The idea of extending your home is becoming more popular than ever. It can provide extra space without the hassle and expense associated with moving. We have compiled eight key tips to help you get on the right track to extension bliss.
1.A ‘whole-house Solution’ Should Include An Extension.
Extensions should not be added to existing houses as bolt-ons. It is crucial that your home extension in auckland fits in with your existing house and that you consider the whole solution. The spaces should flow together to create a clear layout between the old and the new. This will enhance the house’s functionality. Extensions that are merely ‘tacked on’ to existing houses are a common feature of many 1980s and 1970s extensions. We are often asked to remove them in order to rationalize and improve the house.
Also, it is important to consider the effect on existing services in your home. Your heating system might not be able to handle the extra space. This could lead to a need for a new system that can serve the whole house. This could be an opportunity to introduce renewable technologies to your home, such as a heat pump and solar thermal systems. These technologies can also be eligible for the Reliable Heat Incentive scheme which can significantly reduce their payback periods.
2. Consider Architectural Style
Every house is unique, so every extension we design is. There are three options for style consideration when designing an extension to an existing structure:
This design takes cues from the existing building’s profile, massing, and bay rhythm. It does not replicate details. Some buildings can have substantial extensions without affecting the original’s character. Many buildings can be added to with the same design, but it could lead to an imbalanced or unbalanced composition. A well-designed modern addition will not be read as a part of the original building and will have a less dramatic effect on its appearance.
Here, the new is a subtle backdrop to the old. It doesn’t need to be large in order to be visually assertive. The reflective glass might help achieve this effect.
This is an affirmation that the new is more or less equal to the old. Combining the old and new should have a greater lasting value than each one.
The existing house will determine the approach that is taken for any given project. A deferential contrast approach is often the best when extending a traditional home with its own architectural qualities. An assertive contrast approach might be best for extending a modern house that does not have the same character or quality as a historic building.
The Conservation Area policy, which you can find on your local authority’s website, will partly govern the design of extensions if your property is in a conservation zone.
Our Lower Tullochgrue extension is something you might be interested in. It is located in the heart of Cairngorms Park and marries a striking modern design with a sensitive setting.
3.Be Realistic About Your Schedule.
Many projects take longer than expected. This can help you to be more flexible and manage your project’s ups and downs. It will also ensure that you don’t have unrealistic expectations, which will cause you stress and anxiety during construction. It is possible to reduce the amount of time it takes to deal with inevitable problems in a calm, realistic way.
4. Keep In Good Standing With Your Neighbors.
We know that it is not a good idea to live next to a construction site. While it is important to ensure that your extension does not interfere with the neighbor’s property (they have the legal right to light and privacy), it is also important to maintain good relations with your neighbors.
They will have to live next to construction sites for months, with noise, deliveries, parking, etc. It is not worth the inconvenience. Therefore, it is important to communicate with them early on to discuss your project and what you plan to do to minimize disruption.
The Party Wall Act may apply depending on where your property is located relative to its neighbors. It’s worth speaking to your solicitor to confirm this and to explain any implications.
5. If Possible, Move Out.
Living on a construction site can be quite unpleasant. (See the Practicalities section of our advice piece about renovating. It is a good idea to sell your home while major renovations are being done. Although this may seem like an additional expense if you are looking for a rental property to rent, it is often cost-neutral as the contractors who carry out the work do not need to plan around your family. This often reduces the time required.
6. Be Decisive
It is easy to be indecisive when we first see a space. It is natural to want to make changes throughout a project. However, this temptation can be magnified when you have access to the finished work regularly. Changes can have costly and time-consuming ramifications. Also, it is a good idea to talk to your architect about any changes. They are the best in their position to advise you on any potential consequences.
7. Don’t Forget Insurance.
Your home insurance will be required to be consulted if you are undertaking major work. While most householder policies will allow you to do simple renovations, it is important that you inform your insurance if you are going to be doing any construction work. Your insurer may require that contractors use an SBCC/JCT contract.
8. Keep In Mind That Vat.
A lot of people don’t realize that the full amount of VAT must be paid for any extension construction. While VAT is currently at 0% for the construction of a new property, it is 20% for all works to existing properties if your trades people have not been VAT registered. (Unless the house has been vacant for more than two years, in which case a reduced VAT rate may apply).
While extending your home may be stressful, it is important to remember the benefits it will have for your home and your daily life. We are happy to help you with any extension projects.