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5 Things To Consider Before An Extension

So you’ve decided you want to extend your home to achieve a bigger, better space or perhaps to add value and make your house more attractive to buyers…

You’re eager to begin your project but before you start, you should do thorough research and go into it armed with knowledge, planning and patience if you’re to achieve your desired end result.

Before you start picking your new rooms’ colour scheme there are many more important things you need to understand, which is where Canova can help:

  1. Cost of Your Roof

You’ve got to be honest and up front about what type of budget you have for this extension project. It’s a conversation that is vital to have before getting the ball rolling on your extension.

As exciting as your new project may be, it is important to be realistic and honest about the money you have available. Most people want more than can actually be achieved with their budget. Unless you tell your architect what your accurate budget is, then there is no way that they can tell you whether your extension expectations are realistic.

In your budget you’re covering architecture fees, builder’s fees, materials, building control fees and professional fees which will vary in relation to the quality and complexity of construction.

Another point to remember is that generally speaking, extensions and alterations are not zero VAT. Therefore, take into account that your spending power is reduced by 1/6th of your budget as it’s conventional in the building industry for all prices to be quoted net of VAT.


  1. Planning Permission & Neighbours

You’ve established that you’re financially prepared for an extension and the next obstacle to overcome is securing planning permission and remaining on good terms with your neighbours.

If you haven’t already spoken to your neighbours, maybe take this time to think about inviting them over and explaining your project thoroughly and getting them on side. Don’t be unnerved if your neighbours are initially not in favour of your proposals, remain calm and let them have their opinion. You may be able to alleviate a lot of their concerns with a friendly and informed chat. Make sure to record what their concerns are and pass this to your architect as there may be an easy alteration that resolves their objection. Having your neighbour onside and supportive can make a huge difference to the smooth running of your project and it is in everyone’s best interest to alleviate as much stress as possible.

If your neighbours continue to object, they will have to submit a material planning objection to the local authority. The case officer at the local planning authority will then weigh up the objections, decide whether there are considerations and decide if the proposals are adequate.

Other things to consider include:

  • Do you share a party wall?
  • Which of you own the boundary fence, wall or hedge?
  • Are there any significant trees on site that may need to be removed? Whose trees are they?
  • Would your extension eclipse their garden?
  • Research the Right to Light guidelines – does your project infringe this?


  1. Results of your project

Know why you want an extension and why it will benefit you, your family and your home. The increasing cost and hassle of moving combined with uncertainty in the property market makes staying put an attractive prospect to many. If the project is all about increasing the property value, it would be worth speaking to an estate agent to get a feel for what value potential your home has. Inevitably there will be a glass ceiling in the area, and therefore your hard work and cash may not reap rewards you are hoping for. Many properties have untapped potential, and renovations can make a home more enjoyable to live in as well as adding to its market value.

If you’re extending to gain extra space and create your dream home, then it’s all about improving rather than moving. If you consider the removal costs, legal fees, stamp duty, resettlement costs, and redecorating costs involved in moving property, think of how much of that could be spent on improving your current home!


  1. Utility Services

Analyse the space that you want to develop your extension in. Is this area going to affect the services to the property? Services refer to the supply of electricity, gas, water and drainage. If the development does disturb these services, then you may need to move these – especially drainage. Drainage is sometimes adopted by the local water board, so if you intend your extension to be built over an adopted sewer, a ‘build over sewer’ application from the local authority will be necessary, specifically when drainage is shared with the neighbours.


  1. Quality of Roofing Materials & Installation

Now you can start planning some ideas that you’d like for your extension. Start thinking about materials and effects that you’d like to integrate into your designs. Think about your windows and doors, radiators, insulation and most importantly your roof.

Flat roofs are ideal for your extension as they’re so durable. The advantage with Canova flat roofs is that there are no seams, joints or welds to provide opportunities for water to get in and for components to be damaged or weakened. Once the strong fibreglass layer is laid, a durable topcoat is rolled over the top creating a fully sealed surface. Installed correctly, water does not have the opportunity to penetrate as there are no weak points or potential failure points on the roof.

These roofs are constructed to the highest standard and quality and offer peace of mind to home owners that cannot be matched by other products. They’re the perfect addition to any home extension. View our services for more information.

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