New baby on the way? New stay-at-home work venture in the works? Or simply looking to create some more room at home?
Whatever your reason is, extending your home is an attractive proposition for many homeowners. After all, it avoids the hassle of moving whilst offering the benefits of extra space. What’s not to like?
This bedroom design was created by Susan Yaneyls, Homestyler floorplanner user
Well, before you get going with your decision to extend, it’s important to make sure you’ve considered everything – and I mean everything.
You are going to end up living with your extension for many years, so you don’t want to rush into it straight away. Plan it, discuss it and then plan it again, and make sure you’ve asked yourself these eight key questions:
This open plan design was created by Puspa ., Homestyler mobile app user
1. Does it make sense to extend?
While extending means you don’t have to move, and often costs a lot less than moving house, you have to question whether it’s a practical decision.
If an extension spoils the property, or becomes a case of over-development, it might not make sense from a financial point of view.
For instance, could you make your smaller rooms appear bigger by re-decorating or changing your furniture?
Building an extension is only really sensible if it adds both space and value to the property.
This open plan design was created by Rutchevelle Den Ouden, Homestyler mobile app user
2. Which materials should you use?
It can be tempting while building an extension to cut corners and save money where you can, especially on the materials.
However, this isn’t necessarily a good idea. Depending on the overriding character or style of the house, it makes sense to match the materials to those already used in your home – although this isn’t always the case, as this article proves.
Deciding on which materials to use will likely fall on your architect’s shoulders to look at and decide, but it’s important for you to be aware of as well.
This bedroom design was created by Teke Tin, Homestyler floorplanner user
3. Is your brief detailed enough?
When choosing to extend, it’s easy to simply say ‘I want an extra bedroom’ or ‘I want to make the bathroom bigger’. Explaining to your architect what exactly you’re looking for is a lot more useful in making sure that your money is well spent.
While you don’t have to go into architectural levels of detail, such as blueprints and to-scale models, thinking about any added benefits you would like can really help shape the architect’s design.
For instance, say you are redesigning the kitchen.
This kitchen design was created by Susan Yanelys, Homestyler floorplanner user
· Where will the light come in from?
· Should the kitchen sink be positioned where I can look out of the window?
· Would I rather see a view of my garden when I eat my dinner, or would it make sense to block that view off to create more storage space?
It’s important while creating your brief to talk openly with your architect. They will be the one with the training and expertise to discuss creative problem solving solutions to what you’re looking for.
Why not put them to the test? Challenge their knowledge by asking practical, detailed and well-thought-out questions.
4. Would you prefer quality or quantity?
It stands to reason that money is a key factor when building an extension, so budgeting correctly and choosing between quality or quantity is very important.
For example, think about whether you want an extension that offers more space, but is built using lower quality materials. Or alternatively, ask yourself whether you’d prefer the opposite – a higher quality build, using better materials and a better design, but offering less space.
Rushing into an extension is a bad move so, if you have your mind set on how it should look but don’t quite have the budget to afford it, you could be left feeling disappointed.
5. Are you prepared to live through the mess?
There’s no escaping the fact that extensions are messy.
They are disruptive, untidy and dusty so sometimes it’s actually easier to move out of the house and leave the builders to get on with their work. Here are some of the key advantages of doing this:
· The build is faster, saving you money
· The builders can turn off your power, water and heat – again saving you money
· The builders don’t have to spend the end of each day cleaning up, so it saves time in the long run
· It’s less disruptive if you work from home and aren’t a fan of loud building noise
· With less people in the house, there’s fewer arguments about who uses the toilet next
6. Are you being respectful of your neighbours?
Some extensions can have an indirect effect on your neighbours’ houses. For instance, imagine you are extending over the top of your garage, ask yourself whether this could block out the sun or view from your neighbour’s garden.
Also, as extensions are often fairly loud, the noise could be disruptive, it’s often a good idea to discuss the extension plans with any neighbours that you think it could affect, involving them in the process and pre-warning them about any potential inconvenience. Otherwise, as this case proves, it could leave you in a pretty awkward situation.
7. Am I getting value for money?
It is not just the money that you need to consider when building an extension, there’s also the personal cost as well.
While the quantity surveyor is fundamentally the person responsible for calculating the overall work costs, when all said and done, you will be the one left to live with the extension.
This bedroom design was created by Carolina Gonzalez, Homestyler mobile app user
Therefore, only you can decide whether you have got value for money or not, and that depends on more than just how much money you’ve spend; it also depends on the extension’s value in terms of practicality and pleasure.
8. How will the extension eventually look?
While it’s obviously vital to consider the processes involved before and during an extension’s build, you also need to think about how you want the extra space to look once it’s completed – especially from an interior design point of view.
This open plan design was created by Carmen Cantariño, Homestyler floorplanner user
From exposed brick walls to ceiling beams, lighting options to furniture placement, it’s important to understand exactly what you are looking to achieve from your extension.
For instance, say you are building a new dream bathroom: where are you going to position the toilet and sink? Are you going to have the bathroom door swinging inwards or outwards? Is there room for a bath, shower or neither?
This bathroom design was created by Viviane Menezes, Homestyler floorplanner user
Building an extension is more than just walls and mortar – it’s about how you utilise the extra space.
Consider how altering the layout of your house will impact the rest of your home, and focus your interior design choices with this in mind.
Use our floor plan designer to help visualise how exactly your extension will look, and incorporate relevant furniture accordingly.
Hope you likes this article! Please note that this is a contribution of Annie Button – Make sure you follow her on her Twitter account for more related content: @anniebutton1994 and read her previous article on Homestyler – How to turn your garage into man cave
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