August 24th, 2016 in

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Handy Guide to House Extensions: What You Need to Know Before You Start

House extensions seem so much easier to do on paper, but the reality is that these types of home improvement projects require a lot of hard work, commitment, and focus.

It’s certainly something you don’t want to walk into lightly – you need to be prepared in advance in order to get the most out of it.

But that being said, there are some good reasons why you should consider house extensions:

  • Get additional space and extra mod-cons .
  • Add value to your home and further increase the sale price.
  • Provide you with an ideal opportunity to spruce up your home.




However, before you start you need to do your homework and run through a range of different ideas, design, plans and the associated costs involved with these too.

Below we have outlined a guide to building a home extension and the pros and cons that you need to factor in. We’ll address many common issues and lay out the general process to follow when extending your home.

How Can House Extensions Help Save You Money?

It doesn’t matter if you opt for a double storey or semi detached extension, you will still need to create the right plans and engage builders to help you with the project.

However, building or buying a new home is a lot more expensive than simply extending your home.

Why is this the case?

  • Real Estate Agents Costs – including marketing & advertising, sales commission.
  • Mortgage Loan Costs – including switching from one property to another.
  • Home Purchase or Building Process Costs – including stamp duty, hiring a removalist company, Internet connection, home alarm monitoring, telephone, utilities and so on.


Things to Keep in Mind Before You Opt for House Extensions

Maybe the most important thing here is what you want to achieve with your extension.

So try and pinpoint the fundamental reason you want to do it. Some people need a larger living space, whilst others need to accommodate more people inside their home like a new baby, growing teenagers, or elderly parents.
One of the major things to think about is the local area you live in. If you like the amenities, schools and your

If you like the amenities, schools and your neighbours then you’ll probably want to continue living there. But if on the other hand, you don’t have such a great relationship with the people in your neighbourhood, then I’d dare say it’s much better to move on.

Here are some other considerations you’ll need to take on board:

  • What’s your budget?
  • Are there any major life events that could get in the way? E.g, a wedding?
  • Where will you live during the renovation?


Who Will Design The House Extensions?

You will need to work with a professional in order to create the right design for your renovation. There are many different options for who can help you including an architect, interior designer, or a licensed builder.

We always recommend you hire the right people for a home extension job as they’ll be much more experienced at undertaking larger home improvement projects.

No matter what kind of home extension you are planning – period, terraced, small, modern, semi detached, two storey, or a loft – keep in mind that you need to match windows, tiles and doors with the ones you already have in your home.
As you can see there are many house extension options, so think carefully about the scale of the project before you start the design process. The grander the design and the bigger the job, the more time and money it will take.

How Much Does it Cost?

This is always the first question that springs to mind when someone is considering house extensions. But it’s a mistake to rush off and get quotes on what it will cost at this early stage of the renovation.

Builders require in-depth building plans in order to provide you with an accurate price. It’s no wonder they get so frustrated with homeowners that want quotes when they only have a vague idea of the size and scope of the job.

A home extension can be costly or inexpensive, and it all depends on how much you want to actually do to your property. If you have a very low budget, then stay away from big extensions.

Focus instead on a simpler approach like converting a space you already have instead of building something new. And always work with a professional to get the job done properly.

What Else Do I Need to Consider?

If you are a DIY addict and you love the idea of doing the job yourself be aware and be prepared. A home extension build is not for the faint-hearted. It’s also not the same as a bathroom or kitchen remodel either.

Do your homework and due diligence every step of the way. I’d also suggest you do start doing a owner builders course as it will arm you with all the right information to project manage the job yourself.
Working with reliable builders and a good architect is the best way to get the best job done. Even if you pay more you’ll get a better quality build which in the end should be your main goal. If you hire an architect, make sure they have a lot of experience too.

And don’t forget about the planning permit. This can be expensive and take a while to get so it’s a good idea to talk with the local council in order to acquire one as quickly as possible.

Remember that working closely with the neighbours might actually speed up the permit release process, so try to keep that in mind. And a home baked cake wouldn’t go astray either!

Final Tips For House Extensions


  • Be realistic with your expectations of what you want to achieve.
  • Set aside some budget just in case anything goes wrong.
  • Make sure that you have the funding available before you start a house extension.
  • Don’t forget the cost of obtaining a planning permit.
  • Hang on to some budget for decorating your new home extension, i.e. furniture.
  • Before paying your builder the final amount for the completed work, make sure you are completely satisfied with it.


As you can see, house extensions can be a challenging process but they can also be very rewarding. All you have to do is create good building plans and work with experienced, dedicated professionals such as architects and builders. That’s how you’ll get the best results in the long run.


James Mason




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