Questions To Ask Before Having An Extension Built

Extensions for houses come in all shapes and sizes, but when it comes to having an extension building, the expense and disruption that are involved mean it is important to get it right the first time. If you have never had an extension built onto your house before, it can be hard to know what to expect, but keeping communication clear and open between you and your architect, builder, or anyone else involved in the design and build process is essential. There are some questions you should make sure you ask.

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How Much Value Will The Extension Add?

If your house extension is going to make financial sense, you need to make sure that the value is greater than the cost of the project, including building supplies and labour. This can be hard to assess, but try to find some local properties similar to yours and see how much they have sold for to get a rough guide. Be aware of the ceiling value in your area and be prepared to make adjustments to your plans if you need to. 

How Big Should The Extension Be?

Often people who want extensions get stuck on thinking of the project only in terms of square footage, not in terms of what that size is actually adding to the house. Bigger is not always better when it comes to extensions, and there are often ways to get the feeling of more space without adding a huge extension. Space can be created with clever design, both of the new space, and your existing space. 

Who is The Right Designer For The Extension?

When it comes to designing your extension, there are several options that you can choose from:

  • Architects
  • Architectrual technicians
  • Specialist designers
  • Package build companies’ in-house design teams

Ask friends, family, and neighbours for recommendations. Look online at reviews too for companies who have completed projects similar to what you want.

How Thermally Efficient Are The Plans?

If you take a fabric first approach to your new home extension, you can outstrip the U values and airtightness levels that are specified by Building Regulations. However, if you add an extension that is thermally efficient onto an inefficient home, it won’t make it cheaper to run straight away, and you should look into improving the home’s overall efficiency while you have builders on site. 

Is The House Extension On or Near A Sewer?

If your house extension will be built over or in the area of a sewer, you will have to contact the water board before you start work. The location of the sewer needs to be considered carefully. If a shared sewer, which serves more than one properly, is within 3metres of your new extension, you will probably need a Build Over Agreement with your local water authority. Make sure you find this out before you start any work. These agreements can be fiddly and expensive, especially if you need a new manhole or need to move one.

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