Tips for planning and designing a house extension

House extensions have become increasingly popular in recent years. Not only does this type of remodel allow you to upgrade your home, it also provides extra space for a growing family. If you’ve been dreaming about an open-plan kitchen, a house extension can help make that dream a reality.  

Extending a home is a big job, which means you’ll need to do the proper planning. If you’re not quite sure where to start or you have questions about how to get from point A to point Z, don’t worry. This article outlines the steps you’ll need to take along with the order you’ll need to take them in.

 

 

Figure out your budget

Most first-floor home extensions involve building out the kitchen; if you’re planning for a kitchen extension you’ll need to take some time to determine how much money you have to spend along with the types of design elements you’d like to incorporate.  

If you’re simply wanting to add more space so you’ll have room for a dining room table, your budget will be far less that it will should you want to incorporate a walk-in pantry, breakfast bar, range cooker and an island unit.

Take some time to determine your wants versus your needs.

 

 

Choose your design

Once you have your budget you’ll need to choose an architect, and we recommend Active Architecture. The team at Active Architecture are a highly qualified team of design professionals with the right type of experience in architectural design and planning application services. They are flexible in their approach and are easy to communicate with. A good designer can help you achieve a perfect plan for your extension.

When you start to interview potential firms be sure to ask if they offer 3D CAD modeling services, since this will provide you with a concrete visual of what the space will look like upon completion.  Many homeowners find that 3D CAD modeling gives them greater confidence in their design decisions.

Although some homeowners question whether they can skip the design and drawing phase and just go straight to a builder, this is not something that’s advised—and for good reason.  

Architectural planning services can assist you with the design, the preparation of construction documents and in some cases, construction administration.  They can also help you guide you on how to get the most value out of what you have budgeted to spend.

Yes, hiring an architect will come with a cost, but their value well worth the expense.

At the same time, you’ll want to make sure the design firm you choose either employs or has a relationship with architecture planning consultants. The reason for this is simple: the consultant will know what will and won’t be granted planning permission.   

When the architect and consultant work together they’ll be able to design a scheme that has the best possible chance of approval.

 

 

Do I need planning permission?

The quick answer to that question is “maybe,” because this will depend on the size and location of your home extension.

Current rules state that homeowners can build a structure that is up to four meters high that extends up to three meters beyond the original rear-wall of a home without seeking planning permission. Permitted development extension rules for side extensions also have a maximum height of four meters, but they can extend the original width of the home by up to 50 percent.

If your home extension project falls does need permission and you start the work without getting it, you run the risk of being served with an enforcement notice. Should this happen, you’ll be required to undo the changes that have already been made.

Again, this is where architectural planning consultants will come in handy.

 

 

Consider hiring an interior designer that specializes in kitchens

Much like doctors specialize in treating different parts of the body, an interior designer that specializes in kitchen design will be educated in how to make the most out of the space. At Amberth we are proud to own the space in unique kitchen designs for residents across London. 

You’ll want to ask candidates ask about the types of design services they offer, about the terms and conditions of their contracts, project completion timelines and payment schedules. You should also ask if they can show you examples of projects they’ve worked on that are similar to yours. In turn, the designer should ask about your lifestyle, the size of your family and whether your kitchen will be used solely for cooking or if you also intend to use it as a gathering space.

The more communication you have with your designer, the better the overall outcome will be.

 

 

Finishing touches

When construction is complete, and the flooring has been installed, your design team will work on having your walls painted and having the lighting components and kitchen fixtures installed. Once the cabinets are installed and the worktops are in, your project will officially be done. Enjoy!