How to cope with a House Extension
Once you have received Planning Permission and Building Control Approval, and you’ve had the works tendered to a number of local contractors to make sure you have the best value price for the new extensions, and maybe once you’ve undertaken the interviews to find out which you like the look of – then, the only barrier to realising the dream of your transformed home is having to live on site with builders and the disruption for months!
Based on our experience stretching over forty years with residential projects, here are some tips to make transforming your home hassle-free and a whole lot easier.
As the media will have reminded you recently, adding living space by extending your home is more popular than ever. It is estimated that there are around 200,000 house extension projects undertaken each year. The process can often be inconvenient, messy and can take months to complete, depending on what you are having done.
However, we know there are some obvious ways of keeping the inconveniences to a minimum.
Beware of dust
No matter how big or small the job, it is likely that dust will be generated. So, encourage your builders to seal off the area of work by taping polythene sheets over windows and doors. If your builders do take this course of action, be aware that the tape may cause damage to painted surfaces. Encourage the builders to leave the windows to the new extension open, before breaking through to the existing house. This way most of the dust will be able to escape externally. If feasible, remove carpets where necessary, or ensure they are covered in dust sheets before work commences.
It is your home. Convenience for the builder is not necessarily convenience for you. Ask your builder to maintain safe and unobstructed access to your home. Neighbours can get irritated when builders’ vehicles are blocking their driveways. Ask your builder to maintain safe and unobstructed access to your neighbour’s home. Materials will have to be delivered to the site. Let your neighbours know when a delivery is to take place. Consider creating an area for builders to be to minimise the sense of invasion. On larger projects, these are usually referred to as the “Builder’s Compound.”
The acts of construction will require water and electrics. If you haven’t already get an outside tap fitted to service the project.
Don’t dismiss this idea so quickly. There will be the cost of renting another place, but the builders will often be able to complete a project up to 20% quicker if they are able to work unhindered.
In terms of costs, there is a huge variance between projects. In general, you should aim to budget around £1,250-£1,500 per square metre for a two-storey extension, meaning a typical house extension project might cost anything between £20,000 and £100,000, depending on area of new floor space created. Although a house extension may be a costly, lengthy process, with a lot of fuss and disruption involved with the building work, the nightmares of fruitless dust battles will certainly be replaced by a sense of satisfaction. The effort will be well worth it in the end!