TEMZA LONDON SHARES EXPERT GUIDE TO BUILDING EXTENSIONS IN LONDON
Looking to add more space? Build a house extension
What will your extension bring to your house?
- Building an extension will squeeze out some extra square footage and add value to your property.
- It’s not all about the floor space. House extensions are also great for bringing lots of light into the existing space using skylights or floor-to-ceiling glazing, and build a more intimate connection between the inside and outside. It’s amazing how much of a difference this can make to your entire home.
First things first! Will you need planning permission?
Each case is different, and building extensions in London can be a little complicated. You might be able to extend under Permitted Development, which means you don’t need to go through the whole planning approval process. For example, if you are extending the house by under 3 metres you might not need planning permission, but would still need to notify the council. It’s important to be aware of and compliant with the requirements from the start to avoid running into any nasty complications with your house extension.
In some areas of the country, generally known as ‘designated areas,’ permitted development rights are more restricted. Learn more about building extensions under Permitted Development rules here .
In any case, it’s best to consult with a specialist design and build service to see what options you have and how you can maximise your development.
One thing to watch out for
Party Wall Act – if your extension is within 3 metres of your neighbour’s property you will need a party wall award. If this is the case, it’s important to ask your consultant how to obtain one. Find more information at gov.uk
What will you use your house extension for?
– Although house extensions are used for a kitchen/dining space, extending your living space can also be a great option.
– Think about what you could use the most – even if that’s an extra bedroom, an extension can be the solution. Think outside the box and consider changing the layout of the house; for example, converting a living room to a bedroom and creating a new living space in the extension. This way you keep the connection with the outdoor space and have an area that can be used by all of your family and friends.
– Although it’s fairly uncommon, nothing is stopping you making the house extension into your master bedroom and it can give you a completely new perspective on the house.
1. Gather as much information as possible and put together a clear brief of what you’d like to achieve, as well as what look and finishes are you after. It’s useful to do a bit of research into costs so you are well prepared, but it’s best not to be overly set on your ideas at this point. Don’t rush it, and read up on practical considerations to take into account when planning a house extension. This article has some great information on every stage of the process, from financing to design.
2. Our recommendation is to go with a local design and build service that does in-house project management and can hire all the consultants and (if necessary) architects, for you. We have worked on a lot of projects, and our experience has taught us that having everyone working together saves time, money and hassle for everyone involved. You don’t need to know about the technical details of the building industry to have a great house extension, and in this particular case we don’t think it’s worth it to learn from your own mistakes when there are many companies out there who have been through the process numerous times.
3. However, you can decide to project manage yourself! In this case, you first hire an architect or designer to complete the design package, then tender the completed package out to the contractors.
You will need to make sure every query is resolved during the house extension and building process and that the everything is proceeding as per original design intention. It’s normal to have changes in the meantime for a number of reasons – certain materials can be discontinued or out of stock at the time of order, or there might be inconsistencies in the original tender package that need to be resolved on site.
Finally, you will need to make sure you hire all the consultants and obtain all the permissions necessary for your project.
During the design stage:
1. Decide on the size and layout of the extension.
2. Think about how to connect your existing and your new space. Will there be any height differences? Do you need to introduce any steps or drops, or raise the height of the ceiling.
3. Decide on style, interior and exterior finishes – windows, doors, wall finishes, flooring.
Maybe you have a traditional Victorian terrace and want to keep it in style? This type of home works surprisingly well with house extensions and the finished project can look stunning. Or the complete opposite: a contemporary extension to strike a contrast with the existing? If you have a newly-built or modern looking house, you can still make your extension a feature by using different kind of cladding like timber, charred wood, corroded steel or sheet exterior cladding panels.
4. Think about the lighting in the new space and how it connects with what you already have.
5. Choose the furniture and other freestanding pieces early on, as this might affect the layout of the lighting. For example, a pendant light often looks beautiful in the centre of the dining table, although without knowing the exact size of the table and the chair this might be problematic.
6. Check the lead time for all the materials you are planning to order and make sure they arrive when you need them – not before or after. You’d be surprised, but some light fittings or pieces or furniture can take up to 10-12 weeks to arrive while some can be delivered in the matter of days. If you plan well you avoid storage charges, damages or having to go without certain things for too long.
If you’re feeling inspired and want to learn more, check out our post on how to plan and carry out a stress-free loft conversion here for some more great tips that can be applied to all kinds of house extensions.
If you’ve decided you want to start planning and building your dream house extension but are unsure where to start, get in touch with Temza to find out more about how our design and build service can help you to create the home of your dreams. Our highly skilled and experienced team can guide you through every step of the process, from understanding planning permissions to choosing and ordering the furniture to fill your new space with. Visit our website at https://temza.co.uk to see a few examples of some stunning house extensions in London and the surrounding areas that we have worked on, and to learn more about how our expert team could transform your home, too.