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When is the best time to add an extension to your home?

There are a number of reasons to consider an extension to your home. While adding an extension is always about increasing living space, the best time varies according to individual circumstances.

What are your reasons? Has your kitchen become too small for the needs of your growing family? Has an elderly parent begun to show signs that they will soon need some extra care? Or maybe you purchased your home on a lower income and now want to upgrade some of your home’s amenities like the living or dining room or to add en-suite facilities to the master bedroom. Adding extra space to your home makes a number of new things possible in your home. Undoubtedly you have been told that it will add value to your home, but that can be in more ways than one. An extra bedroom could mean the space to rent a room for some added income or to set up a home office to turn a hobby into a business or give you more options around remote and flexible working.

If you are considering an extension because you intend to sell and want to add value to your property, there are several things to consider. There are some extensions that automatically add value like a bigger kitchen, extra bathroom or improved bathroom facilities, whereas garages are area-dependent and conservatories will need to be useful and usable throughout the year.

Some things you will need to consider: Planning permission: Depending on the size of your project you might need planning permission. Many homes have Permitted Development (PD) rights that cover improvements like a loft conversion or modest extension. Even if you don’t need planning permission, you will still need building regulation approval to verify that your extension meets the minimum requirements for aspects like fire safety, energy efficiency, ventilation and damp proofing. A home extension for a kitchen, bathroom or room that will require the installation of new heating appliances, for instance, all need approval.

Site insurance: Your home insurance is unlikely to cover the structural changes that you are making to your home and although certified builders are insured, it is often only liability insurance, which will not cover natural occurrences like floods or fire. If you intend to live away from your home during the extension build, you will also require unoccupied building insurance.

Timing your home extension A single storey extension can take an estimated 14 weeks to complete and if you intend to live in the property while the work is being undertaken, the project can take a little longer. It makes sense not to plan an extension around any of the major family events or holidays like Christmas, Easter, weddings or planned family visits and to be realistic about how long it might take, so you reduce your stress and frustration. Another important thing to consider is your budget and rule of thumb is to have at least a 10% contingency fund, even if you have been provided with fixed quotes. Ensuring that you have the time and money are key considerations, as are getting clear about how you will manage the foot traffic through your home and dispose of builder’s waste on a regular basis.