Just over two years ago my wife and I were faced with a decision that many growing families face, that being that the home was no longer big enough for our needs. When this moment arrives you are faced with a decision as to whether to improve your existing home, or move to a bigger property.
My wife and I decided that we were happy in our location and we did not want to face the upheaval of moving. Deciding upon the house extension was one thing, but the process of actually doing so was pretty tough. With this in mind I wanted to share with you some considerations which you need to make, if you are thinking about extending.
When it comes to budgeting for the home extension, you should never consider your budget as the same thing as the amount of money which you have. This is because house extensions almost always go over budget, and you must have some reserve savings to cover these costs. All aspects of the home build could cost more money, materials can go up in price, a demolition and clean up may require more work that previously thought, or even something as simple as weather conditions could mean that you lose time, and money. Make sure that you only dedicate around 70% of your cash, to the budget amount.
Before building you must get planning permission from local authorities. I assumed that we would get permission and set the ball rolling, only to be told that we had to make some changes, thus losing some money. As soon as you have the plans, speak with the local government to get permission, before setting the wheels in motion to complete the project.
It is important that you spend time with your neighbours throughout the extension, and keep them up to date with what is happening. This common courtesy is worthwhile as neighbours can block planning permission. Equally, there will be lots of noise and mess whilst the work is being carried out, and keeping your neighbours on side will make the whole process easier.
Stay or Go
We decided to move out and stay with family whilst our work was being carried out, but you can stay if you wish. There are benefits and disadvantages to both decisions, and it will be up to you to make the right one. If you stay then you will be living on a building site, with all of the risks and the upheaval that comes with that. Moving out could mean that the job is completed faster, but it could cost you money if you don’t have friends or family to stay with. Weigh up all of the pros and cons first, so that you can make the best decision for you, your family, and the work which the contractors will be doing.
The key to a successful home extension lies in the planning, so make sure that you get it right.