How to Build a House Extension: A Starting Guide
A successful build isn’t created out of thin air; careful planning, research, and execution are needed to ensure you’re happy with your end result. In this blog, we break down the steps of constructing a house extension and factors to consider when undertaking such a project.
The Advantages of a Self-Build Extension
Whether you want to open up your living area, boost your kitchen space, or create the ultimate home office, extending your property will add functionality and instant value to your home – but the benefits don’t end there.
The beauty of self-build extensions is that they can be completely customised to your requirements. Using build methods and materials suited to your needs and taste makes building a house extension genuinely fulfilling.
Another key advantage of a self-build extension is the luxury of planning the project yourself. You’re in control of when and where construction takes place. Whether you hire a contractor for the entire process, or take on individual tradespeople for each stage, you’ll have the opportunity to oversee the construction development from start to finish.
What to Consider Before Starting a Self-Build Extension
Adding extra space with an extension is a great way to enhance your home life, but some considerations must take place beforehand to avoid as many hurdles as possible.
Your House Extension Vision
First and foremost, you must have a clear vision of what you want to achieve with your self-build extension. Think about your project ideas, big or small, as they will need to be translated into a design later on to form a plan of action for your contractors, tradespeople, or whoever you work with – everyone will need to be on the same page. This will help you to create a detailed plan and budget, scope out any design features you like, and note any specific requirements/limitations you need to take into account.
Adhering to building regulations and requirements should be the second thing to think about. Ultimately, you won’t get very far without the correct permission and documentation. Whilst it can be a complex process, following legal requirements from the get-go will guarantee your house extension is approved and most importantly as safe as possible.
For more in-depth information that may affect your self-build extension, head to our previous blog post New Building Regulations which outlines what you need to know for your residential building project.
Keeping Your Neighbours Happy
Finally, considering your neighbours and surroundings is an elective step to take when starting to plan and design your house extension but a very respectful one. The noise of construction might not thrill whoever is living nearby as much as those getting the exciting, new space. When the time comes, be sure to communicate with them regarding any concerns they may have about the timeline or construction traffic throughout the house extension process.
Where to Start When Building a House Extension
So you’ve made your initial considerations, plans, and designs; now it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty and begin creating your new space. Our industry professionals and experts have outlined the key stages of self-building your house extension, including plans, design, foundations, the build, and internal works. Let’s break them down.
Planning and Permits
Gaining planning permission prior to any other stage is vital to a successful project. It can be tricky to know your way around the various permits needed, so speaking with your experienced architect or builder who will be familiar with the local planning authorities would be your best bet. Hopefully the research you completed in advance will be of assistance too!
In case you missed them, here are a few of the general planning permission rules for extensions to factor into your build:
Area surrounding ‘original house’ can only be covered by 50% of new construction
Extended areas cannot be higher than the tallest point of the existing roof
If the new structure is within 2 metres of the boundary, the height at the eaves cannot surpass 3 metres
Use materials in line with the property’s current look, unless an extension is a conservatory
For further planning permission information, specific to your self-build extension project, be sure to consult the Government website.
Another important legal document and cover to obtain is renovations insurance, as works won’t usually be covered by your existing home insurance. With an adequate policy, your house extension will be covered and protected against any damage to structures being built or any injury incurred by those building the extension. Take the time to speak with your current home insurers to extend the cover and guarantee your protection.
Choosing the Right Design
Deciding how you want your new space to look like can be daunting if you’re not familiar with the construction process. The design of your new house extension should fit your way of life both functionally and aesthetically; whether that be a larger lounge for your growing family, a new office space for your remote job, or a bigger kitchen to host dinner for friends. Determine how big or small you would like your house extension and its height – single or double storey?
You’ll probably need an architect’s expertise for this part, to ensure drawings are completed properly so your vision can be easily transferable into reality. However, there’s no law saying you need to hire one, so some people opt to skip this and design themselves along with their builder.
The next choice to be made is materials. Primarily, you’ll need to consider how they’ll blend with your existing property. For example, if your house is brick, a brick extension may be the best choice. This consistent look may be preferable for some people, however, there’s no right or wrong. In fact, choosing a mixture of materials can create a unique and visually appealing design.
Your House Extension Builders
Choosing the right builders for your home extension project can be tricky. A successful build is determined by a successful relationship between you and them – if it feels off, it probably isn’t a good match!
Here are some things to bear in mind when looking for your chosen construction company:
Have they completed any extensions that are similar to the one you want?
Make sure you have a good rapport with them
Look out for company/trade experience and accreditations
Obtain like-for-like quotes and compare between builders
Establish a payment plan and their terms in a watertight, formal contract
Agree on the aftercare to take place once build is complete
The Construction Process
Once paperwork, plans, and insurance are all in place, the actual construction can begin! The first stage of the build will include site preparation and laying the foundations, which will be inspected by your architect or building engineer along the way. The superstructure will follow, allowing you to see the extension take shape and gain some height.
Now that the shell of your house extension has formed, the next step is adding a roof and getting it watertight. This is a crucial stage for your builder to get right to ensure structural integrity remains intact.
The next stage will be, what is known as, the first fix – which involves the wiring and plumbing etc; everything that will eventually be covered by plastering and other internal walls. Following internal works, external factors will be constructed such as drives, pathways, and basic landscaping.
The final group of steps all involve transforming your new extension from a building site with blocks, bricks, and wires to a more coherent space with plastered walls and flooring. Leading onto the final phase of decorating your brand-new space!
When working with a builder or construction company, you’ll want to make sure you agree and complete one or two rounds of snagging. This is where you walk around your new house extension and look for any imperfections, such as missing paint, uneven doors, or faulty fixtures. This should be a step all established building and construction companies will want to include, ensuring you’re happy with the finished result and have a beautiful, functional, and well-crafted new space.
How Can M Jarrald Help With Your House Extension
Want your dream home to come to life? M Jarrald is here to help transform your space with a carefully crafted house extension. We have a wealth of experience in completing extensions, no matter the shape or size. Browse our previous work if you’re looking for a construction company to deliver outstanding results!
We’re more than happy to assist you with any house extension queries you may have, so request a callback, or email us at email@example.com, from our friendly team to discuss further. If you’d prefer to pop by in person, why not visit us at our Hadleigh High Street office?