Aug 28, 2020 Real Estate

Six considerations before building an extension

Perhaps the most important consideration is the reason why you want to build an extension. Determining exactly what you want to achieve can help you to clarify your expectations. If you love where you live, you may want to invest more money or time in order to create your dream home. Meanwhile, if you’re looking to add value, it’s important to carefully balance your expenses against the ceiling price for comparable properties. Likewise, if you desperately need to expand but can’t afford to move, it’s worth looking for ways to make your money go further.

building an extension

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Time and money

With surveys, design and planning requirements, it may be over six months before the first brick is laid. Bad weather can cause delays, so it’s wise to aim to build in spring or summer.

Be honest about your budget. This will ensure that the final design is achievable and affordable. Remember that VAT is likely to swallow a sixth of your budget, but good architects will always work hard to give you the best value for your money. It’s worth investigating costs through sites such as

Good neighbours and conveyancing

Do you share a party wall, or is there a risk your extension could block some of your neighbour’s light? You’ll need to discuss your plans with the people living next door, but don’t be too downhearted if they object. Your conveyancer can tell you all you need to know about building an extension and is an expert at finding solutions.

building an extension

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Services and sustainability

You’ll need to be mindful of the services in your property. Access to electricity, water, gas and drainage routes all need to be taken into account. If your drainage has been “adopted” by the local water board, any plans to build over it will need to be approved. In practical terms, you will need to check that your current boiler is able to cope with the increased demands of an extension; it may be time for a replacement.

A new extension can be a perfect opportunity to adopt some environmentally-friendly measures such as solar panels. You can greatly improve the thermal efficiency of your home by including cavity wall or loft insulation into your extension and ensuring that windows and doors are energy-efficient. In addition to getting rid of problems such as condensation, these measures will save you money in the long term.