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5 pitfalls to avoid when extending your house

Make sure you don't end up a fool by avoid these home extension mistakes by following this expert advice from architects.

3 min read

Extending your home is a big project. Second to actually buying your home, it’s going to be one of the biggest financial commitments you’re likely to make so the last thing you want is to find yourself becoming another home project horror story.

To protect both your home, your finances, and your piece of mind, here are some of the pitfalls you can avoid during your project…

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An unrealistic budget

At Resi, we’re transparent with our fees, so you won’t have any hidden charges eating at your budget. Yet what about the rest of your build?

Being honest about what you see as the end product is the best way to avoid any nasty surprises when it comes to your finances. We’ve known plenty of people who have viewed their kitchen as an afterthought - only to find the fittings they want add an extra £10,000 to the project.

Have you thought about the kind of kitchen you want fitted? What kind of taps you want? As you go forward, you’ll find it’s the little things that quickly add up. Not to mention always changing, as inflation can hit anything from roof tiles to door hinges.

Read more: how much does an extension cost?

Cutting corners

Okay, so you’re taking care with your budget. Yet beware you don’t also get caught out by penny-pinching.

Many people try to cut corners in order to save money, but this can be a ticking time bomb in the long run. For example, it can be tempting to skimp on exploratory work, such as CCTV surveys, but this can end up costing you thousands when something unexpected goes wrong with your drains in a few years time.

Here are some safer options for keeping costs down.

Hiring the wrong people for your project

Do your research and avoid ending up with a professional unsuited to your project.

Make sure you’re putting your project out to tender to several builders. Tender is a package of information given to builders so they can work out what materials and labour will be needed to complete your project. By giving this to three or four different professionals, you can compare costs and make sure no one is taking you for a ride.

That being said, don’t go straight for the cheapest option. Make sure you ask for references before taking anyone on. If a builder is reluctant to put you in touch with previous clients, or their reviews don’t add up, play on the safe side and stay away. Also, make sure any tradesmen taking on your project have ‘Public Liability Insurance’. This helps protect you and them if something goes wrong.

Here's our guide to spotting a cowboy contractor.

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Not consulting your neighbours

Do you have a good relationship with your neighbours? Because you might be about to find out.

Problems could arise if you and your neighbour share what is known as a party wall, this is a wall, outbuilding, or boundary that straddles two properties. In the event a party wall is present, you’re required to give two month’s notice on building works which effects this shared space.

If your neighbour doesn't given written consent to the work, you'll need to take on a party wall surveyor to put together a party wall agreeement.

You should also consider how your build will affect your neighbours once it’s completed. Will it overshadow their garden? Could they complain about ‘Right to Light’? All these issues are likely to have you facing planning rejection.

Ignoring Sustainability

There may have been a time when sustainability wasn’t seen as essential, but now you ignore it at your peril. Not only does it help reduce your carbon footprint, it can also save you a lot of money in the long run.

You might consider cavity wall insulation or energy efficient windows, in order to keep your heating bills low. Or, if you’re willing to go the distance, consider installing solar panels. In fact, there are now hundreds of ways to make an eco-friendly home, with many of them cutting down on your bills or even helping increase your well-being, thanks to those nourishing qualities.

Learn more about creating your own eco-friendly (and bill-friendly) household.

Concerned your build might fall into one of these pitfalls? Book a free call with our team today and receive expert advice for your extension.

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