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Planning a Home Extension; Here’s what NOT to do
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So, you have finally decided that your little abode could do with some extra space via a guest bedroom, a bigger living room, or a new home office? Whatever new rooms you are dreaming of adding to your current house, an extension is a wonderful home improvement project that can severely alter both your house and lifestyle – but, unfortunately, that change is not always for the better.
The sad fact is that not every home extension is a successful one. When implemented in the wrong manner, a home extension may very well ruin your home and waste both your time and money. So, what can we do to ensure that your future dream space doesn’t turn into a nightmare?
Let’s see what you should NOT be doing in order to enjoy a happily ever after in your new extension…
1. Ignoring the bigger picture
Forget for a minute about that new space you’re thinking of adding, and consider the entire layout of your house. How will that new room enhance the circulation of your home? Who is that new space being built for? How will it add value to your property / lifestyle?
Remember that a poor design will not only keep you from enjoying that new space, but may very well mean a big financial loss as well.
2. Overlooking planning permission
Feel like getting your extension knocked down after months and months of hard work and forking out payments? Then do not avoid the rules and regulations attached to home extensions.
Depending on the type of your extension, an application for planning permission or permitted development (like a basement extension, front extension, roof extension, etc.) should be made with the guidance of a professional.
Be sure to give this phase a few weeks to pan out, which means no rushing to get that new room up!
3. Forgetting about your view
What views will that new room bring into your house? And more importantly: how will it affect your current views?
If, for example, that new extension will be blocking the gorgeous garden view that your living room is currently enjoying, perhaps it would be worth the time to revisit that new room’s location?
4. Not acknowledging your neighbours
Whether you’re BFFs or barely greet each other, you need to inform your neighbours about your forthcoming renovation.
Observe the Party Wall Act (a framework for preventing and resolving disputes in relation to party walls, boundary walls and excavations near neighbouring buildings). Failing to do so will interrupt the construction process and create unnecessary friction – both for you and your neighbours.
The agreement with your neighbours usually takes place in letter form. This can also be implemented by using a third party, such as a surveyor.
5. Acquiring amateurs
Always do your research properly before picking out builders and workers for your extension. Ask for references and take a look at their previous work to get an idea of their competence.
If possible, ask to speak to their past clients as well.
6. Picking the wrong materials
The choice of materials for your extension is quite crucial, as they need to be compatible with the existing building type and the period of your property. Certain modern materials can damage the more traditional type, which will result in great danger for you and your property.
Be selective with your options and be sure to gain professional advice.
7. Ending up with an uneven look
In your rush to enjoy your new space, you may completely forget about your existing structure’s size and style, which could result in an extension that looks lopsided and uneven.
Avoid this mistake by keeping a clear balance between the structures and ensuring that the extension is consistent with the look and feel of the rest of the house.
8. Going for weird additions
If there is a possibility that you may be selling your house in the future, avoid making additions that will not appeal to prospective home buyers.
Think clearly about what you are building, why you are building it, and who will get the most use out of it.
9. Failing to see the future
Don’t act as if this new room is the final addition to your structure; you may want to add another one in the next few years.
Consult with your builders and ensure that this particular addition will leave space for future extensions or renovations.
10. Disregarding the rest of your house
That extension you’re planning will need to flow effortlessly with the rest of your house, and we don’t mean just look-wise.
Investing in new flooring, plastering, and electrical wiring might require the adjacent rooms to be reconfigured as well, so take that into account when planning your budget and speaking to a professional architect and/or builder.
11. Trying to get too much from your extension
Focus on the main goal of your extension, like obtaining a new bedroom for guests. Even if it may seem possible at the time of construction, don’t try to overreach and stretch your renovation limits, such as trying to get two bedrooms, for example.
A home extension relies on the infrastructure of the existing house. If you try to achieve too much, your house may not be able to support the additions and the results will be disastrous.
Get your plans checked out by a professional architect who can identify any foreseeable problems.
Here on homify we serve to inspire, but that doesn’t necessarily mean what you see here will work perfectly in your space. Your house has a unique design, and any idea you add will alter that design. If you don’t get an extension idea tailored around your house, the end result may not be what you wanted to achieve.
If you want to borrow a concept that differs heavily from your house’s current style, have an architect fine-tune it to make the two designs blend together.
12. Copying other ideas verbatim
Never jump at a renovation / extension project on impulse. A home extension should be driven by the need for extra space, not because you are not 100% sure whether it’s necessary or not. If your home extension has no underlying need behind it, you may not need one.
Sleep on the idea for a while, share it with family and friends, and then talk to a professional architect to ensure that what you want is really what you need.