need to know


If you have outgrown your current home, it could be a better option to build an extension than to move to a new property. This is especially the case if you are settled in the area and you have invested time and money in making the property exactly how you want it.

Building an extension is not something you can rush into though. You need to make sure that you get help from the right professionals, such as architects to draw-up building plans, surveyors to carry out tasks such as construction staking and builders to turn the plans into reality. As well as making sure you work with the right people, there are other things you need to consider.

Do you need permission to build?

It’s never a good idea to just go ahead with building an extension to your property without checking if you need permission; and making sure that all permissions are in place if they are required. If you proceed without doing this there is a chance that you may be told to return the property to its original condition at some point in the future. This would be inconvenient and costly. Always seek permission at the start of the project.

Do you know about possible restrictions and obstacles?

Building an extension means building on an area of land which you may not know very well. Of course, you know it’s part of your property and that you have been using it as garden space. But, do you know what the quality of the soil is like? Are you aware of any underground utility pipes? Do you know how far the roots of the trees in your garden stretch?

These are all important considerations when building an extension. They could all present possible hurdles to overcome. If you hire a surveyor to help with the project they should be able to provide you with the information you need.

How are you going to pay, and when?

There are several means of paying to have an extension built. You may have saved money so that you have the finances readily available. If this is not the case you may decide to approach your bank to request a loan, or increase the mortgage on your property. You may even decide to use your credit card to pay for the project. Remember, that you need to be realistic about what you can afford. You do not want to end up having an impressive extension to your home which you cannot enjoy because you have built up too much debt.

You also need to agree terms for payment. This will normally happen in stages; with the final balance only being due once you are satisfied with the final outcome. You should make sure that all of the terms are included in the building contract.

You need to take time to consider all of these points, before building work starts. Not doing so could lead to problems once the project is underway.


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