Planning an extension: Should I renovate one room at a time or all at once

Lisa Raynes

by Lisa Raynes

12/01/2018, in Design Hints and Tips | Main Blog

Extensions can be expensive and cause a major disruption to your day to day life. We often get asked about the pros and cons of phasing an extension and in this blog post we round up some of the most important points.

How big is the project?

First of all, it depends on the scale of the project and the budget assigned to it. If the project is confined to one or two rooms of the house, it would be best to do the whole thing at once because it will minimalise intrusion.

What is your budget?

A budget may only allow one room at a time, or you may be limited to a set amount each year. This might mean that phasing the extension or renovation is necessary.

Another money saver to bear in mind is that by phasing a large overall project can be cut down into a few small-scale projects. These bite-sized projects could use a single small-scale builder who will not attract VAT.

If you have a large project but phase it to one room at a time you might find it cheaper as you would only need a one-man band to do it and he probably wouldn’t be VAT registered.

Can you stay elsewhere whilst work is being carried out?

If the entire house is being touched in some way or another by the job and it is all being done at once, you may need to leave the property for a while and stay somewhere else. This can be difficult if you have children and animals as you have to buy or rent a holiday let.

Phasing a project may be a good alternative as you can stay in your house during the refurbishment.

Planning an extension: will phasing the project cause more work?

If each phase of the work is going to unnecessarily encroach on every other part of the house, then doing the entire project in one go might be best.

If you do decide to phase the project, plan it carefully so you do not have the unnecessary interruption from contractors.

For example,  you wouldn’t do the loft at the very end because builders would have to traipse through the rest of the house which will have just been refurbished. You would normally plan to do the loft first and work your way down through the house and out of the property, always working towards the doors.

How large is your property?

If you do one room at a time one disadvantage could be that it prolongs the intrusion into your home by builders and also the associated cost, mess and disruption that comes with that.

A renovation that is done one room at a time can only really be done on a property of some size. A ‘two up and two down’ for example, wouldn’t be worth it, as there isn’t enough room to live in the space that isn’t being renovated.

Is all the renovation to be done inside the property?

If some of the renovations are exterior then it can be done independently to the inside and therefore it would be very easy to phase the work.

Would you like to plan an extension for your house? Book a workshop!

The workshop will allow you to explore the options that your house offers, in terms of space and costs.  You will be able to make an informed decision and think it through.

What don’t you want to do?

You don’t want to refurb your kitchen and only then realize that you need an extension as the kitchen is still too small and you had forgotten about the utility room. Thinking about the whole house can help you to see the big picture. Once you make up your mind and planned out what your ultimate goal is, you can start the works.

An architect is the best person to meet at this point and they can help you to see what layouts are possible. Whether you are planning an extension or just internal reconfiguration, it’s best to meet us first. There are always more options than you think! Why not look through our case studies to explore what we have designed for others before giving us a call?