The property market is in turmoil. After years of selling mortgages to people who couldn’t afford them, several lenders collapsed at the beginning of the credit crunch, and the others were soon evicting families and foreclosing their homes in an effort to retain as much capital as possible. Fortunately for homeowners, the Government stepped in to promote stability, and the situation has improved. Nevertheless, house prices continue to outpace inflation, making it difficult for those looking either to get on the property ladder or move up it. For that reason, many are choosing to build an extension to their existing home, saving the costs and hassle of moving whilst adding space and possibly value. However, this decision should not be taken lightly. Here are some factors which merit some thought on your part.
1. What do Your Neighbours Think?
We share our living space with others; whether within our own homes or in a wider sense as a street or community. Some of these people might have something to say about your proposed building works. If you require planning permission, as discussed below, their opinions could even have legal force. Regardless of whether or not this is the case, it is wise not to offend them. After all, these are people you’ll be seeing frequently, perhaps for many years.
2. Do You Require Planning Permission?
This one is a little more complicated. Normally, in order to protect the interests of other homeowners, any extension or additional structure of a significant size requires planning permission from your Local Authority. But if you intend to build within the next few years, you could be in luck. The Government has announced that regulations will be relaxed, allowing structures of up to 8 metres to be built without permission. This will be a temporary measure designed to boost the construction industry, so don’t delay!
3. Make Sure You Have the Right Help
It might be tempting to attempt to reduce your costs by designing your own extension or outbuilding. However, this can be a false economy, as any defects which would have been pointed out by a professional could end up costing you a significant amount. Try to find reputable engineering consulting firms to aid in the design and provision of materials. Suitable companies will help you with your design (or even draw it all up themselves), taking the pressure off and allowing you to concentrate on organising the labour side of the project. They can even help with applying for planning permission, if necessary.
Whatever shape and size your planned extension is, arranging its construction can be a daunting task. Good luck!