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Renovating / extending

Discussion in 'Personal' started by lindenlea, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    May buy a house in need of renovation / extension. I've never done this before and haven't got much idea where to start. So far my action plan reads -
    contact local planning office for general info;
    find someone to design it ( how? Is it better to hire an architect or do builders offer a design service)
    find a builder;
    Any advice welcome. I'd prefer not to go down this route but I need to have it as an option because there's not a lot on the market that doesn't need major work and we're beginning to get a bit more interest in "our lovely home"..
     
  2. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    May buy a house in need of renovation / extension. I've never done this before and haven't got much idea where to start. So far my action plan reads -
    contact local planning office for general info;
    find someone to design it ( how? Is it better to hire an architect or do builders offer a design service)
    find a builder;
    Any advice welcome. I'd prefer not to go down this route but I need to have it as an option because there's not a lot on the market that doesn't need major work and we're beginning to get a bit more interest in "our lovely home"..
     
  3. From having watched the trainwreck of the house out the back's extension saga (so far we're onto month number 7 of it) - get a builder you can TRUST! The bunch of clowns this bunch have hired have really taken the mickey knowing the owners have moved out for the duration of works (and made our lives hell in the process but that's another story).
     
  4. An architect/designer can produce a detailed plan that suits you down to the level of light swiches and wal plugs etc. They can do the planning submissions process for you and get you to the stage of a set of approved plans.
    You should get several quotes for the work based on detailed plans. The quality of the quote work will give a feel for the builders understanding and how likely they are to do a good job.
    For the buidlers who you are interested in, go to see examples of similar work, If you want a kitchen a loft extension may be no guidance. Talk to the customer about quality of work adherence to schedule and cost.
    I would recommend, you get the builder to produce a schedule of work detailing every task and the cost which will then be fixed price. My extension was 4-5 sides of an a 4 excel print to the level of number of skips and the cost of each, all eclectical work and plumbing detailed by room, numer of sockets, lamps and switches.
    Do not pay in advance for any work only materials. Only pay for work completed. Keep back 5% or so for snagging.
    As a generalization, good builders tend to be busy, so they need plenty of notice.
     
  5. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    That's really useful. Thanks.
     
  6. lurk_much

    lurk_much Occasional commenter

  7. JTL

    JTL Occasional commenter

    We had an extension a couple of years ago. Admittedly, it was a friend of my husband's, so we knew we could trust him.
    He suggested an architect that he used and we got him round to discuss our needs, and he drew up the plans and submitted them.
    Being very local, the architect was aware of what the Council would allow and happily it all went smoothly, the plans were passed and the work carried out with no problems.
    The builder and architect delt with any notices we had to issue to neighbours regarding our planning application and getting the Council round to check any works carried out.
    I hope yours goes as smoothly.
     
  8. You can get recommendations for builders from some local authorities. Some Architects produce beautiful plans which are totally unworkable for the builders to follow ! Also whatever they quote always expect it to be more and don't forget all the little extras like carpetting, new fitted wardrobes, curtains etc. Always get a date agreed for completion.
     
  9. gergil4

    gergil4 New commenter

    Also be ready with your ideas. Our architect went for a straight forward single room extension until I asked for the ceiling space to be opened up and Velux windows to be put in - it seemed the obvious thing to me as we'd asked for as much light as possible in the room. (Perhaps I'm in the wrong profession.) Be prepared to 'live and learn', and don't be afraid to ask about things as they go.
     
  10. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    Really appreciate your pearls of wisdom.
     
  11. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    I'd also get a surveyor to estimate the value of the property once all the work has been done - make sure that if you decide to sell again you will at the very least be in positive equity. Some areas have a ceiling on property value, you could throw tens of thousands at a property and never get it back on point of sale.
     

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