5 Tips to Help Your Extension Design
With house prices as inflated as they are, many households have to decide as to whether they should move to a new house, or build an extension or remodel to improve the living space. Adding living space is often the preferred choice, especially when there are children in the household; people do not want the added disruption to schooling and a change in community. Here are 5 key areas for you to consider to before you realise your extension dreams.
If you are thinking about adding extra rooms, you must think about whether your extension is going to balance. If you are adding bedrooms, you must also consider the number of bathrooms that you have to service the rooms; you may need to add an extra bathroom to ensure that balance is achieved. Also remember that house buyers expect a bathroom and separate shower room as a minimum in a four or five bedroomed house; an en suite is almost expected in this size house. Try to avoid adding an additional bathroom to the ground floor – it adds very little value to your home, and bathrooms away from the bedrooms are seen as impractical.
The Party Wall Act
If you are considering an extension that requires any digging of foundations or building within 3 metres of the boundary, party wall (the wall that is shared between two adjoining buildings as with semi-detached properties), you must comply to the Party Wall Act. If you are unsure about where your party walls are, check the deeds that your Conveyancing Solicitors in London will have provided during your house sale completion. You must give your neighbours over 2 months’ notice of the intended start date of work. This will ensure that any problems your neighbours may have with your work can be ironed out well in advance.
Architects have spent many an hour trying to find a solution to the Building Regulations’ insistence that a lobby had to exist between the WC and any other room. This was purely for hygiene reasons and was introduced to prevent WCs adjoining kitchens. Many people believe this to still be true; however, this regulation has thankfully been replaced with a more practical requirement of a wash basin and suitable ventilation.
Avoid through rooms
You need to think about the space you are making or changing; you need the most efficient way to access your extension but do not make the error of sacrificing what you have already to gain little more. For example, the temptation is to slice a bedroom to be able to access a loft conversion that houses a bedroom of a similar size. By doing this, you risk creating an expensive storage area and little more.
Before you get too excited about your extension, make sure that the area that you will need to clear does not have any trees that are covered by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO). Just because your extension does not require planning permission since it falls under permitted development, it does not mean that you can remove a tree with a TPO on it. If the tree does have a TPO, you cannot even prune it without planning permission. You need to be particularly aware of this if your house is within a Conservation Area, and the tree trunk has a diameter of 75mm or more – you will be hit with a substantial fine if you do alter a protected tree, and it is a criminal offence.