Advice on House Extensions

increase the value of your home with a house extensionHow to build a successful house extension…

Are you happy with where you live but would like that little extra space? Extending your property is the way forward! Every home is unique to the individuals who live in them so here are some tips about how to successfully extend your home.

10 – Get all approvals first

This is where the professionals come in…depending on the size, shape and scale of your new extension, you might need to submit an application for planning permission but don’t worry. As each local council is different there is no basic guideline for designing extensions which can only mean one thing; find a designer who’s pleased to go the extra mile and push the boundaries! You will notice that the majority of council websites offer a lot of information and design guides which are made available to make sure your local area is accented by architecture and not demolished so it’s not a system to be knocked!

Even if your extension doesn’t need Planning Permission it’ll need Building Regulations Approval which is there to impose construction standards all over the UK. Building regulations safeguard designs by making sure the buildings are built properly and inspections occur on the way which helps reduce unprofessional procurement and the dreaded ‘cowboy builder’ which is always a good thing!

For additional information on Planning Permission and Building Regulations visit –

9 – Talk to your neighbours

Get your neighbours on side! Sometimes it’s your neighbours that can make or break a planning application in the eyes of the council as an objection to your engagement is rarely a hassle-free challenge to get over. A simple chat with them can go a long way so show them what you’re planning and explain the design and provides reasons why this is your desire. It will definitely help them understand your proposal more and hopefully there’ll be minimal or no arguments.

extension budget8 – Set a budget

This might sound a simple step towards making your dream reality but it’s common to spend over our limits on even the smallest projects. The typical guideline is to allow for £1,000-£2,000 per square meter and then allow an extra 10-20 percent contingency fund. Even better practice would be to issue the designers drawings to Quantity Surveyor for them to produce an accurate cost.

Also keep in mind not only do you have the build budget, there will be the designer’s and consultants rates, government VAT and also local authorities fees for the applications as well. So, be realistic with your budget as to make your perfect dream home, it’s not all about the new build extension alone. Lots of factors collaboratively create a beautiful and functional space.

7- What is the aim of the extension?

A question the majority of people think they know the answer too, nonetheless there are usually more answers to this question than space and budget will grant so compromise is normally required or a really good designer who’ll work hard with you to achieve your dream extension! Whether you’re a young couple in the early stages of living together or a family of four whom have lived in the same home for a long time, for everybody inside of that home will need a different and varied outcome of the space/s. For one person it may be a quiet environment to return to following a hard day at the workplace and for the other it may be a social environment to host friends and have a good old natter. Therefore you should think about who will use this space, when it will be used and what it’ll be used for. Is it an additional bedroom you are looking for or are you craving a bigger, brighter kitchen/dining open plan living area?

6 – Look at the location and setting

Where your property is positioned is paramount to the design of your extension. The very best extensions out there are those sympathetic to their surroundings or across the spectrum those which contrast their surroundings. From a outlying village to a city suburb no one extension is identical so why don’t you use your surroundings as an opportunity to push the boundaries of construction technologies and compliment or contrast your impressive designs. Are you near a babbling brook? Loud train line? Woodlands wildlife? Busy urban street scene?

5 – Research different materials

Material choice is essential to the design of extensions as it is the material finishes that bring the structure alive. Whether you want your extension to stand out from the crowd or be a refined improvement, there’s a lot of options to choose between with lots of manufacturers and suppliers of the same product all who offer unique services, so make sure you research your options ahead of entering the minefield!

Timber cladding is a material choice which is becoming more frequently used so if you’re seeking a rustic feel to your extension give timber the thumbs up! If you would prefer a clean, sharp finish to a fashionable extension perhaps a mix of white render and grey slate would work well with large spans of glazing.

4 – Think outside the box

An extension can be up wards into the loft, outwards as an addition or downwards to a cellar thus no extension is the same so make yours stand out from the crowd and give it the wow factor! Maybe add some quirky details to the design which sets yours aside from the typical extension – whether it’s the shape of the extension or a hidden glazing panel where the new meets old. Make sure to keep on pushing them boundaries and proving why residential architecture is fascinating!

consider some landscaping3 – Landscaping

This, you might ask why it is in the top ten…but…a wonderful architecture designer will take into mind the surroundings and integrate it into the proposal because all things considered, we all love the outdoors! Architecture is complimented by nature so if you have a view use it, if not create one in your garden.

When showing your new extension to family and friends do you really want a worn out looking backyard or would you rather show off your home as an entirety and be proud to call it all yours?

2 – Choose the best builder

Selecting the best building firm is vital to building your dream as with the wrong one your dream will quickly turn into a nightmare! So make sure you research contractors long and hard, visit prior projects they’ve completed, complete a number of chats with them (as let’s face you must be able to work with them!) and take a look on websites for testimonials. Some local council panels have set up schemes in their boroughs to assist with this decision and developed directories for you with only the local builders who meet the high standards and are recommended by other people locally so research them! If your based in the North West and know anything about the BNI you’ll find a well known firm who go by the name KS Contractors, hugely popular throughout Merseyside and specialise in home extension building in Wirral as well as converting garages into liveable spaces .

1 – Finding the right Designer or Consultant!!

Right here is the most important area of all. If you would like stand above the crowd and have the very best extension on your street, choose a designer with a mountain of working experience in residential architecture.

You will go through a lot of designers’ websites browsing portfolios of past work but don’t forget to notice if the company have won any awards for their work. Awards indicate not only that they are experienced and creative at what they do but also there’re very respected in the industry too which is second to none for you as the consumer. Again, if your in the North West of England and need a place to start then you won’t there’s a popular firm of architects Wirral who go by the name Evolve, approved by both RIBA and ARB.


Extending your home can be hugely profitable and can make a big difference to your standard of living and with just a little insight and some valuable advice you will soon be well on your way to living the dream!


Brandie Chapman