If you want to increase your amount of living space, your initial thought might be to completely move house. However, you could feel overly daunted by the financial costs of doing so; when buying a new property, you also have to pay stamp duty, legal fees and other costs, leading to a surprisingly hefty overall cost. Extending your current home, on the other hand, can significantly raise its value – a much more financially appealing result. Now, consider these factors before getting that extension underway…
How much will it all cost?
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors suggests that, for every square metre of a plastered finish extension, the cost will likely fall between £1,260 and £1,680. And that’s before flooring or a kitchen installation is taken into account, so that could add quite a bit more to the overall price. At My Build Estimate, we can supply a professionally produced estimate for how much the entire job will set you back – including a comprehensive breakdown of labour and material costs.
Will you need planning permission?
The answer to that question is likely “no”, as a house extension is considered a permitted development – in other words, a development which does not require planning permission – as long as it meets particular conditions. These conditions include that the materials used for the exterior look similar to those of the exterior of the rest of the property, that a side extension’s width does not exceed half the width of the original building, and that any side extensions are strictly single storey.
Getting Building Regulations approval
This is mandatory for building an extension, and is aimed at ensuring that the extension’s foundations, roof, flooring, electrics and drainage are all sound. For obtaining that vital Building Regulations approval, you will need to check that your drawn-up plans adhere to The Party Wall Act 1996, and have these plans given the go-ahead by your local council’s building control team. You will also have to put together a construction phase safety plan in accordance with the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.
Choosing the right builder
Should you not be tempted by the prospect of building the extension yourself, you can outsource the task to a builder instead. Now, choosing the best builder for this task can be rather akin to choosing the right romantic partner; you should make sure that you have a good rapport with them, as your relationship with them is intended to last a while. Also, seek recommendations from family and friends.
Keep a close eye on the costs of the project
It can be too easy to underestimate how much a home extension will deplete your bank balance. Moneywise editor Mark King advises, from his own personal experience of arranging for an extension, that you “factor in added costs such as flooring, furniture and anything better than standard fittings”, adding: “The cost can really mount up.” However, at My Build Estimate, we can provide an accurate price estimate that should help you to avoid nasty surprises.