House Extension

Guidelines for Building a House Extension

The house you had been living in has been your home for years, possibly decades.  It is probably your first house after you had gotten married and started your family.  It is probably where you raised your kids.  It is where you invite relatives and friends over for meals from time to time.  It is where you relax and unwind from a hard day's work.

Recently, however, you may have also started to feel like it is getting a bit cramped inside.  Maybe you are expecting a new baby and there are not enough rooms in the house, as they are all occupied.  Maybe your children have grown up and started to feel like they need more privacy, like most teenagers do.  Or maybe you yourself feel the need for a little room to put your hobby stuff in like your tools and whatnots. Or maybe you just wanted to raise the market value of your home.

Whatever the reason, it would seem that you need more space in your home than what you have got at the moment.  Unfortunately, moving into a bigger house may be too expensive for you.  So what do you do?  You have a look around your property and think that little space around the back or side of the house would be perfect for building an extension.

Now that you have considered that, how do you start building it?  Here are a few points for you to consider when you are thinking of building a house extension.

What do you need the building extension for?

It can be so easy to just jumpstart a house extension project without even considering how this new space will be interacting with the rest of the house.  You need to first think about why you need this new space, what you are going to put in it and what happens to the rest of the house after you finish building it.

Survey your property

You may have done this a fair bit already, but look closely at the spot around your house and think about the best place to put an extension.  Many homeowners think of extension their house towards their backyard or the side of the house.  Try to imagine that the extension is already there.  How big is the space?  Would you like a one-storey or two-storey extension?  When thinking of building a two-storey extension, make sure to consult an architect.  He/she will let you know if your current house foundation can support it. 

Check the legalities

You have to ensure that you will not face any legal issues when building your house extension.  This would depend on the rules stated by your local government.  This will usually involve conservation issues.  This needs to be done before any building starts, so that you are fully aware of the local government guidelines.  This way, you can avoid unnecessary additional costs that could happen due to non-conformance.

What is your budget?

Work out how much you are willing to spend on the house extension project and try to stick with it. 

Negotiate reasonable quotes with building contractors and ensure that they will not charge you too much in additional.  Keep a close eye on the spending.

To cut costs on labour, you may want to consider making this a DIY project.  But as you will see below, there are also some things you need to think about before starting.

Do-it-yourself or get a contractor

There are so many home improvements shows on television nowadays, that viewers are convinced that they can do home improvements easily and that all they need is the right equipment.

The easiest way to build an extension is to get a contractor.  However, you will need to be prepared to shell out more cash that building it yourself.  Aside from the cost of materials and labour, you will also have to insure the workers building your extension.  You need not worry about insurance, though, if you contracted the project to a company, as they should already have their workers insured.

When you are considering a DIY house extension project to save costs, there are a number of things you need to think about:

The building extension design

You may want to consider getting advice from a reputable architect on the design of your extension.  This is important as the new extension may affect the amount of natural light that comes into the old part of your home.  It may also affect the airflow and can either make your house too cold or too warm.  It may result in you having to spend too much on heating or air-conditioning.  You may also need advice on how to make your extension enhance the outside look of your home.

More tips and tricks before you start