blog: the benefits of extending your home…

Extending your home can transform your lifestyle and add significant value to your property. With some careful planning and expert design, extending is a positive investment; almost always increasing the value of your home by more than the costs involved. But, how much does it cost to build an extension?

Every extension is as different as the needs and tastes of the individual homeowner. However, the following are important factors to consider when deciding on the right type of extension for your home and for your budget:

Type and size of extension

As building costs tend to often be based on price per square metre, the size and type of extension will determine the overall cost. Based on available space, will the extension be positioned to the rear or to the side of the property? Will the new extension affect structures such as roofing or supporting walls on the existing property? Will the extension be single storey or double storey? Permitted development rights should be taken into account, as it’s possible to build substantial extensions without planning permission, subject to the property not being listed or within a Conservation Area.

The layout can also influence the cost of the extension. Curves are always an expensive design feature, while a rectangular or square floor plan is more economical, often easier to planl and almost always easier to source components for.

Factors affecting cost

The site itself can also affect the build cost. A complex site with poor access may require additional equipment to lift materials such as steel beams into position, or the build may have to account for trees, retaining walls and so forth. Soil type and water levels will affect the type and amount of materials required for stable foundations and damp proofing. It is also important to account for changes to the positioning of underground pipework, drainage and sewerage, although the relocation of some services is commonplace for many extensions on existing properties.

While quality materials should also always be used within any build, there are considerable differences between the costs of building materials; for example, concrete blocks are cheaper than Yorkshire stone. Off-the-shelf standard sizes for doors and windows, bi-folding doors or kitchen base units, will keep costs lower than manufacturing bespoke elements. Large areas of glazing may incur additional expense, although, if a set of bi-folding doors cost £4000, it’s always useful to bear in mind that a cavity wall of the same size would probably cost about £2500 to build – so, the bi-folding doors would only add £1500 on to the total cost of the project. Builds which require supporting steel beams, as well as fixtures and fittings such as kitchens, bathrooms, floor coverings, joinery and lighting, as well as bespoke architectural details, also contribute to varying costs.

Locally sourced materials are often cheaper and faster to obtain, reducing the cost of delays, which can impact deadlines.

The right labour

Getting the right tradespeople for the job is critical. Always ask to see examples of completed work and request recommendations from satisfied customers. Reputable companies will always be pleased to provide this information. The cheapest quotes may seem the most attractive, but it is always wise to check credentials and accreditations, and also establish in writing exactly what is being provided for within any quote. There is nothing worse than discovering your project isn’t covered by insurance, or fails to comply with regulations, which is where the experience of a company such as Mash Architecture can prove invaluable.

Ways to reduce costs

Minimising the number of companies required to design and build your extension can considerably reduce costs. Each contractor and subcontractor will need to add their own margins onto the costs of materials, labour and for any specialised tools or equipment required.

One of the benefits of hiring an Architectural consultancy such as Mash Architecture Interiors Ltd is the consolidation of resources. Our services typically include a site survey, a site assessment, design consultation, creation and development of the drawings, submission of statutory applications, such as planning and building regulations, and undertaking the planning process right through to planning consent being granted.

Mash Architecture has established excellent working relationships with many building contracrtors, as well as other consultants such as Structural Engineers, landscape architects etc, as well as kitchen, bathroom, flooring and lighting suppliers, and we can take the stress out of sourcing these services by appointing other required professionals on behalf of our clients. This approach removes issues caused by poor communication between external companies, ensures the project remains on track and ensures the extension is completed to a high standard.

Keeping budgets on track

A carefully considered design should include precise locations for services like wiring and plumbing, lighting, sockets and switches, radiators and such like. Door positioning, floor heights and the merging of the existing building and new extension must be accurate to avoid additional costs and frustrations later in the project.

Here at Mash Architecture we understand that the devil is usually in the detail. Following a free consultation to discuss your individual requirements we’ll provide you with a detailed quotation to meet your budget.

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