It doesn’t matter where in the world you live; if you want to alter your existing home, you’re likely to run into some bureaucratic red tape. Before you end up making a costly mistake, familiarise yourself with the requirements you’ll need to meet before making extensions to your home.
Know the Costs and Plan for the Unexpected
When planning an extension, it is always advisable to obtain quotations from various builders for the work you wish to have done. Check their references and ask for examples of their previous work. Some builders may have superb credentials, but they may specialise in the construction of office buildings, rather than home extensions. Factor in about 20% of the quotation value for unexpected contingencies that may occur during the process. Your insurance broker will be able to advise the best cover and duration for such cover.
Permissions and Regulations
Some house extensions do not require approval for building regulations. However, we do recommend that you consider each of the minimum requirements set out in the regulations. These include adequate ventilation, damp proofing, effective utilisation of energy, fire safety, and, most importantly, structural reliability.
If you reside in certain parts of the UK, you may be able to erect separate structures such as log cabins or garden sheds provided that they do not take up more than half of the space within your garden. Irrespective of the end-use of your extension, if it includes a bathroom, you will need to obtain permission as new drainage and waste plumbing will need to be installed.
If you want to erect a small wooden outbuilding on your property, you can save yourself a lot of time and stress by having the manufacturer of the shed produce it off-site at the factory and install it on your property when it is ready. This will save you money too as you won’t need to vacate your property for a period of time while the building process takes place.
External Services to be Considered
In addition to the bathroom, if you’re planning to remodel your kitchen to increase the value of your home, a complete final layout of where all the appliances will be required. The reason for this is that services such as electricity, gas and plumbing lines must be catered for. Investigate the costs of a total kitchen remodel versus simply updating the tiles and cabinetry.
In many countries, certain flora is protected and thus no building may take place in an area where such plants are found. The same principle applies in the UK. Certain trees are protected and cannot even so much as to be pruned because they are protected by a tree preservation order (TPO). Before commencing any form of building an extension, it is advisable to contact your local fauna and flora department to find out if any of the plants or trees in your garden prohibit the extension of your home or the erection of a single-storey outbuilding on your property.
Every county has its own requirements in addition to those laid out in the laws of the country. Speak to your local councillor for further assistance. All that’s left to do when the project is complete is enjoy your new space.