Welcome to Hearne House’s first blog entry. Going forward these entries will be known as ‘Episodes’ with each Episode focusing on an area of home improvement, the latest interior trends, advice on planning and regulations, smart home integration plus many other practical topics to inspire you and help you get the most of your home. In our first entry we will be discussing house extensions.
Renovate or move
The first question to ask is if you should move or renovate. In the past, moving was the first choice for many homeowners but the market has changed. While housing stock in the UK is growing, recent assessments show that, on average, people move about every fourteen years. This could be be attributed to the rising costs of moving house such as increases in stamp duty. In the UK we are seeing more homeowners extending their homes to avoid the high cost and inconvenience of moving to a new location. If you love your current home but you need a bit more space to grow into and/or make everyone comfortable, then extending makes the most sense.
Types of extension
The most common types of extension are:
- Single or double storey side or rear extensions – including conservatories and orangeries
- Loft conversions
- Garage conversions
- Basement conversions
While there are many things to be considered when planning a home extension, the most important are design and budget. Do you want to add a living area, sleeping area, a new bathroom, storage space or kitchen/dining area? Do have the available space to build on the side of the home or does it make more sense to add another floor, such as a mansard, or convert a loft?
With the cost of the average extension in southwest London running between £1,500-£2,000 per m² (higher for bath and kitchen extensions), you need to have a design plan that matches your budget. For the initial planning stage, don’t worry about the final finishes and exact dimensions. Your main goal should be to nail down exactly why you want to add the additional space and how it will be used.
Adding space to your home will usually mean that you are losing space in another area of your property. Your garden may have to be redesigned as well as access to and from the house. Will sunlight gain or loss be a consideration with the new addition?
Planning permission and building regulations will determine the design and feasability of your extension in many areas, dictating what you can and cannot do. If you live in a conservation area then you maybe limited by what you can do without obtaining planning permission. It’s crucial to appoint an experienced specialist at the early stage of design to ensure any alterations are going to satisfy building control.
Converting an existing space can often be a means to satisfying planning regulations. For example, if your reason for extending the house is mostly for living space or storage area, then renovating an existing garage may be the most effective way to add this space.
Working with a professional
While the prospect of starting a home extension may seem daunting, it doesn’t have to be if you are working with experienced professionals. The team at Hearne House has years of experience building in Central, West and South West London areas, and we have a portfolio of finished projects that you can view here. Our high standards and commitment to excellence will ensure that your new extension will be delivered on time and on budget. Please call us on 020 8769 6816 or email us at [email protected] to discuss your building project.
We look forward to meeting you soon.