Let’s face it, moving house is stressful! In fact, it has been cited by experts as one of life’s most stressful events along with starting a new job and health concerns. Packing up all of your belongings and starting from scratch turning house to home can feel like an overwhelming process, so it’s no wonder that so many homeowners are deciding to stay put and extend. If you’re happy with the location of your home and feel apprehensive to move, it makes total sense to work with what you already have and make the most of your property.
There are other benefits to staying put too. Extending your home will allow for extra room for the family to enjoy, increase the value of your property and enable you to make those other tweaks you have been dreaming of. For example, extending your downstairs living space may now open up the opportunity to install those beautiful bifold doors. It can also give you the creative freedom you’ve been longing for, and increase the natural light which is a huge bonus!
If you’re thinking about going ahead with an extension, keep on reading for all of our top tips…
Extending your home: applying for planning permission
Before you get too ahead of yourself with all of your creative ideas, you will need to seek planning permission to ensure that you can go ahead with your home ambitions. Here are just some of the cases where you will need to obtain planning permission:
- You want to increase the overall height of your building
- Your house is listed
- Your house is in an area of historic interest
- You plan on building a raised veranda or balcony
- You’re building a single-storey extension taller than 4 metres
- You are extending towards a road
- Your extension covers half of the area of land surrounding your home
- The materials you plan on using differ from the rest of your house
In some cases, various single and multi-storey extensions are allowed under permitted development rights, meaning you will not need to make a formal application for planning permission but in all cases, you will need to double-check with your local authority. Applications can generally take around 8 weeks but this may be delayed if your project is particularly large or ambitious.
Extending your home: do I need an architect?
Technically no, but it is advised to seek professional help unless you have the fundamental experience yourself. To extend your home, you will need to pass on technical drawings for your builder to follow and these will be produced by an architect, ensuring all necessary requirements are met. This includes aspects such as structural calculations as well as regulations including fire safety, damp proofing, and energy efficiency. Ensuring you have a knowledgeable architect involved can not only give you peace of mind but save you from any expensive mistakes!
Extending your home: budget considerations
When planning home improvements it can be all too easy to get carried away with your dreams. Now, there’s nothing wrong with dreaming but it’s important that you’re being realistic with the budget side of things too. It’s not just the cost of building the extension, it’s the cost of; hiring an architect, paying for planning permission, cost of materials, cost of labour, plastering new walls, decorating new walls, flooring, and potentially furnishing your extra space. Once you’ve set your budget, ALWAYS allow for a 20% contingency fund as no matter how detailed your budget planning is, we guarantee there will be an unforeseen cost pop up. Shortage of raw materials can also cause prices to hike in the construction industry so always be prepared to dip into that extra pot.
Extending your home: managing the project
There are a few different options when it comes to the management side of an extension. You may decide to:
Manage the project yourself – this is of course the most budget-friendly option and ultimately gives you complete control over the project. The downsides are that this may be too time-consuming if you live a busy lifestyle and can be daunting if you have little to no experience in construction.
Hire an architect – if you’re hiring an architect to draw up your plans you may want to consider also using them to manage the project too. This means they can essentially coordinate the various contractors involved. This is usually the preferred option as it allows for direct communication between the architect and the builder which saves time and avoids any confusion (which could lead to errors).
Hire a design and build company – another option is to keep it all under one roof and hire a company that will do both the design and the build. If you’re planning a complex extension then this could be a route worth exploring, saving you time and stress down the line.
Extending your home: choosing your glazing
One key design element of extending your home is choosing the right glazing product! This can have a huge impact on the overall feel and look of your project so it’s an important one to get right. Your new extension may allow you to open up a wall with patio doors, in which case you may want to consider the following options:
Bifold doors – if you really want to open up a wall to your home, bifold doors are ideal thanks to their accordion-style opening. Creating a seamless flow from inside to out, bifold doors are fabulous for connecting your indoor and outdoor spaces. Plus, if you were to pick our bespoke bifold door design options, you can choose from any RAL colour! And if you’re on a tight budget, our EuroFold bifold doors come in set sizes and are more purse-friendly whilst still boasting that style and high performance you’re looking for.
Sliding Doors – if you’re looking for a patio door design that has more uninterrupted views, sliding doors might be just what you are looking for to finish your extension project. Even better, we have a sliding door design that is minimalist and ‘barely there’, our ÜberSlide. With 20mm sightlines and a higher ratio of glass, this sliding door allows for the natural light to flood in and offers you truly uninterrupted views of your outdoor space. Check out these installations for a little bit of home inspiration…
French Doors – French doors are a true classic and look fantastic on properties of all styles whether it’s a traditional Victorian cottage or a contemporary new build. Just take this case study of a thatched cottage extension for example! Mixing old with new, our made-to-measure French doors alongside fixed glazing panels look simply wonderful. Is this the sort of extension style you could go for?
You may also need to consider new windows for your extension and you might decide the best course of action is to match the windows that you already have, but if you’re thinking of upgrading all of your glazing whilst building work is underway, then there are many design options for you to choose from.
Why not add a touch of New York chic with aluminium windows with trendy Georgian bars, our stunning Heritage windows add a little something extra, don’t you think?
Or go colour crazy! Our bespoke windows give you the creative freedom to choose from any RAL colour. Are you brave enough for a bright and bold yellow?
Of course, there’s not just patio doors and windows to think about, you could also incorporate stylish rooflights into your extension! This is a fantastic way to allow for extra light into the home, creating a bright and spacious living area.
Our pitched rooflight adds both height and light to this home. Watch the clouds float by and enjoy the morning sun streaming in.
Our flat rooflight is great for a sleek, contemporary feel.
Extending your home: decorating your new space
The stressful part is over, well, almost! Once the build is completed and the glazing has been installed it’s time to integrate this new space into your home and truly make it your own. If your extension has allowed you to live open-plan, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed with your newly extended space. This is where a few interior design tips and tricks come in. For large open spaces, you don’t want them to feel cold and clinical, but at the same time, you don’t want to clutter the space too much! Define areas within your space through furniture and rugs. Wall hangings and prints will create cosy spaces, and a large mirror is a great addition. Check out these guides for more interior design ideas and advice:
We hope you’ve found our advice helpful, if you have any further questions regarding any of our glazing products, you can contact our team by calling 01487 740044 or emailing us at email@example.com.