A home extension is a great solution for anyone looking to save the time and (sometimes) money that moving house inevitably requires. It can add character to a home that’s already part of the family. Nutshell knows that planning, designing and building an extension can be stressful, but it’s also something that’s essential to get right in order to achieve the best possible finished result. Here are a few answers to some questions which we hope will help you to make your mind up…

Why do you need an extension and what do you want it for?

Before even planning your extension you need to be clear about why you want it and what you need it for. This will help you decide where to put it, how many storeys you’ll need and how to reconfigure existing rooms to accommodate the new space. It will also be greatly beneficial when you come to discuss your ideas with neighbours who otherwise might object to your plans being carried through.



When’s the best time?

The timeframe will depend entirely on the type of extension you choose. Larger projects, such as multiple storey extensions, may take up to six months, whilst smaller ones, such as loft conversions could take as little as four weeks.  As a rule of thumb, Nutshell Construction suggests starting your project around September. With any project, it’s important to leave enough time to plan ahead. If you aim to start your project in September next year, you should start planning now!

What you need to consider

Just like any other construction project, there are a number of factors you need to consider before launching into your extension plans. Here are a few:

  • Planning permission – in many cases, you’ll need planning permission in order to carry out any construction work. Make sure you know where you stand in terms of planning permission in order to avoid any unexpected problems. Bear in mind that these rules may be different when it comes to listed or period properties. Even if you don’t need planning permission, you’ll still need to make sure your extension complies with local building regulations.
  • Outside space – it might seem obvious, but you’ll need to make sure there’s enough space surrounding your house for your extension to comfortably fit – planning regulations will quickly pick you up if it is thought that you’re trying to squeeze too much in to too small a space. You’ll also need to ensure that you have usage rights to the area the extension will take up, as well as the space in which the builders will be working. This is often an issue in terraced and semidetached properties.
  • Environment – environmental issues are an often overlooked element to consider when planning any construction work. It’s worth noting that trees are often protected under preservation laws and this can affect planning permission. Other issues to take into account are soil quality and the area’s history of flooding. An archaeological survey may be called for…so beware!
  • Stability – structural stability is essential when adding parts to your home. If your property is structurally sound you’ll avoid complications further down the line and avoid any additional work having to be carried out that could prolong the process.
  • Energy efficiency – under government regulations, homes need to comply with certain energy guidelines. What’s more, building an extension that’s as efficient as possible will save you money in the long run.
  • Insurance – home insurance does not cover construction work and extension building if any changes to the building’s overall structure are being made. You’ll need to seek out separate site insurance for the work while it’s being carried out. You might also need to look into public


Achieving the perfect design

The design of your extension can make or break the character of your home, so it’s crucial to spend a lot of time perfecting it. A well-thought out design plan can also help you to visualise the end result meaning that you’ll be certain your extension will be the right fit.

Consider the style of your home in the design process. This is really important in getting it right. Elements like roofing, brickwork, windows and doors and even the colour of the mortar used all have an impact. This will help to create an extension that’s in sync with the original. Sometimes it’s easier to combine a contemporary design with a traditional original building. In these cases, having a clear visualisation of what the final product will look like is crucial. There’s a fine line between complementary and cumbersome. Nutshell can help you with the visualisation process from day one so you can be sure to get the extension you’re expecting.

Nutshell specialises in bespoke projects, and we always love hearing the great ideas of our clients. Get in touch with us today whether you have big ideas for an extension project or you’re looking for some inspiration. Call us on 01903 217900.