House extension ideas

Whatever your house extension ideas, before starting your project you should always:

  • Check your title deeds to make sure they don’t contain any restrictive covenants that could affect your proposed house extension ideas. For example, its height or use; if any doubt, contact a suitably qualified solicitor
  • Talk to your neighbours as soon as possible to discuss any concerns they may have, especially if planning permission is needed and it means you can avoid altering your plans once your application is being considered
  • Get any necessary planning permission and Building Regulations approval
  • Tell your mortgage lender and household insurer about your extension in case it affects the nature of their interest in your property or the terms of their business with you.

A traditionally built extension
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Traditionally built extensions made from materials such as brick, flint or stone remain popular compared with modern PVCu double-glazed constructions like conservatories.

And although likely to be a more expensive choice, planning regulations can dictate that traditional materials and construction methods are used, while on other occasions mixing old and new just won’t look right.

The benefits of a solid construction house extension designs include:

  • Easier creation of multi-storey house extension ideas and separate rooms
  • Better insulation, thanks to having cavity walls, which can be filled with insulating material

They’re likely to be cheaper because it’s easier to:

  • Conceal services, such as electricity cables and water pipes
  • Install finishing touches, like electrical sockets, cupboards and light fittings.

Such room(s) will take longer to build and – because of the materials used – be more expensive than a conservatory-type extension. Buildings Regulations approval is also necessary.

Multi-storey house extension designs

If you’re considering house extension ideas, it’s probably worth giving some thought to stretching upwards as well as outwards.
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Although multi-storey house extension ideas will cost more to build than a single-level extension, it won’t be double the price because:

  • The roof – which will cover all storeys – is a large part of the cost
  • Economies of scale can be achieved by buying bigger quantities of raw materials and reducing the cost per square metre
  • Of reduced labour charges, thanks to the craftsmen and sub-contractors having more work to do, with consequently less waiting time
  • Some costs are unaffected by the number of storeys such as planning permission, ground clearance and subsequent re-landscaping.

Adding an extra floor and using it to create a master bedroom with en suite, for example, can substantially increase the value of your home, possibly taking it in to the next price bracket. But you should be wary of out-pricing your property: people may be unwilling to buy yours because the surrounding homes are significantly smaller.

You will, of course, have to connect your new upper storey to the rest of the house. Unless you can access it from a landing, the solution is to add a corridor but, as well as creating an uninviting dark space, this will mean making another room smaller.

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Tom Crosswell

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