Here at Bromley Property Company we frequently sell ‘doer-upper’ properties to buyers who plan on totally renovating them, and more often than not this means some kind of extension is in the forefront of their minds once they move in. Buying a property that needs some work is often a good way of getting more ‘bang for your buck’, and if you’re prepared to live with some mess and put in the hard work then the subsequent space & quality of living, plus the financial rewards of adding value to your property, can make planning a house extension worth it.
We’ve put together some tips here for you to think about if you’re planning a house extension in the near future…
Consider your needs and that of any family members in the design
What are you wanting the extension for? Is it for a lot more extra space, or predominantly a different design layout to make the space easier to use and more enjoyable? A decent architect (and there are many in the Bromley area) should be able to help you work through your ideas and plan the project properly. They’ll also be able to tell you if your ideas are realistic, and also if they’ll get through planning. They should hopefully also suggest some ideas that you haven’t thought of before!
Toeing the planning line…
With almost any house extension or alteration you’ll need to go through your local council planning department, whether it’s a project within ‘permitted development’ or one that needs full planning approval. Bromley Council has a full list of information when it comes to seeking planning permission that you can view. It can also be helpful to see what your fellow neighbours have managed to do building-wise on your road, and you can search previous applications in the Bromley borough here. By looking at other floorplans, you can gain an idea of what has been approved, and what hasn’t, and may also get some good ideas yourself! Your architect will be able to help with submitting plans to the council and altering them if necessary.
Think through the implications of your build
This is one of the most important decisions to make. Will your extension go out, or to the side, or both? Could you gain more space going upwards instead (i.e. into the loft or a double side story extension)? When deciding where your extension will be, consider how your neighbours will be affected. Will my extension block their light and impact on their quality of living? Major projects can cause great inconvenience to those living around you. Some neighbours may object to what you’ve submitted to planning, so be prepared for this. Whilst it’s the council’s decision at the end of the day, it’s still not nice to fall out with your neighbours!
Keep track of costs, have a clear budget, and get a detailed quote
The costs of a building project like a house extension can spiral out of control if you’re not careful. You MUST get a detailed quote from the builder you decide to go with, before totting up the cost of any kitchen, bathroom, flooring, fixtures, lighting etc, plus ideally leaving some wiggle room for extra costs and things going wrong (which unfortunately they often do!). Keeping a spreadsheet handy at all times for updating and making changes will give you an element of control, and you can see where your money is going. Get your builder to put any new ‘extras’ that occur in writing so you have proof of agreement. See if you can save any money on the project by helping with labouring, or painting the finished extension.
Choose the right builder!
It’s always daunting deciding to go with a builder, especially when it involves your beloved home and often large sums of money. Ideally choose someone who comes recommended by a trusted friend or acquaintance, and ideally whose past work you can visit before you put any deposit down. A great builder is often in demand with a waiting list, will provide a detailed quote and job remit (see above), make suggestions regarding your extension project to keep you within your budget, and is clear and transparent when it comes to timescales and costs of materials.
All the above steps will help you gain a new home extension that will add comfort and value to your home!
If you’re looking to buy a home with extension and renovation potential, give Bromley Property Company a call and we can arrange viewings of suitable properties.