Extending your home can really add value to your house and can dramatically enhance your space and the way you live in it. There are, however, some common pitfalls to avoid when extending or redesigning your home!
1. The Conservatory Extension
When people want a quick solution to gaining more living space in their homes, a lot of people will automatically think of a conservatory extension as the answer. Whilst it may be a solution for some, for most people conservatories are just a ‘stitch in time’ and although they are cheaper than a proper extension, they are much less practical.
Conservatories can not only block out light from what where your french doors out into the garden, they are also extremely hot in summer and extremely cold in winter, due to being making glazing with no proper insulation. This means the only time you can comfortably use the space is around 4-6 months of the year (if you’re lucky!). Plus they don’t offer the open plan space you might have been hoping for, as Building Regulations require doors to separate a conservatory from the rest of your house, due to heat loss.
2. Getting a builder to Design your Extension.
Getting a builder to design your extension for you can cause problems in a few ways. In the first instance it means that they are in complete control of the design and build, so you don’t have a professional to fight your corner for you if you have a disagreement with them.
It also means that you’re probably not getting an extension designed by an expert who can consider all of the pros and cons of how best to arrange your space. A building firm will most likely design what is easy for them to build, but it may not necessarily be what is the best solution to your needs. A fully qualified architect will be able to advise you, impartially, on how to best use your space.
3. Not getting Planning Permission
Getting the relevant legal permissions for your extension takes time, which can feel like an inconvenience. However if you don’t get permission then when you come to sell your property years down the line, you’re likely to have major hold ups.
Even if your extension falls within the permitted development rules, if you don’t get a Certificate of Lawfulness to prove that your extension is, indeed, legal, then you will probably have to apply for this retrospectively when you want to sell your property. As we all know, buying and selling houses is a stressful enough business as it is! For this reason I would always advise my clients to get your permissions now and get it out of the way, rather than have it hanging over them for them to resolve at some point in the future
4. Not exploring all the possible options first.
In order to be sure you’re committing to the right design for your house extension, it’s worth taking the time to explore ALL the options you have available to you. That way you can be confident and totally sure that your design is the right solution for your needs.
If you’re thinking of extension your home in phases, first doing a single storey and saving up for a first floor extension for example, then make sure that you don’t have to do anything twice. For example, make sure the footings are deep enough to support two storey in future, or design enough natural light into the space so that you don’t need rooflights.
If you’re thinking of extending your home in Liverpool and you would like some advice from a local architect, then book a free initial consultation or a Concept Design Workshop here.