A Guide to Planning and Building Your Home Extension

A home extension can not only add value to your property, but also to your quality of life in your home. More space, more light – whatever reason you have for taking on an extension project, the results can be extremely rewarding.

However, the challenging part is figuring out where to start and keeping track of all the moving parts of a building project. We’ve divided the process into two phases, each with its own steps to consider in between, to help you stay on track.

Phase 1: Planning Your Home Extension Project

This is the fun part, but it’s also crucial to get things right from the beginning. You don’t want to be in a situation later on in this process where delays are caused due to bad planning.

There’s usually something that goes wrong during any building project, no matter the scale, but this can often be avoided thanks to careful planning and consideration for the detail.

Step 1: Designing your building project

Although you probably have an idea in mind for how you want the result to look, it’s critical to involve a professional draughtsman from the beginning. This will help keep your expectations realistic and perhaps spark some other ideas of what is possible with the space that’s already there.

Working with a designer or draughtsman from the start is especially helpful when the existing space is small or structurally limiting. Using a professional service that offers 3D renderings of the house plans will give you a more accurate perspective of how your designs will translate into the finished extension.

Step 2: Budgeting for your building project

The money. This step in the process will also guide your design considerations and manage your expectations from the get-go. Use an estimated building cost calculator to give you an idea of what you should plan for financially.

When it comes to budgeting for a build, transparency with your building team is essential. Using your budget as a guideline in the planning stages of your project can also avoid unforeseen costs later on.

Proper budgeting will also determine whether you would need to apply for a building loan, another process that will take some time to finalise.

In addition, there are so many administrative costs involved in construction that people don’t often consider - the next step is one of them.

Step 3: Getting your building project approved

Do I need building plans approval when I’m extending an existing structure?

Yes, you do.

The last thing you want is for a building inspector to authorise a demolition of your new build halfway because the relevant paperwork hasn’t been done. There are also costs involved throughout the application process and it’s important to also factor the approval time into your building schedule.

Phase 2: Building Your Home Extension Project

This is the gruelling part: actually getting the job done. If you and your team have carefully considered all the moving parts in the planning phase, you should be well prepared for this part of the process.

Step 1: Finding the right building contractors

With all the nightmarish stories we’ve all heard about building contractors, it’s quite understandable to be sceptical about every contractor you consider for the job.

However, when you find the right contractor to oversee your build, it will make the whole thing come together and alleviate a lot of your initial stress.

It’s advisable to use a professional service with an existing network of reliable building contractors. This will make the vetting process run smoothly and should also provide you with more peace of mind.

A contractor’s cost estimation will also play a role in your decision, however it’s important to value quality of work over price in your decision.

Step 2: Buying the right building supplies

You also can’t expect your contractor to deliver the best workmanship without the right supplies. It’s important for you to be involved in sourcing and buying the right supplies from the beginning.

At the end of the day you are the one who has to live in the finished product. Open and honest communication with your contractor is absolutely vital in the overall success of the build. So, be involved in choosing the building supplies.

Step 3: Putting the project’s logistical timeline together

The final step before it all starts is considering how it will happen. Putting a timeline together and making sure of what is needed when will significantly mitigate possible delays.

Logistics are equally important and you should factor access to the building site into your planning, especially when this affects your neighbours. There’s nothing worse than dealing with an unhappy neighbour during an already demanding task.

At Binastore, we consult and guide you through every step of these home extension phases. Contact us to find out more.