Housing Extensions: 22 questions to ask before starting plans
Here are the 22 questions you need to ask yourself before you get started on your journey to having a better home
1. Do I want a housing extension?
It may seem strange to start off with this question, but it’s always worthwhile to take stock of your personal needs and decide if you and everyone you live with want a housing extension.
If you've decided that you want a housing extension and are ready to start talking to an architecture firm about it right away, contact Zidouri Architecture by clicking here.
2. What is my housing extension going to be used for?
It’s important to know what your housing extension will be used for, as this will help your chosen architecture firm when they begin planning. Will it be used as a workspace? Is it an extension of a kitchen? Or will it be a games room? Different extensions require different approaches.
3. Who will be making use of this housing extension?
Think about who will be using this housing extension. If you know who will most benefit from this space, it will help inform your decision-making.
4. How long will the housing extension take?
Housing extensions are often big commitments, and when they’re done right they can take a lot of time and care. So, make sure you’ve factored in how much time a housing extension might take, in order to make sure you have a sense of what a big commitment this is.
5. How big should my extension be?
Try to think in practical terms about how big you want your extension to be. Do you know exactly what size you want it to be? Or do you want to talk it over with an architecture firm in order for them to help you out?
6. How much of my land do I want to dedicate to this extension?
Similar to the previous question, you need to have a solid idea of the way that an extension will the land that you’re building on. If the extension is being built in your back garden, make sure you’re comfortable with the reduced size of that back garden.
7. What is my budget for a housing extension?
It might seem obvious, but it’s always important to reiterate - before you race ahead and starting laying out blueprints for your extension, think about your personal finances and what budget you have for this undertaking.
8. Does my budget factor in other costs like VAT?
Some of the hidden costs involved in housing extensions can quickly eat into your budget - so it’s good to have a firm handle on all the costs involved. A good architecture firm will be upfront about the costs so that you’re not hit with any hidden snags. Leading firms like Zidouri Architecture will often make reassuring statements with regard to cost; the business states on its website: “We like to give one price for the entire process so all will be included in one price.”
9. Do I need planning permission?
Not everyone will need planning permission, but everyone will have to know their planning permission requirements before they can get started on their housing extension. Your architecture firm will normally be able to advise you on your planning permission needs.
10. Do I need to consider any other building regulations?
Again, you’ll want to have a grasp on any regulations or restrictions that might impact your housing extension. Often, the architecture firm you choose will be able to advise you on issues related to regulation.
11. Will this extension add significant value to my property?
Property owners need to think of a housing extension as an investment, as well as an additional part of their property. Considering that a housing extension is a big undertaking, make sure you have a firm idea that the extension will add value to your property.
12. Have I planned where the electrics might go in this extension?
Say you’re extending your kitchen, or your housing extension is going to be for a heavy-duty workspace. You’ll want to be thinking about where the electrics might be located in this extension. This is particularly the case for white goods like fridges - if the electrics end up in the wrong place, it might cause difficulties.
13. If I need ventilation or plumbing, have I planned where they might go in this extension?
Similar to the electrics, make sure you’ve considered things like ventilation and plumbing, if they are necessary components of your extension.
14. Can I live on the premises while the extension building is taking place?
Make sure you’re certain about your living situation before building work gets underway!
15. Do I have a contingency budget if there is an issue with costs during the build?
This is one to always think about. Make sure you have a firm contingency budget, as well as an initial budget. There might be additional costs as the work goes on, or there might be other factors that couldn’t be predicted at the start of the build - so make sure you have an idea of a contingency budget!
16. Have I factored in all the issues related to the timeframe it takes to build an extension?
Similar to having a contingency budget, you’ll want to have a contingency timeframe in case the building work takes longer than expected (which can often happen for very straightforward reasons!)
17. Where can I look to find the best people to build my extension?
No matter what route you decide to take with your extension, it’s important to hire the best people for the job. It’s worth your while consulting with architectural firms and specialist designers who will listen to your needs and answer all these questions that you have about your unique build.
18. Have I done all the research possible about what goes into building my housing extension?
Not only is a housing extension a big commitment, but it’s something that you will have to literally live with! That means you it’s worth your while doing as much research as possible into housing extensions. If you’re ever uncertain, you can contact businesses directly or take a look at the services they offer.
19. Am I able to find a firm that is easy to communicate with?
A housing extension is all about YOUR needs. Make sure you’re working with people who are easy to communicate with, who answer your questions, and who listen to you.
20. Should I go with an architecture firm that has previous recommendations and testimonials?
It’s easy to get lost when looking for what you want online - and finding a good business to do your housing extension work is no different. That’s why it’s best to go with a business that proudly shares its testimonials and recommendations from past clients.
21. How should I go about looking for builders for my housing extension?
Look for builders that either you trust personally or that have a proven track record. One good option is to go with builders suggested to you by the architecture firm you work with. Zidouri Architecture states on the Housing Extension section of their website: “We are connected to builders we trust and have worked with in the past. We can connect you at no extra charge.”
22. Am I ready for a brand new change?
The last - and most - important question to ask yourself. Are you ready for a life-changing commitment that will potentially make your life a lot better and your house a lot more valuable? If so, reach out to Zidouri Architecture today!