Rather than move houses which can be a part time job in itself, some people opt to extend their existing home instead. The benefits to this can be twofold – namely that you’re increasing the value of your property should you wish to sell some time in the future as well as providing a more comfortable living environment for you and your family.
Here we’ll give you the steps you need to take, from consulting with an architect to appointing a contractor.
Drawing up Plans
You should already have in mind what sort of extension you are after. It might be that you’re considering a loft extension or it might be that you’re interested in adding another room on top of your flat roofed garage.
Once you’ve decided, it’s time to approach a local architect who will be able to advise on the feasibility of your plans as well as present you with a number of drawn options. These plans or drawings will then form the basis of your planning application and contract with your builder.
Obtaining Planning Permission
Most home extensions will require the approval of your local authority. This approval is known as planning permission and will be granted to you after your local authority have looked over your application and considered its merits.
They will usually be concerned with whether your proposed extension is in keeping with the character of the area. They will often request samples of materials to form the basis of their decision. For a fee, your architect will be able to handle this process on your behalf.
Appoint a Contractor
Your next step is to find a builder or contractor to carry out the construction of the extension for you. You can either use a builder you are familiar with or has been introduced by word of mouth. Another option is an open tender where you can invite local contractors to bid on your project.
These bids will often vary greatly in price so compare and contrast prices and specifications with the help of your architect. Once you have found a suitable company, it is always a good idea to enter into a contract.
This will protect you in the event of poor performance or non-completion of work. Always be careful about upfront payment. A good contractor should be able to offer you a contract where you pay in stages known as valuations. Once each section of work is complete, your contractor will then request a partial payment.
Obtain Building Control Approval
Unlike planning permission, building control approval is concerned with the structural integrity and safety of any proposed extension. You can consult with your local authority who will also usually have a building control department. If required, request that your architect handles this application on your behalf.
It is not unusual for a building inspector to show up on site and monitor the standard of work your contractor is completing.
Once complete, enjoy your newly added space. It might be worth engaging with an estate agent who offers houses for sale in Clacton if you live in that area. They will be able to perform a valuation and let you know how much value you have added to your property.
Property in Essex and Suffolk can be worth a lot of money so you just might be able to upgrade to a more expensive property when you’re ready.