There are many benefits you can get by adding an extension to your current home. You could use the extension as a rental property, extra garage space, or to expand your house. Extensions are quite popular here in the UK because they are cheap and easy to put up. That and the skyrocketing housing prices in the country make extensions a mainstay in modern UK architecture.
Suppose you wanted to add an extension, say a bigger garage or extra bedroom, on your current property, where would you start? Do extensions need planning permission and inspections? What about costs and materials? Here is a quick but comprehensive collection of tips for those looking to add extensions to their property in the UK:
Address Planning Permits and Other Legal Requirements First
Most minor extensions, such as conservatories, may not require extra planning permits in the UK as they are covered under PD (permitted development) rights. However, these rights include only minor extensions as specified in UK laws. For instance, a minor extension of fewer than 3 meters deep or 8m depending on the house type won’t require planning permits.
However, some significant extensions may need a permit, especially if you live in a controlled area or if it’s a listed building. Listed buildings do actually need a permit and listed building consent for any type of extension or size.
To be on the safe side, it’s always advisable to work with a consultant or a contractor. They will help you find out if you need planning permits for your project. You may not need them in most cases but better safe than sorry- the last thing you want is to have a demolition order after you have built the extension.
Inform the Neighbors
It’s recommended to let your neighbors know about any constructions on your property. This way, they will be aware of any disturbances in terms of noise and other things as the extension is built.
Be Clear About the Total Cost from The Start
Let’s imagine you wanted to expand your current living area into the garage or backyard. You will need to knock down some walls and leave your interior spaces exposed as the extension is built. Now imagine if you underestimated the cost and had to pause the project midway as you look for more funding, that would be disastrous.
Luckily, you can get an idea of costs before you start the project by talking to a contractor or consultant about the project. Ideally, you should have them come to the house and do a visual inspection. They will then come up with extension quotes for the entire project. This way, you can be sure about what you need to have in the bank for the whole of the extension and finishing.
Source Materials Locally
It’s cheaper and more convenient if you source all the essential material for the extension locally. Most UK houses are built with locally available materials as they are more affordable and more suitable for local weather conditions. Avoid adding foreign external elements that significantly alter the design of the house. In some neighborhoods, doing this might attract lawsuits or complaints from other homeowners.
Other considerations you may need include things like insurance, contingency budgets, environmental factors like trees and boundaries, design, among others. The critical piece of advice is to have a plan and consult adequately before you start building or demolishing for an extension.