DIY How To

What you need to know before buying an extension

If you're getting an extension for your home, you're entering a whole world of lengthy planning and protracted building timescales.

However, the trouble is worth the reward, with an addition to your house increasing its value by the thousands.

Before you rush into purchasing a new conservatory or porch, be sure to consider these points.

Points to consider when planning an extension

Have a chat with your local council
When it comes to extensions, the council can swing either way in terms of the permission it'll grant you. A lot of this will depend on where you are located, what type of building you live in and how large you want your extension to be.

If your building is listed, for instance, then you can expect a number of legal wrangles or outright rejections. However, for most extensions – be they conservatories, loft conversions or front porches – the council will allow you to build what you like as long as you stick to your land.

Your best bet is to check with your local council long before building work has begun, lest you fall into a planning permission nightmare.

Think of the style of your home
There you are, discussing all the extra bells and whistles you want attached to your home, but have you thought much about its style yet?

It's an easy thing to overlook, but if your home is an architectural beauty, you're putting its entire aesthetic at risk if you tack on an extra room that sticks out like a sore thumb. Whether you're in an old thatched cottage or a cubist mansion, make sure your improvements to your home don't become eyesores.

Find out what the neighbours think
Unlike the council, your neighbours don't realistically have much of a say with regards to what you can and can't build on your property.

However, it is considered good etiquette to let them know that building work will be occurring on your property, and allowing them to voice any fears they may have about the extension.

That way, you can assuage their doubts, reassure them of your plans and keep your good standing in the neighbourhood in balance.

Make sure you can afford it
Let's make no bones about it – if you want an extension, it's going to cost an arm and a leg. Not a literal arm and leg – that would be weird – but a metaphorical, money-shaped arm and leg, although you probably figured that out already.

Anyway, make sure that you aren't being too ambitious with your extension, and be sure it falls in line with your current budget. To save cash, consider making your extension smaller or cut out luxuries like underfloor heating.

Make it eco-friendly
"Environmentally friendly" has become the buzz phrase in recent years, bandied around with gay abandon by marketers.

But it's not all hot air – with an eco-friendly home, you'll be able to reduce your carbon footprint and your energy bills. How, exactly?

Start off by ensuring that your property is effectively insulated with fibreglass to retain heating, and consider fitting solar panels to cut down on fossil fuel usage when those sunny months hit.

Try out these pieces of advice and you'll find building that extension will be a lot less hard work.

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