One Chance

“One chance”

The Kids seem to be getting bigger by the day, the dog is driving you crazy and we haven’t mentioned the amount of “stuff” every-one seems to have collected, and it is spilling out, all over your home.

You have looked at moving, and for whatever reason, that is not a reality.

So you are thinking of extending, out or up, but what now?

There are various things to consider;

  • What are you wanting to create?
  • What is possible /realistic for your property?
  • What is the best practical solution?
  • How much will it cost?
  • How do you fund that cost?
  • What is the financial impact?
  • What consents do you need?
  • Who do you need to involve Architects Engineers builders and how do you find them?
  • Do you look at a builder who does design and build or rely on an Architect and a tender process?
  • Depending on what you are building do you continue to live there whilst work is in progress or do you need to stay somewhere else?

The list continues to grow. So a quick guide.

The first and most important thing to do, as an individual or as a family, before you do anything else is actually decide, what it is you are looking for. To decide what it is you actually want. To build a beautiful relaxing conservatory, when a dining room that can double as a study /homework area, would be a waste and visa-versa.

Next you have to take into account your property. How much space do you really have to extend into? This is harder and were you start to need additional advice. An extension that is too small can prove to be more frustrating than not having one and can end up being a waste of money. Equally one that is too big and out proportion with the house /area can be detrimental especially if it eats up most of the garden.

In most developments an element of compromise is required and again additional independent advice to put it all in perspective would usually be beneficial.

The cost factor will depend, and vary on, what you do. A slightly larger extension may be more expensive but the additional cost might be disproportionally small compared at the overall cost. Once you have agreed on an outline project most Architects /Surveyors will be able to provide a feasibility analysis with estimate costs.

Funding may be out of saving, alternatively additional mortgage or borrowing advice might be required.

A factor to keep in mind is what is the actual financial impact. It’s great to say for example, an extension will cost only £100,000 but if the increase on the capital value is only £20,000 it needs consideration. This scenario can occur where the property is already at the value ceiling for the area or if you end up with a fantastic family home but no garden, in an area were a garden is expected.

Who do you need to engage? This depends on what you want to do and how confident you are in going on your own. Professionals do have a cost, but usually there input at an early stage can save time effort and unnecessary expense.

Design and build, a pre-designed package, or an independent service with a tender process all have their pros and cons. Again provided you are clear on what you are trying to achieve, go with the one that suits that purpose. The only proviso here is that bringing in a professional early may help you to decide on what it is you actually want/need, rather than being sold a product that is “easy”.

Finally, for this article, I cannot stress enough the need to ensure that you obtain all the necessary consents, are not breaching any covenants, and actually have legal title – before you start!

To conclude if you are thinking of altering or extending, think very carefully about what you want to achieve and don’t settle for second best or what appear at first glance to be the easy option. If you are in any doubt get professional advice from and Architect or Surveyor. Usually the sooner you involve the professionals the better.

To assist in the decision making process at NGP we can, for a fixed fee, provide an initial appraisal. This would, taking into account your requirements, give a sketch proposal, a budget cost for the works, a timetable/ programme, and estimated before and after values.

Most people only get “one chance” to extend, let us help you, get it right.