Key Things to Know About Building an Extension

Do you need additional space in your home or business? If so, you may well be considering building an extension to provide the extra space you need.

This will usually be a much better option than relocating to a new property with more space at an extra cost.

You can add an extension to your building for much less and it will not inconvenience you far less as well. 

A building extension can be of any shape or size. Building one will still involve some disruption, and it will still cost a good bit of money.

Therefore, you need to get everything right from the start. You must involve a good architect or builder, especially if you have not done any building extension works before. 

Involving an experienced professional in building an extension for your property will save you a lot of time and cost and help you get the most out of the available space.

Before you commence building an extension, here are some of the critical things you should know.

Building regulations approval

All building extension works require building regulations approval before the project can begin.

Even if you have the permitted development rights, building regulations approval is still a necessity.

To get building regulations approval, your designs must show that the extension has structural integrity.

It must also have adequate ventilation, comply with fire safety rules, energy efficiency, and be dampproofed. 

To increase your chances of getting building regulations approval when building an extension, you should use the services of an experienced architect who will ensure all these aspects have been taken care of.

Some of the alterations requiring building regulations approval include home extensions, loft conversions, internal alterations, new chimneys, and installing baths or showers requiring new drainage. 

Do I need a designer?

When you have no experience or professional knowledge of construction and building works, you should hire a qualified designer to help you with building an extension on your property.

You can either hire an architect, an architectural technician, or building design specialists to help you.

Browse online to look for top professionals who have proven experience in projects similar to yours or ask for recommendations from either your friends, family, neighbours or colleagues. 

Party wall act

As long as you have been given planning permission, neighbours cannot restrict you from doing any building works up to the boundary or even on the boundary provided restrictive covenants like the party wall act are not in place.

The Party Wall Act does not prevent you from carrying out any building project near or on the boundary with your neighbour, but it helps ensure that everyone’s interests have been represented well. 

The Party Wall Act regulation is not under planning and building control, but still, it exists and you must fully comply with its requirements.

Suppose the building extension you are working on will involve creating a foundation within 3 meters of the party wall or boundary or digging a foundation within 6 meters of the party wall. In that case, your work must comply with the Party Wall Act.

Hire an experienced architect to assist you with complying with party wall regulations if they exist. 

Will the construction work affect my home?

You can decide to stay at your home while the constructors build the extension. Also, you can opt to leave and give them space and time to complete their work. Either way, your choice will have its implications.

Leaving your home means you will likely have to incur additional costs to pay for accommodations during construction.

On the other hand, staying at the property means facing a lot of disruption from the builders entering and leaving your property, construction noise, and even dust from the construction.

If you opt to stay at your property, make sure there is enough room for parking and storing construction materials. 

Do I need insurance?

It is vital to have site insurance cover for the period the construction will be going on. Seek guidance from your current insurer as both your new property and the existing one will require insurance.

Existing insurance policies will not cover the extension you build, and on top of that your current policy is likely to be affected by the new extension. 

Do not just rely on the builders’ insurance, even if they have it, as it will be difficult to lodge a claim if anything happens.

This is especially if it involves things like fire or flooding. The builder’s insurance will only cover them and not you or your property. 

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