Adding an extension to your home is one of the biggest renovation interventions you could conceive; it is also one of the most expensive ways to engage with your home. However, the results can be transformative not just for your quality of life, but also for the market value of your home. If you are considering embarking on such a project, how should you go about it?
Plan Well, and Budget Carefully
Extensions are not built on a whim. A good extension build requires extensive planning, with blueprints and architectural decisions made based on initial ideation from you. This means developing a clear idea of exactly what it is you want from your extension, from square-footage and floor plan to material used and even internal décor.
Knowing this makes the next stages much simpler, but also gives you the opportunity to settle on a budget early. Dividing your ambitions for the extension into ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ can help you shave the project down to meet the money you have available; it might also be prudent to explore funding routes if additional cash is needed, where the project might suffer delays.
Choose Your Team Wisely
The most important decision you make in embarking on a home extension is which people you hire to complete the work. Full-service contracting firms exist that work with you to draw up a blueprint, and then act on said blueprint – but choosing the right one can be a nuanced decision. Checking client testimonials and online reviews is a great place to start, but word-of-mouth is even better for something as important as an extension.
Make Time for Administrative Work
In planning out your extension, it can be easy to get lost in the specifics of the build – as with decision-making regarding materials, architectural design and the organisation of different contracting teams. But there are other administrative considerations which need to be planned for, and which need time allocated as a result. For example, time needs to be put aside to consider and arrange JCT insurance; JCT is short for ‘Joint Contracts Tribunal’, where JCT insurance covers the damage caused to neighbouring homes through no fault of the contractors or the neighbours.
This time, of course, extends beyond thinking about insurance coverage. There are wider regulatory frameworks within which your renovation may have to operate, as with large-scale or multi-storey extensions that require planning permission. Legal and regulatory compliance can cause significant hold-ups within a project, and time should be allocated accordingly to ensure that everything is handled as comprehensively as possible.
Finally, a cursory note for when the project finally gets underway: do not be afraid to adopt a supervisory role during the extension build. Even though the contracting teams you have hired possess unique knowledge and skills in relation to the build, this does not preclude you from taking ownership over the build. Keeping an eye on progress can assuage your own concerns about progress, and also ensure that the workers keep your best interests at heart.